Many people have asked me what prompted me to become involved in dog rescue. This is what I tell them. In the spring of 2008, I had to put my Daisy, an almost 15 year old bichon frise, down. As horribly difficult as that was, I knew in my heart that I wanted another bichon frise to love, so I set out with the goal of finding a quality bichon frise breeder. I had heard of puppy mills, but didn't have a clue just how horrible they were. I was about to find out. Shortly after I started thinking about getting another puppy, Oprah aired her show covering the horrors of puppy mills. After crying through that entire show, I knew my life had forever changed. I was so upset over what I had just seen that I vowed to do something about it. I started researching puppy mills online and learned more than I ever wanted to know. I became involved in a group that protests pet stores due to the fact that most (if not all) puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. I attended two dog auctions in WI to protest and ended up rescuing a dog from each auction as well. The suffering I witnessed at these auction as I looked into the eyes of dogs that have spent their entire lives in a cage only to be auctioned off like cattle to the highest bidder was extremely disturbing to me. Throughout these experiences I met a lot of different people involved in dog rescue. I decided it was time that I join them and start my own rescue.
I've always had a strong affection for bichon frises. I guess you could say they are "my breed," but I also love all small, fluffy lap dogs, so I wanted to rescue this category of dogs. After all, puppy mills are filled with cute, fluffy, lap dogs as that is what pet stores tend to carry. Each time I rescue a dog from a puppy mill, I cry for the suffering they have endured and vow to make sure their future is filled with love, proper vet care, good food, fresh water, love, the feel of grass under their feet, love, sunshine on their back, love, human companionship, and more love! I do this work because every dog deserves to experience these things, and even though I cannot possibly save every dog from their suffering, life will certainly be better for the ones I am able to save! For me, it's truly all about the dogs. It's also nice to know that saving a dog and finding a good home for them is going to be a gift to the adopter who is fortunate enough to have found their way to rescue. For they are embarking on a joyful journey as they watch their rescued dog discover what a dog's life is supposed to be.
To learn more about puppy mills and how you can help stop them, please visit the following websites:
Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project
Prisoners of Greed
Pet Shop Puppies
Safe Haven Bichon and Friends Rescue was founded with the mission of rescuing, rehabilitating (physically and emotionally), and re-homing bichons and other small lap dogs in need. Our dogs come from a variety of situations. Many come from puppy mills, having spent their entire lives up to this point in a cage producing puppies for the pet industry. Others are owner surrenders for a variety of reasons. Still others are pulled from shelters to be given another chance at a happy life.
Safe Haven Bichon and Friends Rescue is a foster-based program. All dogs live in the comfort of a home while awaiting their forever families. Medical attention is provided to restore and maintain health. This includes, but is not limited to, spay/neuter, microchipping, vaccinations, heartworm test and preventative, flea/tick preventative, and dental cleanings (when necessary). Perhaps most importantly, Safe Haven provides LOVE, which is something many dogs in rescue have never experienced. All dogs are provided with a high-quality diet and adopters are given information about the importance of choosing a high-quality dog food as it relates to the health and well-being of their new family member.