Catching Up

The days fly by very fast, don’t they? I finished my Clue #4 and am ready for tomorrow morning when #5 will be posted by Bonnie. I’m trying very hard to keep up. How about those of you who are also making her mystery?

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I’m also sorting fabric to keep only what I really want. The rest is going to our booth at Junkin Gal. I can never sew up all this fabric.

I’d like you to meet Mary LaHay. She is the founder and president of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals and Iowa Voters For Companion Animals based in Des Moines. She was in North Iowa today and I met her for coffee.

As an Iowan I am ashamed of having the 49th most lenient animal abuse laws in the nation. The laws allow animal abuse and neglect to be rampant throughout the huge number of puppy mills in the state. Iowa ranks second in the number of puppy mills with only Missouri having more. There are over 15,000 dogs suffering in Iowa puppy mills like the one the ASPCA raided in North Iowa a few weeks ago. The owner of that abysmal property with dead and dying dogs everywhere wants 9 of the breeding dogs back out of the 179 Samoyeds that were seized and the judge will be ruling on that within the next week or so. So many of us in North Iowa are sickened by this case and are praying the judge does not give her those dogs back. Someone suggested the dogs be spayed and neutered and then see if she wanted them back – I doubt it. The laws are not on the dogs’ side, sadly.

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, please don’t buy one from a pet store. Those stores get all their puppies from puppy mills and your new puppy is very likely to have multiple health issues. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Most of my friends and neighbors are farmers, many of whom have livestock but I am most concerned about companion animals such as dogs who really deserve better conditions. I could go on and on but I won’t.

If you’re an Iowan reading this, will you join me in talking to your legislators so we can change the laws? Please help those 15,000 dogs living in puppy mills without adequate food, water, shelter or vet care. I have to do whatever I can.

I’ll end with another goat picture – we are all enjoying this warm December weather!

45 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. Celine K.

    Even better than buying a specific breed from a reputable breeder is to ADOPT a dog from a shelter or rescue. Too many people don’t even consider this when picking out a dog – they want a “breed”.

    Thank you for highlighting this issue.

  2. Jo in Wyoming

    With stronger laws, at least the jerks get punished when they get caught. I wish you luck.
    All of our dogs have been “ in need of a good home” and they have been great dogs.

    Yes, time flies, on Saturday the days will start getting longer…yeppie

  3. Carol

    Your entry makes me sad… poor female dogs being forced to breed… and the abuse… I can’t think about it.
    Our kitty is a rescue, whoever had her had her front paws declawed. I understand that’s a painful process. Poor kitty. She’s just so sweet, she’s not too playful but she lives/loves to snuggle.
    I wonder who would give up such a beautiful companion? I’m glad he/she did!

  4. Jan B

    Mary, I understand your feelings completely! TN aid another state where the laws do not favor dogs. I lot of large dogs here are hunting dogs & that’s it. Not considered a family member. The local city did recently pass a tethering law whereby owners may NOT tether their dogs outside under cold, snowy, rainy, or too hot conditions. They must also provide food & water within easy reach. The county, however, (where I live) didn’t bother to jump on the same bandwagon. Dogs are treated horribly in TN too. We have many, many pit bull or pit bull mixes in the shelter. So sad! Adopt don’t shop! Like you, I’m passionate about the treatment of dogs in most states in this country. Ugh! We do have a number of organized groups fighting constantly to get the laws changed, rescuing dogs & puppies & cats & kittens, fundraising, etc. I admire their tenacity! I’m with you on this topic but I’ll get off my soapbox now!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan B – I will get off my bandwagon as well but honestly it makes me sick and there are so few things that give me nightmares like animal abuse does.

  5. Sue in Oregon

    What a lovely looking lady Mary LaHay is. I wish her Huge success in her efforts to change the animal abuse laws in your state. Those puppy mills sound just gruesome. Education hopefully will be a big help.

  6. Diane Bauer

    I started cutting fabric for the bullseye quilt along yesterday and am having fun seeing how the fabrics from so many different projects will go together into something new and different. I’m cutting for two as I’m thinking my Dad needs a nap quilt (Mom got one of the deployment quilts for her birthday last May). I’m a bit appalled at the size of my stash, feeling as you do, Mary, that I’ll never be able to quilt all of it. I may need to sort and donate as well. Ran across one fun bit called Barn Dance (by Country Threads!!) that I used as backing on a quilt I made for my son many years ago!

    So sad for all of those dogs. I never understand either how people can abandon their wonderful companion animals. My next will be a white faced senior, I think!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – when I get “old” I’m going to take senior dogs as fosters knowing that if I die, someone will step in to help the dog.

    2. Beth T.

      Diane B., the most recent dog we adopted was a white faced old gal, whose age was estimated to be about 12. She had some arthritis issues at the shelter, was thought to be pretty hard of hearing (which has proved to be quite true!), and has age-related poor eye-sight. She was so happy to have a home! You could tell she had been loved before, as she settled right in, knew how to be part of a home, and had a few funny, silly little games she quickly taught us. Her joint issues went away and now she races around our acreage with the young pups–so happy, so full of fun! It is an absolute joy to see. My partner was a little bit hesitant about adopting such an old dog, as we’d just lost our four sibling dogs. (When I said I wanted to adopt a 12 year old, he said, “When you told me an older dog, I thought you meant a 3 year old!”), but now he just says, “I wish we’d gotten Lottie when she was 2, not 12, because I would love to have so much more time with her.” She is a wonderful dog and has become a true part of our family.
      Sorry to go on and on, but I’m so enthusiastic about our experience of adopting a senior dog; we thought we were doing a good thing for a lonely old lady, but she turned out to be bringing us a great gift: her sweet self.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Beth T – thank you! Your note gave me goosebumps and was solid evidence of the value and FUN of adopting a senior dog. This is also in my radar for sometime soon. I’ve always known that I would foster seniors in my old age so that when I died someone would take care of the dog. Would you send me a picture of your dogs? To my email – Where do you live? I wish I knew Lottie!

  7. Sherry Whalen

    I am ready for clue #5! I finished clue #4 last night. We finished shopping for the grands today. Tomorrow is a bit of baking and wrapping. Five minutes ago I put the last stitches in our newest grand daughter’s needlepoint Christmas stocking. Blocking tomorrow, finish on Saturday. I’m glad I didn’t wait till the last minute lol.

    I really can’t figure out what is wrong with people – the way some treat animals, and each other for that matter. It is heartbreaking.

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter

    My parents bought a beagle back in 1960…she lived to be 17 years old. She was the last pure-bred dog because the only dogs I want are rescues. My current pup is an 8 year old Chihuahua that I adopted on 12/23/11 when she was about a year old. I’m horrified at what people are willing to do to animals. If I was able, I’d have a huge pack of rescues all living in the house with me!!

  9. Launa

    Mary, It was nice to see a yard without snow! We had a sunny day with plenty of snow that didn’t melt. More snow coming just before midnight!
    So very sad to read about the number of puppy mills in Iowa. I too pray the judge denies that breeder the return of any dogs.

  10. Angie

    Thank you for speaking out about the situation with companion animals. I believe that the way we treat animals and/or allow them to be treated makes a strong statement about our humanity as an individual and as a nation. We must all continue to speak out … they need our voice.

  11. Sandie Jagusch

    Thank you so much for your involvement in helping companion animals. I pray the judge doesn’t give her the dogs back and they’ll be well taken care of. All of my dogs have been rescued. I don’t understand how anyone can be cruel to animals. My dogs are family to me. I have cried harder for my dogs when they passed than I have for some family members.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Snide Jagusch – I am guilty of the same – losing my dogs was sadder for me than an elderly family member. They ask so little of us and to be cruel to 15,000 dogs in our state appalls me.

  12. Kate

    Just absolutely sickens me to know Iowa laws are so lien against puppy mills and other abused animals.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate – it makes me sick, too. The only way to change it for the dogs is to change the laws! Thanks for being an animal lover!

  13. Nicole Hanson

    I missed all these “clues”! What are you making and where do I go for the “clues”?
    I also have a ton of flannels and want to do the Bullseye quilt. Would I also use flannel for the background or would muslin be ok?
    I don’t understand why our local, county, and state legislators don’t make more strict and punishable laws regarding the abuse of animals. It’s deplorable how cruel some people can be. These animals ask only to be loved and give so much love in return.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nicole – I’m working on Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt. Our Bullseye

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Nicole Hanson – sorry – my finger hit send before I was ready! Our Bullseye quilt along will start January 1. Flannels can work all by themselves or you can use regular cotton for the base. It really should not be muslin – the backgrounds need to be assorted as well. Go back in the posts to find the Bullseye guidelines – it’s going to be fun!

  14. Sue H

    I live in IL just outside of St. Louis so I hear all the time of puppy mills and animal abuse in Missouri on our news channels. Did not realize Missouri was the leader of this horrible affair, only knew they had lots of these cases. After many years of talk, I finally convinced my sister to stop dog shopping at her local mall. Made me so happy!

  15. PJ Combs

    Oh my gosh!!!! Stronger laws would be wonderful n I could go on n on about how people treat dogs 🐕 n other animals, it breaks my heart so lets hope we can stop these horrible people!!!!!!!! Iowa wake up!!!

  16. Ellie

    I live in Indiana and unfortunately laws in our state aren’t much better with respect to puppy mills! It’s quite disgraceful. Adopting can be a wonderful experience. If people are interested in a specific breed there are rescue organizations for many and while the dogs are usually spayed or neutered they can be all ages from puppy to senior . While they don’t come with papers, companions don’t care! We have adopted twice and both have been wonderful dogs.

  17. MartyCae

    The shelters are full of wonderful animals. This is where I go to get my pets.
    We have an acreage right out of town and people dump their pets all the time. It is very shameful. This is how we got our big kitty, Harry S. Truman. He is such a wonderful cat and we love him!
    Thanks for all your education on Iowa laws. I didn’t realize the laws were so slack.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      MartyCae – how do you deal with all the dumped animals? This is why I have so many cats – they simply appeared in my driveway. Iowa laws are 49th as I said so people get by with any terrible treatment of animals. Hug Harry for me!

  18. Kathy in western NY

    I adopted my dogs from a shelter where they have a van that goes to other states to rescue animals. My 5 yr old terrier mix came from TN and my other terrier/chihuahua mix came from Miami in a truckload of 30 other drop offs. Can you imagine how these despicable breeders dispose of these animals when they are finished with them! It breaks my heart. I am planning to drop off a gift gas card to this animal shelter this weekend to help them with their driving as unfortunately it’s their life work regardless of a holiday. To all of you who give your time to nurture helpless animals, I feel assured you will be blessed with a good life as well as giving them one too. Continue to fight to stop this ignorance and push for tough laws. It’s the right thing to do to make our country kinder. Thanks Mary for working on behalf of the right thing.

  19. Kathy Hanson

    I, like all of you, just can’t imagine the cruelty that people do to dogs! Thank you to all of you who are supporting this. I would love to have a dog – my husband is not fond of animals in the house. But I guess 6 llamas are pets enough!! lol
    I had better get busy cutting – January 1st will be here really soon!!!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – yes, you have your hands full with 6 llamas but to experience the love of a dog who lives with you is so very special that I feel sorry for those who don’t want a dog in the house and there are many – so many in my church family for instance.

  20. Donna

    Mary. I LOVE the goat pic & hope that woman who wants some of her dogs back is “denied” any of them. It’s sickening how some treat animals. Maybe they should be on a leash just long enough to reach the ground.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna – I couldn’t agree more – God knows what she did. That’s how I can live with this stuff.

  21. Jackie

    If you are a whistle blower and take pictures of a puppy mill, you can be charged with a felony in Iowa!!!
    My friend and I went to a puppy mill to rescue a dog. I couldn’t talk it was so bad. We ended up taking
    two Schnauzers that day. The owner was going to set the one dog loose(in freezing weather) and if it came back, he would shoot it. We told him we would take him too. So sad.
    We have fostered and adopted four Schnauzers, all death row dogs. They were all rescued by by some very special people in rescue groups.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jackie – you are correct about being a whistleblower taking pictures. And once again lawmakers are afraid to separate livestock from companion animals.

  22. Judy

    I am so sorry to hear that the laws are not protecting animals in your state. I didn’t even know they had a ranking on that so I looked up to see where my state stands. I am glad to say that we are at number 2 in 2017 and were one of 7 states that enacted reckless endangerment provisions to the law by granting immunity to those who rescue an animal from a hot car without the owners permission. I will never understand why people who can’t properly take care of pets even have them. They take time and patience to have and if you don’t want to give them that don’t have them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy – what state are you in? Most of these laws are tied in with livestock interests but I always say dogs are not livestock!!!!

      1. Judy

        I am in Oregon but it is not a state that is so friendly to livestock because of the report that cows caused more greenhouse gas than cars. That claim was later refuted but people do not want to listen to it as they prefer to believe the original report.

  23. Sandy kolarik

    I get very upset when I hear about abused animals. I have 2 rescue dogs and can’t imagine life without them. My question to you or your readers is how can one person help? I have donated money to shelters but would like to do more but at a higher level. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy Kolarik – I feel helpless, too, and I am going to send your question on to Mary Lahay and ask her. Just because the puppy mill situation is abhorrent to me doesn’t mean I can do anything to help those poor dogs!

  24. Ann B

    That’s what I’m missing in my life, a dog!!! Growing up, our first dog was a GSD. My dad’s co-worker promised us a puppy, before they were born. My 2nd was also a Shepherd, then a Spaniel which ended up turning on me and I put her down, as I didn’t want her being aggressive towards the neighborhood kids. Our Black Lab was our last dog, he went blind at 13 years old.

    While each dog had their own uniqueness, the Black Lab helped me during a deep depression and through the beginning of my decline of not being able to walk. He was my playmate, co-conspirator, listener and companion through many troublesome times! I miss you Buck!!

    But of all the dogs that were in my life, the Humane society is where we went to first. If I were more physically able, I’d take home just senior dogs to share all the love I have.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann B – my plan for when I get old is to foster senior dogs so that if I died before the dog, the organization would step in to rehome the dog. I, too, wish you could have a dog – a service dog!

  25. Colleen

    Oh gosh I love seeing the goats out in the yard.
    We are currently without domestic animals meaning no dog or cat. Our last cat died in the summer my husband has a failing memory and his physical health is declining also. So for now I don’t want to bring in a new to us pet. I will adopt a dog or cat or both at some point most likely animals that have lost their people.
    I would like all animals to be treated humanely those raised to be eaten and those raised to be held or to share our beds.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Colleen – you have your hands full, my dear. You are so wise not to get a pet to take care of, too. Prayers for you!

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