"Mothers in the Mills" benefit raises funds to banish puppy mills

The Puppy Mill Project continued its annual tradition of honoring mother dogs left behind in puppy mills with its “Mothers in the Mills” benefit. This year’s event, which took place on May 10th at John Barleycorn in River North honored Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, Bernie Berlin, founder of A Place to Bark and 11-year old Jane Clarke, recipient of the first ever Kindness to Animals “Kids for Kanines” award. Janet Davies, ABC 7’s Entertainment Reporter and Host of 190 North, served as the evening’s guest emcee. Over 300 people attended the festivities.

The “Mothers in the Mills” event was purposefully scheduled on the Saturday night before Mother’s Day to remind people about the mother dogs that are still trapped in cages in puppy mills throughout the country. “We don’t want anyone to forget the horrible animal cruelty going on every minute of every day in those mills, which targets breeding mothers most of all,” explains Cari Meyers, founder and president of The Puppy Mill Project. “These mothers are forced to breed and breed until they die or are killed because they can breed no longer,” she adds. “We must tell their story and do everything we can to put an end to this horrible abuse.”

The money raised from the “Mothers in the Mills” fundraiser (over $50,000) will allow The Puppy Mill Project to continue its mission of educating the public and raising awareness about the cruelty of puppy mills, and their direct connection to pet stores, Internet sites and newspaper ads that sell dogs.

“We want people to understand that those adorable puppies in a pet store or on the Internet come from a mother who is suffering right now,” explains Meyers. “Our event honored the mother dogs,” she adds. “We must never forget about them and the ongoing cruelty they are forced to endure every single day.”

The event also celebrated the recent passing of The Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance which bans the retail sale of commercially sourced puppies, kittens, and rabbits from pet stores throughout Chicago and all of Cook County. It was Meyers’ tireless efforts and support from Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza and Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey that helped pass this important legislation.

The evening also included an extensive dinner buffet, open bar, live entertainment by the Out of Control Band and a live and silent auction (that included concert tickets for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, a Carrie Underwood signed guitar, and a ring from Graziela Gems, whose jewelry has been worn by major celebs including Academy award winners Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hatahway, and Lupita Nyong'o).  For more info, please visit www.thepuppymillproject.org.

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