When The Puppy Mill Project decided to hit the streets last September for Puppy Mill Awareness Day, they decided to go big or go home. They decided to march on Michigan Avenue, invited the animal rescue community and then hoped for the best.
“The support we received last year was beyond my wildest dreams,” says Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. “We wanted to highlight the puppy mill/pet store connection by taking our message to Chicago’s most well known shopping district – Michigan Avenue. We were able to reach many new people with our message.”
Over 200 people from throughout the Midwest hit the pavement on Puppy Mill Awareness Day to spread the word about puppy mills and their connection to pet store and Internet pet sales. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Michigan Avenue was teaming with shoppers, many of which stopped marchers to ask about puppy mills and pet stores.
This year, the group has been organizing and promoting the event for months in advance. The goal has been to get even more rescue organization and animal rights supporters involved in the march.
“We had amazing support last year from the rescue community around Chicago and from further away,” says Meyers. “I heard from many groups that couldn’t participate because it conflicted with their events. We started planning and reaching out even earlier this year with the hopes that we’ll draw support from throughout the Midwest.”
Chicago City Clerk Susanna Mendoza led the Puppy Mill Awareness Day march last year and will also be heading the charge this year as well. The walk steps off from Michigan Avenue and the river (In front of Tribune Tower) at noon on Sunday, September 22. This peaceful march will head north to Water Tower Place for a short rally before returning.
For a look last year’s Puppy Mill Awareness Day March, please watch this video. Keep an eye on The Puppy Mill Project’s Facebook page for updates.