Puppy Mill Awareness Day
Puppy Mill Awareness Day takes place every third Saturday of September, and this year it falls on Sept. 17. The day is meant to raise awareness of the sad truth behind the puppy mill industry and to encourage people to “adopt, not shop” when getting a pet. More than 1.8 million dogs purchased every year are bred and sold through one of the 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S., according to the Humane Society.
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Linda Greiner is the award-winning author of the Sashi series: Sashi, The Scared Little Sheltie; Sashi Adopts a Brother; and now, Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl, which chronicles the true story of Cinnamon, a young Sheltie rescued from a puppy mill. The story not only exposes the harsh conditions of puppy mills but also gives an example of the strength and love that new owners have the opportunity to demonstrate to their four-legged family members.
Greiner is a lover of Shetland “Sheltie” Sheepdogs and a passionate rescue shelter advocate. The Sashi books are based on Greiner’s personal experience adopting the real-life energetic Sashi and later, Sashi’s brother, Buddy, through the Shetland Sheepdog Placement Services of New Jersey (SSPSNJ).
“Children are never too young to start learning about the proper care of an animal,” says Greiner. “Just as children are individuals, teaching them that pets are unique beings with distinct personalities can help develop acceptance of differences in others.”
When we first met Sashi, in Sashi, The Scared Little Sheltie, she had just been adopted by Anna and her family after a lonely time in the shelter. Her owners provide a safe, loving home and help Sashi understand the world around her. The small family then grew once again in Sashi Adopts a Brother when they welcomed Buddy into their home, another Sheltie rescue.
In her latest adventure, Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl, Sashi and Buddy learn about puppy mills when a timid young Sheltie named Cinnamon moves in with them. Though very scared and quiet at first, Cinnamon slowly begins to warm up to Anna, Sashi, and Buddy as she learns what life outside of a puppy mill is like. Visitors eventually begin coming by the house to get to know Cinnamon with hopes of adopting her. After gaining her trust and introducing her to their other shelties, Willie and Ellie, Cinnamon’s new family adopts her.
Greiner started fostering for SSPSNJ in 2003. She says, “Each dog has a story to tell.” She is committed to helping other Shelties find their forever homes, and donates a portion of the sales proceeds from Sashi, the Scared Little Sheltie, Sashi Adopts a Brother and Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl to SSPSNJ.