Humane Lobby Day 2015

Attention Animal Advocates!
The Humane Lobby Day 2015 will be held on February 9th and is sponsored by Iowa Voters for Companion Animals.

We are THRILLED this year that, in addition to ourlobbing efforts, Dr. Frank McMillan from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary will present to our group over lunch, prior to heading over to the Capital.  Dr. McMillan, a board-certified specialist in veterinary internal medicine and leading expert on emotional pain in animals, will present his findings from his study of more than 1000 dogs used in large-scale breeding operations.  His study of this animal population confirms what many animal welfare advocates already knew: That dogs used in puppy mills are damaged by the experience.

This event is held in Des Moines on February 9th. We are still finalizing the details, but tentatively plan on leaving around 8:00 AM from southwest Cedar Rapids and we will make stops in Coralville and Williamsburg to pick up participants.  We are typically back in Cedar Rapids by 5:00 PM.  We are chartering a bus, so we need your help to fill it up! The event is so important… it’s our chance as advocates to show a collective voice on behalf of the animals suffering in puppy mills across the state of Iowa.

Yes, we are #2 in the nation for mills.
It is imperative that we unite to force laws that will protect these animals who are at the mercy of factory breeders. To bring legislation to the floor of the Iowa House, bills have to be allowed to pass through for debate on the floor.  No pressure from constituents — no debate and another year of suffering for these dogs. We have to act this year and it is going to take a lot of us.
Please help us make a lasting impression in Des Moines. The Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by Iowa Voters for Companion Animals. You can register at their website: to register is January 30, 2015. There will be important lobbying instructions provided at the luncheon, so please arrive by 11:00 AM to check in. You can also find more information on how to lobby and what to say once you there at this website:
Last year, we chartered a bus through Windstar lines and it can transport 47 people. We want this bus FILLED!  The cost should average $20 round trip and this allows us to have no parking issues. Easy, Fun and Important.
Please contact Carol Doser at if you have any questions.
Julia Black


Many of you who have been following along for a while may remember our trip to the puppy mill auction last year. We still have a few of those precious pups with us today. Dylan is one of those dogs. He’s had a few chances at adoption but health issues always seem to get in the way. His “foster” shared his story with me.

Dylan came to LHAR over a year and a half ago.  He was 7 years old and lived his entire life in a crate at a puppy mill. He started his vet visits with a neuter surgery and then a dental.  Due to the lack of care he had all of his teeth pulled.  They could not be saved.  When neighbor kids ask why his tongue hangs out, I explain that he doesn’t have any teeth to hold it in.  He also is missing part of his lower jaw. His next issue was pancratitus which many times is fatal.  He fought 2 rounds and won that battle.  Things were going well for him until another dog bit him on the mouth.  With his jaw already in poor condition, it was broken.  He was on pain killers for a week or so to help it mend on its own.  The broken piece was too small for surgical repair. Though his body has healed, he is having panic attacks from loud noises such as thunder or fireworks.  If I can’t be with him, I take special precautions if I know it’s coming. He is normally a happy little guy.  He has never really barked but has a quiet noise that I say sounds like a cute little alien.  I recorded it on my cell phone and whenever I need a pick me up, I listen to Dylan chattering away.  For all I know, he could be chewing me out.

Someday Dylan may find his forever home (maybe he already has?). But until then, Last Hope will take whatever measures necessary to ensure he is happy and loved and as healthy as can be. To help Last Hope continue to care for dogs like Dylan donate here today.

Crystal Black

The Animals Need Your Help!

Many of you have seen the dogs that come through our rescue from puppy mills. You’ve heard stories and helped us in our efforts to raise thousands of dollars to pay for the much needed veterinary care for these dogs. Mary LaHay, of Iowa voters for Companion Animals, has another way you can help. All it takes is a few moments of your time and a quick email. Below is information sent to the IA Voters for Companion Animals mailing list. Please, take the time to read Mary’s request and send off a quick email to the state Senators and the AKC board members. Let’s show them just how many Iowans support this bill and help them see past the misinformation they are being provided.

Hello Everyone,

I want to update you on what’s been going on at the Capitol. Many of you saw and responded to our previous email asking that you contact all the Iowa state senators asking them to support our bill, SF2254, the bill that will help tens of thousands of dogs in Iowa puppy mills.

THANK YOU to those who sent emails to the senators! They heard from several of you and they got the message…. many, many Iowans want better laws to protect these innocent animals in Iowa’s commercial dog-breeding industry.

Unfortunately there is a very heavy campaign being waged to prevent the passage of this commonsense legislation. And amazingly, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is waging the strongest opposition. They’re disseminating false and inflammatory information about the bill; claiming it will put an end to hobby breeding. We’re working to clear up this erroneous information but many of the AKC supporters are hard to convince.

It appears that AKC is working to oppose this legislation because they fear the potential financial ramifications. Many puppy mills register their puppies through AKC and the breeders pay a fee (a base fee plus a per-puppy fee) to do so. This is a huge source of AKC’s revenues. Here’s a quote from an article, “A Gathering Storm Bring New Measures” (From Breeding Better Dogs), penned by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, a board member of the AKC.

In 1981, AKC derived 96% of its income from dog registrations. By 2003, income from registrations had fallen to 61%. These declines represent a significant loss in revenues and future earnings. 

This certainly explains why this organization would work to stop any attempts to curtail the rampant and indiscriminate breeding of dogs in commercial kennels.

So here are 2 things you can do today to help with our efforts:

1. If you haven’t already written to our state senators, please do so now. Their email addresses are listed at the bottom of this email. Simply copy and paste all of them into the “To” window of an email, generate a respectful email asking that they support SF2254, and send your email on its way. Refer to our previous email for information. It is pasted below the senators’ email addresses. If you’ve already written to them, it wouldn’t hurt to send another message if you have the time. Tell them there is absolutely nothing in the bill that should threaten hobby breeders… unless they’re subjecting their dogs to the treatment we’re working to stop! Suggest that they ask those who oppose the bill to give specifics about what they object to. If it is simply that AKC has told them to, that isn’t sufficient because AKC has misinformed its members about the bill.

2. Send a short and respectful email to the board members of AKC. Here’s a list of their email addresses. Simply copy and paste each of the email addresses into the “To” window of an email, generate a message, and send your email on its way. Feel free to add any or all of the images at the end of this email to your message to them. Here are a couple of statements we’d recommend you include:

  • AKC ought to work harder to address the abusive situations endured by tens of thousands of dogs in kennels across the country.
  • If AKC is unwilling or unable to help provide those protections, they ought not work to counter state-level legislation that will.
  • If they are compelled to oppose state or local legislation, they ought to ensure that they are providing accurate information about that legislation to their members.

Their addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,

J. Charles Garvin, M.D.,
Delegate, Marion Ohio Kennel Club

Dr. William R. Newman,
Delegate, Mastiff Club of America

Patricia Scully,
Delegate, Obedience Training Club of Hawaii, Inc.

Robert A. Amen,
Delegate, Port Chester Obedience Training Club, Inc.

Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia,
Delegate, German Shepherd Dog Club of America

Steven D. Gladstone, Esq.,
Delegate, Greater Naples Dog Club

Patricia M. Cruz,
Delegate, Heart of the Plains Kennel Club

William J. Feeney,
Delegate, Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club

Thomas Powers,
Delegate, Kennel Club of Beverly Hills

Lee Arnold,
Delegate, Southern Colorado Kennel Club

Carl C. Ashby, III,
Delegate, United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club

Alan Kalter,
Delegate, American Bullmastiff Association

Harvey Wooding,
Delegate, Westminster Kennel Club

Ex Officio: Dennis B. Sprung,


pam.jochum <>; david.johnson <>; tim.kapucian <>; liz.mathis <>; matt.mccoy <>; janet.petersen <>; herman.quirmbach <>; amanda.ragan <>; ken.rozenboom <>; charles.schneider <>; brian.schoenjahn <>; mark.segebart <>; joe.seng <>; amy.sinclair <>; roby.smith <>; steve.sodders <>; rich.taylor <>; jack.whitver <>; <>; brad.zaun <>; dan.zumbach <>; bill.anderson <>; daryl.beall <>; jerry.behn <>; rick.bertrand <>; <>; nancy.boettger <>; joe.bolkcom <>; tod.bowman <>; chris.brase <>; michael.breitbach <>; jake.chapman <>; mark.chelgren <>; thomas.courtney <>; jeff.danielson <>; dick.dearden <>; bill.dix <>; bill.dotzler <>; robert.dvorsky <>; joni.ernst <>; randy.feenstra <>; julian.garrett <>; sandra.greiner <>; mike.gronstal <>; dennis.guth <>; rita.hart <>; jack.hatch <>; rob.hogg <>; hubert.houser <>; wally.horn <>

Puppy Mill Awareness

Have you heard of a puppy mill? The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. This includes:

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  • Dogs being kept in wire cages that hurt the bottom of their feet
  • The cages allow for ventilation & excrement to fall away from their living surfaces
  • These cages can be stacked on top of each other – which means excrement from the dogs on top falls on tops of the dogs below
  • Dogs are not removed from the cages other than to breed or other basic necessities
  • Often being exposed to climate extremes
  • Female dogs are bred over and over again until their bodies wear out
  • Dogs are not provided adequate vet care or nutrition

You may have heard of Puppy Mill, but thought that such a thing wasn’t in Iowa. You thought wrong. Iowa is now #2 in the nation in terms of the number of Puppy Mills.  Nearly 23,000 dogs in Iowa are kept in breeding facilities creating hundreds of thousands of unhealthy dogs each year, while even more shelter dogs are getting euthanized.  The adult breeding dogs are not considered pets, nor are they treated as such. They are often crowded together in small wire cages and typically receive little social contact with people and little or no professional veterinary care, even when open sores or other wounds are evident.

Please help Last Hope and Iowa Friends of Companion Animals  raise awareness of Puppy Mills.  You can register for this Sunday’s Puppy Mill Awareness Walk at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids.  You can also write a letter to your legislator.  Click this link to open a template letter provided by Iowa Friends of Companion Animals:  Letter to your Legislator (this will open a Microsoft Word document).

You may have seen our previous post about all of the puppy mill dogs Last Hope rescued earlier this year. My first foster dog Hundley was a puppy mill dog from this rescue, so I have seen first hand how dogs are treated in Puppy Mills. Last Hope is doing as much as they can to help these dogs, but we need your help.  Please take a little time out of your day to help us raise awareness of puppy mills and the terrible living conditions these dogs are forced to live in.

Hope to see you all at the Last Hope booth on Sunday!

Mickala sig

Lois’ One Year Anniversary, 8th Birthday!

Sonia received this email this week from Laci, who adopted Lois one year ago. Lois was a puppy mill dog and it sounds like she’s come a long way in her new home!

Dear Last Hope Rescue,Lois
Today we’re celebrating Lois’ belated 8th Birthday (7/25/2005), and the one year anniversary of her adoption! We love her so much and she’s made such huge strides. She came to us scared of her own shadow, and now has blossomed into a spoiled (but very loved!) brat who carries her treat bag around! She knows how to manipulate us into a treat every morning, squeeze her wiggling body into any group of people and steal everyone’s attention, and demand our affection. We love her so, so much and I can’t imagine our lives without her “helicopter tail,” constant howling, and big feet constantly stepping on us. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate Last Hope Rescue and their rescue of Lois, Gladys, and Blossom. You guys rock!
With love,
Marcie, Laci, Tom, Lois, Sebastian, Tegan, Earl Jean The Turtle Machine, Sophia, Cletus, and MiMi
And in response to Sonia’s request for permission to post this Laci added a few things. 🙂
We’re so proud of the strides she’s made. She now walks on a leash, knows basic commands, is a therapy dog in training, and loves visiting nursing home residents. She’s learned to bark about 5 months ago, and now barks all the time (we’re working on this, but she’s too cute to discipline sometimes!). We just can’t thank you guys enough for rescuing her and bringing her into our lives.
I was just starting out when Lois was adopted, so I never got the chance to meet her. But I’ve seen the dogs that come out of puppy mills, and trust me, it’s not pretty. Lois is one very lucky girl to have found such a loving, caring family! We love receiving updates, so if you have a story you would like to share, please email us at
crystal sig

Happy Tails: Puppy Mill Edition – Bonnie

Last Hope recently adopted out the first of the 29 dogs purchased from the puppy mill auction last month. Below is the inspiring update we received from Bonnie’s- now Honey’s – new family!  If you have a Happy Tails adoption story you would like to share, email us at

Life with a new love…

Photo by Visions Photography

Bonnie after purchased at Puppy Mill Auction
Photo by Visions Photography

I see it in her eyes at times.  I see her freeze.  I look deep in and see her insecurity and fear.  The stairs that are a mountain to climb.  Every noise that is unknown, how sometimes she goes to a corner and is too frightened to come out.  I have struggled to get her to eat.  I am so pleased to say she gave in and ate today for me!   The smallest things are the largest obstacles. I see these and my anger at the puppy mill that used her body and left her soul to whither is so strong.

I see her come up to me starved for love and I see those tender eyes trying so hard to trust.  Her tail is always wagging and hopeful.  She greets people now like they are her long lost friends and all are here to pet her and honor her Princess self… She deserves it.  She walked on a leash so pretty today.  She went down the slide with my daughter and I could see Honey laughing.  Tongue hanging out as she  grinned her silly little puppy grin.  Honey fills a place in my children and my lives that we didn’t even know we were missing.  We were though.

She has a sweet love to give and every time I see her trust someone to give it my heart grows.  I know how big it is for this little lady who didn’t know life outside of bars.  I hope she gains confidence every day.  That she is so sure of her next meal, pet, love and life that she is bursting with happiness.  She gives unconditional love back and we are so blessed to have her.
I can not wait to see what the future brings as we grow together even more.  Thank you Last Hope for giving Honey to us to cherish love and raise.
Honey is the first of what we know will be 28 more Happy Tails; Puppy Mill Edition.  I am currently fostering another of the dogs rescued from the puppy mill and I can’t agree more with what Honey’s family said.  I spoil the little guy rotten and in return he gives me all of the love and affection he has to give.  I couldn’t have asked for a better first time foster dog!  If you are interested in adopting or fostering one of the puppy mill dogs or any of Last Hope’s animals we want to hear from you!  To get started, click here to apply to adopt and click here to apply to foster.

You Can Help!

SONY DSCMeet Hundley!

Hundley is one of the 29 dogs recently purchased an an auction for a closing puppy mill.  Hundley is now enjoying the life of luxury in his current foster home and ready to find his forever home. Since being at his foster home he has been neutered, had all but 2 teeth removed and been vaccinated.  Up next on the to do list is to have him chipped.  All of that and he is still a happy-go-lucky little guy who loves to snuggle with his foster mom.

It comes at a cost

Getting these dogs out of the puppy mill situation is a very rewarding experience, but unfortunately it comes at a cost for Last Hope.  All of the dogs were purchased at auction and had to be neutered or spayed. Most of the dogs required extensive dental work, many of them having to have most of their teeth removed because they were in such bad shape.  Some had eye issues that have to be taken care of as well.   They all also required vaccinations, food, flea & tick medicine and heart worm preventative medication.

You can help!

If you are wondering what you can do to help, wonder no longer!  There are many ways you can help, even if you aren’t able to open your home to foster a dog.  You can find out all about the volunteer opportunities on our website

But Our BIGGEST Need…

…is your monetary donations.  Whether you donate $5 or $500, every little bit helps.  If you are able to made a donation, please click here to donate using your credit card or paypal.  We are a 501(c)(3) organization, so all of you donations are tax deductible.

Don’t forget Miss Scarlet!

In addition to the expenses that came with the purchase of Hundley and the other puppy mill dogs, we still need help with sweet little Scarlet’s medical expenses.  Scarlet in ready to find her forever home too, but before she can she needs heart surgery.  You can read her story on our previous post.  If you would like to donate to Miss Scarlet’s surgery, you can click here to make a donation specifically for her.  This fundraiser is only open for 7 more days!

Thank you all for everything you do.  It is only with everyone’s help that we can continue to rescue and save these dogs (and cats!).