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The Puppy's Plea

A 12-year-old named Mollie wrote this poem.
She brought it to us at a recent Petland protest.

Here I lie, alone in my cage
The breed that I am is all the rage.
I came here from a puppy mill,
A place where dogs are bred until killed.
I remember my mother,
Her fur soft and sleek,
She, too, lived in a cage,
She was so small and weak.
I was only a baby,
Just 2 months old,
When I was taken from Mother,
I was hungry and cold.
I was shipped off in a crate,
All scared and alone,
I didn't know where I was,
But I knew I wasn't home.
There were other pups too,
Every one lost and confused.
I was starving and thirsty,
So were the rest.
I wanted my mother;
I know she's the best.
I arrived in the pet store,
Wishing for comfort,
But all that my heart felt
Was sorrow and hurt.
My paws ached from walking on grids,
When people came, I always hid.
Here I still lie, alone in the store,
You want to take me home,
And make me yours?
Please, oh, please,
Don't take me home,
For if you do another pup,
All cold and alone,
Will be sitting here,
Another dog in need of an owner,
Another puppy away from its mother,
I'll stay here, I can do it,
Just leave me here,
There's nothing to it,
If you walk out of the store,
Puppies will come here never more,
And no dog will have to live like this,
Cold and alone, without a home.
Nobody should have to live like this,
That's my one and only wish.

Let Me Play Before I Die
by Jim Willis, 2002

'Tis lonely here in prison,
I dream of sun, of fields,
I saw them from a window once,
but I don't know how they feel.
I've never known a caress,
a friend, a bone, a toy,
I'd happily companion,
a human girl or boy.

But some men have decided,
with selfishness and greed,
that my fate shall be a cage,
and for my keep, I'll breed.

What should fuel this folly?
My kind may bark in vain.
We care not for your commerce,
and few know of our pain.
We're hidden well from justice,
for our freedom some may cry.
God grant me, please, just one request--
Let me play once before I die.

Puppy Mills 1

Day after day...
each one the same,
another year older
a little more lame
left out in the weather
with little protection
my body is sore
and hot with infection
in the freezing cold
or the searing heat
with nothing but wire
beneath swollen feet
my food bowl is empty
my water dish dry
What did I do??
please tell me, why?
the litters come
and the litters go
where do they take them?
I don't know...
Is this a bad joke?
or a horrible game?
I have no home
not even a name
no one to love me
no one to care
no one to bathe me
and brush my hair
my teeth are rotting
my eyes are encrusted
where are the people
to whom I'm entrusted?
I cry every night...
so afraid, don't you see?
could this be the life
God intended for me?
someone, speak for me
I am losing my will
take me out of this hell
called a puppymill...

Puppy MIlls 2
Author unknown.

My bones ache, my muscles sore,
so tired I have grown,
I sit within the small confines
of this tiny cage I call home.

Many friends surround me,
lots of different breeds,
They too share my aches and pains,
with no humans to tend our needs.

I am a bitch or so they call me,
I hear it's not a bad name.
Lots of puppies I have whelped,
to them it's just a game.

I sit and watch day after day,
so many puppies being born.
Where do they go, what happens to them,
when from their Moms they're torn?

I can see the grass growing tall and green,
I long to sniff and feel it.
I've never walked upon that field
nor have they let me near it.

Instead I walk upon this screen so hard,
so rough, so cold.
My feet ache, my toes are sore,
I'm exhausted and feel so old.

My friends have told they lived in places,
long before this one.
Where humans touched them every day
and with children they could run.

I long to have just one human
pet and kiss me,
and maybe play a game.
I know it will never happen,
but I wish it all the same.

Instead they bring another dog
and toss him in with me.
Another litter I must bear,
there's no end that I can see.

The little girl that sits beside me
cried out the other day.
She screamed out loud
then limp she went
and the pups were taken away.

She was gone but just a day,
when her sister was beside me.
She too had some more puppies,
so small and weak and tiny.

The other day they came and checked me,
while my puppies were being born.
"This one's too big, there's no use now,
her insides are too torn."

They scooped me up, it hurt so bad,
the blood was everywhere.
They never tried to help me,
they didn't seem to care.

They took me to that big green field
and laid me on the ground.
The smell was heaven
and the ground so soft,
I tried to look around.

They covered me with more soft soil,
I had nothing to fear.
I closed my eyes and just relaxed,
I knew the end was near.

No longer do I imagine
the feel of human touch,
or how it feels to run and play,
here I have so much.

There is a great big colored bridge,
and fields that go forever,
I'm happy, I'm home, I'm someone's friend,
it couldn't get much better.


[This was written about a dog in the Johnson County Pound, Smithfield, North Carolina. Gas chambers are still used in several Virginia counties.]

Hello. My name is "Lost Soul" and I'm a stray mutt mix who was found by an animal control officer when I was trying to find food in somebody's garbage can. I'm starving, skinny and scared. I'm 3 years old, and my whole life was spent chained to a tree. My owner moved and just let me run free. I'm not that beautiful. I'm a black lab mix like most of the other "prisoners" at the shelter. Most people will pass me by because of my emaciated body and skin problems. I know it's time for me to go to heaven and I accept this. I just wish I could die a peaceful death with a shot. But no, I will die in the GAS CHAMBER in Johnston County, NC. I will be put in a box with many other dogs and locked in. I will be scared and start to cry. I hope none of the other dogs get mad and start to attack me, which is very common in this situation. I will start to breathe in the gas and I will feel my eyes and mouth burn and I will start howling. I will take my little nose and put it to the bottom of the grate to try to catch some fresh air. This isn't working, Oh God, Please Help, I can't breathe! I'm vomiting, dizzy and starting to black out and convulse. I hear the other "lost souls" scream and some blood is splattered on me because I'm pawing to get out...and I cut the pads on my paws off. Oh my God, this hurts and I'm so scared! I'm wondering why I have to die this way?? All I ever wanted was a family to love and warm lap to sit on!! Why do convicted murderers on death row get a shot, but I have to die in a GAS CHAMBER? I wish I could die with a shot, with a vet holding me and rubbing my ear telling me everything will be okay. I would die with some dignity and not defecate or urinate on myself. I better give in to the gas and go to heaven now, for if I don't die, they will put me in the gas chamber and do it again. I can't wait to get to heaven and have all the angels rub my belly and give me kisses.

Please rescue a dog or cat before they are gassed...Please call the news or newspapers and tell them that you don't want your tax money used for the GAS CHAMBER.

Gas box in Lee County, Virginia.
Photo from
They write, "Although Lee County is building a new facility, they plan to move this gas chamber to the new facility."


This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes
that it will stop unethical breeders and those who
breed only for money and not for the betterment of the
breed. Copyright 1999 J. Ellis

I don't remember much from the place I was born. It
was cramped and dark, and we were never played with by
the humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur, but she
was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly any milk
for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of
them dying, and I missed them so.

I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so
sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in,
and I really should have been with Mom still, but she
was so sick, and the humans kept saying that they
wanted money and were sick of the "mess" that me and
my sister made. So we were crated up and taken to a
strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together
and were scared, still no human hands came to pet or
love us.

So many sights and sounds and smells! We are in a
store where there are many different animals! Some
that squawk! Some that meow! Some that peep! My sister
and I are jammed into a small cage. I hear other
puppies here. I see humans look at me. I like the
'little humans', the kids. They look so sweet, and
fun, like they would play with me!

All day we stay in the small cage. Sometimes mean
people will hit the glass and frighten us. Every once
in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to
humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us. We always hear,
"Aw, they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get
to go with any.

My sister died last night when the store was dark. I
lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave
her small, thin body. I had heard them say she was
sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price"
so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my
soft whine was the only one that mourned for her as
her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and

Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They
are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They
had bought a dish and food, and the little girl held
me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The
mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am
named Angel. I love to lick my new humans!

The family takes such good care of me. They are loving
and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and
wrong, give me good food, and lots of love! I want
only to please these wonderful people! I love the
little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.

Today I went to the veterinarian. It was a strange
place and I was frightened. I got some shots, but my
best friend, the little girl, held me softly and said
it would be okay. So I relaxed. The bet must have said
sad words to my beloved family because they looked
awfully sad. I heard "severe hip dysplasia," and
something about my heart. I heard the vet say
something about back yard breeders and my parents not
being tested.

I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts
me to see my family so sad. But they still love me,
and I still love them very much! I am 6 months old
now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy, it
hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets
up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little
girl, and I find it hard to breath. I keep trying my
best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be,
but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the
little girl so sad, and to hear the Mom and Dad talk
about "it might now be the time."

Several times I have went to that veterinarian's
place, and the news is never good. Always talk about
congenital problems. I just want to feel the warm
sunshine and run, and play and nuzzle with my family.

Last night was the worst. Pain has been my constant
companion now. It hurts even to get up and get a
drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain.

I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so
sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to
be good and loving. What have I done wrong? Oh if only
this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the
tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to
lick her hand, but can only whine in pain.

The veterinarian's table is so cold. I am so
frightened. The humans all hug and love me, they cry
into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I
manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet
doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense
some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds
me softly and I thank her for giving me all her love.
I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is
beginning to lift. I am beginning to feel a peace
descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand.

My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and I see my
Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green
place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace
and happiness. I tell the family good-bye in the only
way I know how, a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of
my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many moons with
them, but it was not meant to be.

"You see," said the veterinarian, "Pet shop puppies do
not come from ethical breeders."

The pain ends now, and I know it will be many years
until I see my beloved family again. If only things
could have been different.

Dog Daze
by Bruce Andrew Peters

Back in the day,
It was "run with the pack,"
no sense to stray nor run away.

But who'd like:
To be forgotten, just because master's leaving?
That a newborn child in the family would mean -
we'll stop your breathing?
Or the landlord who says: "No more shelter you'll be receiving!"

Dump four-legged faithful on such a whim,
yet they love us to the very end, even when the margins are so ever slim.
Speaking at the animal shelter, is Labrador Jim:
"I'm not sure how, but I ended up here.
There's sixty thousand like me every day,
That's over twenty one million each year.
It's a reprieve from neglect and yelling and a bruising beating, or a blood-splattered dog fight -
gnashing, tissue-tearing teeth, at a clandestine meeting.

Oh! My heart wails!
Sullen as the stench, choking the air.
The injustice of it all, and nobody cares.
Cold, lifeless steel bars, somber's the word in this jail. Yelp for help! Grim Reaper's driving coffin nails.
Saviors rarely post bail.

Against all odds,
hope's all we have,
at the end of the road.
No trip's worse,
than a final ride in the back of a hearse."

Amidst soccer practice, evening news
and dinner for two:
prayer's answers are found in you.
God and goodness we say on Sunday,
Did we forget our furry friend's fiasco?
It's 24/7 - that's every day.

Take Me Home
by Avril Lavigne

We think it applies well to homeless animals and animals in breeding mills.

I'm standing on the bridge
I'm waiting in the dark
I thought that you'd be here by now

There's nothing but the rain
No footsteps on the ground
I'm listening, but there's no sound

Isn't anyone trying to find me?
Won't somebody come take me home?
It's a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life
Won't you take me by the hand
take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are but I,
I'm with you

I'm looking for a place
I'm searching for a face
Is anybody here I know
'Cause nothing's going right and
Everything's a mess
And no one likes to be alone

Isn't anyone trying to find me?
Won't somebody take me home?
It's a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life
Won't you take me by the hand,
take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are but I,
I'm with you, I'm with you

Oh, why is everything so confusing?
Maybe I'm just out of my mind

It's a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life
Won't you take me by the hand,
take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are but I,
I'm with you, I'm with you

Shelter Dog
by a shelter worker. From

I wish you could see as I sit here today,
Tears filling my eyes, the loss in my heart...
For a dog unknown to you.
Her body strong, her eyes bright,
Gleaming with anticipation for any little treat.
Locked in a cage for more than a month,
Her hope, never faded,
Her trust, never waived...
Though her card said "Caution,"
With love she obeyed.
Sitting up straight on her hard plastic bed
Begging once more, "Just please scratch my head"
My love for this pup was hard to endure,
For the day before her time was due,
I gave her a bone which she dropped to the floor.
She knew...I had come to say goodbye.
I cursed the owner for Shawna's fate!
When next someone exclaims:
"How could you work here?"
No, we're not to blame,
only doing your dirty work
With anger, not shame
Not "puppy-killers" or "evil"...
Just the last loving hand to say goodbye...

Bye Baby
Written by an Animal shelter volunteer in Massena, NY
From All Breed Rescue and Referral, a D.C. area rescue group

No more lonely cold nights or hearing that I'm bad
No more growling belly from the meals I never had.

No more scorching sunshine with a water bowl that's dry.
No more complaining neighbors about the noise when I cry.

No more hearing "shut up", "get down" or "get out of here"!
No more feeling disliked, only peace is in the air.

Euthanasia is a blessing, though some still can't see
why I was ever born If I weren't meant to be.

My last day of living was the best I ever had.
Someone held me very close, I could see she was very sad.

I kissed the lady's face, and she hugged me as she cried.
I wagged my tail to thank her, then I closed my eyes and died.

See the video about shelter animals at

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