Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Ten of 2011

The past year was full of news about the welfare of pets, people doing what they could to improve the lives of animals, and so many, many dogs and cats in need of our attention. Our top ten 2011 posts, plus a guest post, reflect five main categories of these issues. Were you involved with any of these?

Tops on the list, and a burning issue that has so many frustrated and shaking their heads (and wringing their hearts) is the horror of puppy mills and the persistence of pet stores in perpetuating these inhumane businesses.

Mary Haight, author of Dancing Dog Blog and fellow staff member of Be the Change for Animals, initiated a petition through - requesting that Petland USA follow the example of Petland Canada and abolish their practice of selling dogs from puppy mills. We joined the movement, with It's Time and Fire Puppy Mills or Fire Petland.

When Petland dissed Mary and all petitioners with a response that was both arrogant and evasive, in addition to threatening Mary with a lawsuit, we joined the many who reacted angrily, with Occupy Petland.

Living in Illinois, we were proud of our own state's U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, for his co-authoring a bill that would deter, if not eliminate, much of the heinous activity of the puppy mill industry. There was much confusion and misinformation about what was proposed, however, so we clarified the details in PUPS Act Controversy.

There is a great need for education in the general public about the issues surrounding pet stores, online sites, and puppy mills. It is encouraging that one guest post featured on our site comes up in our 2011 top ten posts! A true story, well-written and descriptive of what those preaching against buying from pet stores try to convey - Suzie: One Puppy Mill Dog's Story.

Being a cat lover myself, and having worked with and fostered many cats over the years, I was curious if there was a cat-version of puppy mills. After researching and coming up with very little information, I did find that Yes, There Are Kitty Mills.

The fight goes on to rid our society of the evils of indiscriminate puppy selling and the cruelty of puppy mills. Petland still tries to justify their puppy sales. The year brought much good news about many pet stores, even mall owners, making the choice to no longer sell puppies (and kittens) from inhumane sources - with many of them now working with shelters and pet rescue organizations to place their animals in forever homes. May 2012 bring us much more of that kind of news!

A second issue that remained a main focus throughout the year was that of pit bulls, BSL (breed specific legislation) and the discriminatory laws that have been enacted against certain types of dogs in the name of protecting the public.

Our good friend Leo, of Kenzo the Hovawart, wrote passionately against the extreme BSL in his own country of Denmark - Man On A Mission. We readily helped promote his petition to his government leaders, requesting reconsideration of these inane laws.

There was good news on that front, too. Many communities around the world took a second look at their laws, and many scaled those back (if not completely reversing them). In Holland, there is now different legislation, albeit flawed as Leo points out in his The Story of Ruby: Pit Bull on Death Row. In his own country, a repeal of the breed ban may soon become reality.

We had much to celebrate about, yet much to still be concerned about as well, on National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2011. The good news is that there is hope, and there are examples of a better way.

Dogfighting made national headlines again this year, only this time because of a game app Android was offering. Petitions and boycotting apparently did nothing to help Android see the error of its ways; the game's name was changed, and is still offered.

The horrific abuse and cruelty of dogfighting continues, and we even learned of a new way that those determined to profit from the suffering of dogs were doing, to avoid the notice of law enforcement officials - Secret Dog-Fighting Trend - Trunking.

Acknowledging the sheer stupidity of mankind when it comes to humane treatment of animals, we also credited some impressive people who step outside their human race and work wonders on behalf of animals in Is This What We Created?

What these people demonstrate, and what is a driving theme for us here at CindyLu's Muse, is that each and every one of us can effect positive change on behalf of our beloved animals, if we just do something. Thus, the question of Horrible, Disgusting. And - ?

And one for good luck...
With all the depressing, discouraging, and sometimes stomach-turning news about treatment of animals in our world, all I can say is thankfully one of our top ten posts brings smiles and a good feeling. Best Gift Ever exemplifies our belief in the importance of animals in our lives, and the need for adoption of homeless pets.

Here's to a new year, fresh start, and better lives for everyone - two-legged and four-legged alike!

Happy New Year!
CindyLu and Kim xx

1/1/12 Update: Initially, I incorrectly named Denmark as the country of Ruby's Story; it is Holland. Denmark is close to repealing their breed ban. Thanks, Leo, for the information!


  1. Happy New Year to you! Love all the stories, and love your posts. Wishing you all the best in 2012.

  2. Happy New Year!

    It's funny (funn "odd", not "ha-ha") to think how much change and influence can be wrought over the Internet, isn't it?I'm sure nobody saw that coming when all of this got started.

  3. In my eyes, people like you are the 'best of the best'.

    May you Kim, and of course, the lovely Cindylu have a wonderful 2012.

  4. Really great post Kim. I actually wanted to include your post about Suzie in my list because I thought it was so good. I forced myself to stop at 11, but maybe I should have gone further.

    I also thought your post on kitty mills was brilliant because it brought attention to an issue that often gets overshadowed by the puppy mill one. It's important that cats don' get forgotten when we discuss this issue.

    I love your ability to capture so many of the important issues so easily and in one post. Happy New Year my friend.

  5. Deanne, thank you, and may the New Year bring you the very best, too.

    Your post about Suzie was the third most popular of all here this past year, and continues to get new reads! Your beloved baby is making a difference in the lives of her furry friends. Bless you, Suzie!

  6. What an intriguing thought, Jen! Yep, doubt that was considered at all back at the start. It's awesome that it happens, though, isn't it?
    Happy New Year to you, too!

  7. Wendy, my respect and admiration for you is immense! Thank you, that's quite a compliment, coming from someone like you.

    I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have met you - thank you, internet! Wishing you even greater success and happiness in 2012!

  8. Funny you mention that, Mel - I so very much wanted to include (several of) yours while on the subject of puppy mills. I, too, cut myself off. It's something we just have to do, or we'd be novelists instead of bloggers! lol

    Thank you about the kitty mills. It really was a burning question in my mind, and I have to say it was quite frustrating trying to find anything about it. On the list for 2012 to dig up more!

    Thanks, and a most fabulous New Year to you,Daisy, Jasper and Lady! xo

  9. Alex and I just want to wish you a very happy & healthy new year. May it be filled with only good things. You deserve it!

  10. Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year! You, and your blogs, are a great inspiration to us and many others.

  11. Best wishes, Kim, to you and all you love, for 2012. I'm so proud to even be associated with such a fantastic blogger and tireless advocate for animal welfare.

    This post is great and the linked posts are even better! Thanks for spotlighting them for us newbies.

  12. Thank you, Hilary - and if anyone deserves a good year with awesome things, it would be you! Best of the best to you and Alex (and hugs) in the new year!

  13. Happy New Year to you, Leo! Here's to dignity and freedom for all dogs in the coming year!

  14. Thank you, Leslie, I'm thrilled to be working with you! "Tireless advocate" certainly applies to you, yourself. We're going to rock it in 2012:) Happy New Year to you!

  15. Great post, my friend!
    Happy New Year!

  16. Thank you, Doreen, and Happy New Year to you, too!

  17. Great, all of those are great! Happy New Year and I hope 2012 brings you all the furry best!

  18. Thank you, Brian - wishing you and yours the furry best in 2012, too! Keep helping all those cats that need adoptions, we love you for it!


    Wishing you all the best in 2012!


  20. Thanks for compiling the great list! Happy New Year to you & Cindy Lu

  21. Kim, you rock my socks off! If my critters had socks, they'd be off, too.

    Thank you for all you do and have done to educate and advocate for defenseless cats and dogs. So proud to be part of your world.

    Happy 2012 to you and your family!

  22. Those are definitely important causes. Thank you for all you do in helping our furry friends. Happy New Year!

  23. Great list. You're always an inspiration.

  24. Caren, Happy New Year to you - and to Cody and Dakota, too!

    Thank you, you're welcome, Karen! Wishing you a most wonderful year ahead!

    LOL...Elizabeth, you always make me laugh. Your blog is a blast to read, you have such a great way with words! Thanks, you're quite an advocate for our furry friends yourself!

    Thanks, Peggy - we have much to accomplish this coming year, I'm looking forward to working with you! May unbelievable success be yours on your books this year!

    Aw, gee, thank you, Pup Fan! Here's to an awesome 2012!

  25. Happy New Year to you and CindyLu, too! This is a great line-up. It sometimes seems like there are so many suffering animals that we'll never make a dent, but then you write a post like this and it's clear that we are making a difference. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.


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