National Change a Pet’s Life Day

January 24th is National Change a Pet’s Life Day so I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you how The Animal Pad (TAP) dog rescue changed the lives of over 100 pets this month and how you can make a difference too!

TAP heard about an illegal breeder in Mexico who was breeding and abusing doodle mixes of all kinds — labradoodles, goldendoodles, bernedoodles, aussiedoodles — and keeping a surplus of dogs in unhealthy life threatening conditions while selling them to people in the US, primarily San Diego and Orange county. They knew they had to step in and save these helpless animals. They were receiving multiple messages on social media from other rescues down there who were also trying to shut this breeder down. So they stepped in and just a few days later saved over 100 dogs and helped authorities shut her down.

Lauren Botticelli, the Executive Director at The Animal Pad dog rescue shares her story about the traumatic rescue.

An Ongoing Problem

Laws around breeding abuses, such as what happened in this case, are incredibly weak. In the U.S., existing dog breeding laws generally do not apply to small-volume breeders. The Animal Welfare Act sets federal standards for research laboratories’ treatment of animals but does not include breeders that sell to consumers. State laws that require commercial pet breeders to obtain licenses ignore small-volume breeders, and while some states have local laws that regulate small-volume breeding, the lack of uniformity results in lack of enforcement — not to mention that breeders can easily relocate to unregulated states.

In fact, The Animal Pad heard from a number of people in the San Diego area who had bought their Doodles from this breeder, who targeted customers in the area and in Orange County. Among the many hard lessons this rescue brings is this: You do not have to go to a breeder to find the designer dog you’ve been looking for. There are, unfortunately, many breeders, whose practices are peppered with red flags (some far more severe than others). Thankfully, there are also rescues like Animal Pad, as well as breed-specific rescues that make it their mission to give these abused dogs a better life. Please consider researching those rescues if your heart is set on a specific breed.

Here are just a few simple ways YOU can help change a pet’s life:

Donate – Donate to your local animal shelter or rescue. Your donations help provide for the lifesaving care that pets need, such as food, medicine, and a safe place to stay.

Foster – Foster for your local animal shelter or rescue. Providing a temporary home will change the lives of so many homeless pets. There are several options, whether it’s just one day with a dog or a few weeks with kittens.

Send a Gift – Many shelters and rescues have wishlists on Amazon and Chewy, wishlists include items that they use every day at the shelter or rescue and are crucial for the care of the animals.

Volunteer – Looking to give your time and talents? Volunteer at your local animal shelter or rescue.

Share – Follow animal shelters and rescues on social media and help them spread the word by sharing their stories and posts with your friends and followers.

And of course… adopt! If you need a new furry family member, please consider saving a life and adopting.


@Julie-Moderator Thank you for sharing.
I so admire all the volunteers and pet organizations that make a difference in these pets’ lives. I salute you all. I will definitely be looking into fostering/volunteering in my own town.


Hi! thank you for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing!!!

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@Julie-Moderator: Thank you so much for sharing, and for all your hard work with The Animal Pad!

I was just trying to understand more of this particular case. Was it a problem that the breeder was too small and U.S./California laws are too lax? Or that the breeder was in Mexico, and Mexican laws are too lax? Or something else? I’m glad you were able to shut the breeder down; hopefully she won’t start up again.

Also, under ways you can help, I didn’t see “lobbying.” Do you guys work on that at all? Or is that not as fruitful?

I suppose there are websites/apps that tell you whether a breeder has been approved by someone? I am reminded of apps that tell you whether a restaurant uses fish from sustainable practices.

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