During World War II, the U.S. government commissioned a series of films called “Why We Fight” for the general public to educate them about why the war was necessary – essentially by spotlighting how awful the Nazis and Japanese were – so that Americans could understand the gravity of the global situation and steel themselves for the struggles ahead.
Leslie is in the midst of a fight of her own right now, for Zoey and, by extension, for all puppies that are born into puppy mills. She knows that she can’t make broad change happen as quickly as she would like. So, instead, she is focused on doing what she can while she can. And she’s started this weekend by flying to the middle of nowhere in Missouri to participate in the final auction of the mill at which Zoey was bred. Her modest goal is to purchase Zoey’s mom and dad, bring them back to Fort Smith, get them spayed and neutered, groomed and then, happily, adopted out to loving, caring families. If she can buy more dogs, or even some of the physical plant the breeder used, that would be a huge bonus.
Leslie sometimes gets upset at the thought that by buying Zoey, in a small way she supported and consequently perpetuated the puppy mill industry. To the contrary, I believe getting Zoey was a wonderful thing on many levels. To start, she has added so much to our family, especially Abby. Additionally, learning about Zoey’s pathology after she became ill motivated Leslie to become involved in putting a stop to this insidious culture. She has done so much in such a short period of time (we’ve only had Zoey since early April) – get Zoey well, make contact with national and local organizations focused on stopping puppy mills, put together groups in NYC herself, raised money for her cause, and finally, undertaken the trip to Missouri.
Leslie’s heart, soul, intelligence and tenacity are going to make this work. The misery Zoey was compelled to put up with for the first 10 weeks of her life, and the thought that thousands of other defenseless animals are put through the same hell every day, is what drives her. It’s become more than a cause for Leslie, it’s become a mission. And she won’t stop until she has affected some form of substantial change, financial, legal or legislative.
Needless to say, I am very proud of her.