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Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › At the festival: Some ice sculptures convey a message at Plymouth event

At the festival: Some ice sculptures convey a message at Plymouth event

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 358

Rudolph, a blind and deaf Dachshund, has appeared in a coloring book, made appearances at local schools and will be celebrated in sculpture this weekend at the Plymouth Ice Festival.

His likeness is meant to delight passersby and send them a serious message as well.

“We're telling people to do adoptions rather than shop,” explained Pam Sordyl, founder of the Northville-based Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeastern Michigan.

The group promotes animal rescue and adoptions and pressures pet stores — through public rallies — to stop selling pets from disreputable kennels and puppy mills, which mass produce dogs.

The group's public education campaign teaches about the origins of pet store puppies and lobbies for stronger laws and regulations for animal breeding.

Last year the organization commissioned a carver to create a bulldog in ice and they attended the festival for the first time.

“This year we have Rudolph. He's a puppy mill survivor and is doing good deeds,” said Sordyl, referring to Rudolph's visits, with owner Marcia Fishman, to schools throughout southeastern Michigan.

Fishman, a lifelong dog lover and experienced trainer, as well as a strong supporter of volunteerism, takes Rudolph into classrooms to explore the issues of diversity and disabilities with children. She also wrote a coloring book about her disabled dog.

“Whatever his presence can do about awareness, whether that's with kids and sensitivity to disabilities or if it's awareness to what a puppy mill produces, I'm happy,” said Fishman, who also serves as the executive director of the Screen Actors Guild for Michigan.


Sordyl said the ice festival offers an opportunity to reach potentially thousands of families and individuals.

“It worked out so well last year,” she said, recalling the bulldog sculpture. “It was popular with our volunteers and it's a positive way to reach people and spread awareness. Kids love seeing it. Kids all know dogs. It's a great way to reach families.”

The group will have signs on display in conjunction with the ice art. Members will offer literature about puppy mills and will collect donations for homeless animals. The Humane Society of Huron Valley also will be on hand with information.

Sordyl said her group has about 245 members on its Facebook site — it also maintains a Web page on Meetup — and is growing.

“Our focus is pet stores because we know 24 of them that are bring in most of the dogs (from puppy mills). We have some backyard breeders and we're working on that, too,” Sordyl said. “Without pet stores, puppy mills would not exist.”

She organized Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup shortly after a pet store opened in Northville two years ago.
“I organized a parade. I had all these rescue pets come and it got the town talking. I didn't do anything else. Everyone put pressure on (the merchant),” she said, adding that the store went out of business.

A former member
Post #: 2,808
Very nice! Congrats! biggrin
A former member
Post #: 1,489
I saw the pictures smile Rudolph's ice sculpture looks aswesome! Seems like it was a successful event. CONGRATS!
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 359
Thanks! This is our first article about the group. :)
A former member
Post #: 1
You are doing an awesome job!biggrin
A former member
Post #: 1
Terrific job. All your hard work did not go unnoticed. Sorry I could not attend. Susan
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