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Local artist creates design for national campaign to stop puppy mills

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Animal rights activists say more animals, especially dogs, are bought as gifts this time of year, but many of them come from “puppy mills.”

This year, Pincause teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States and a local artist for national campaign to put a stop to puppy mills, raising money and awareness selling “Adopt Don’t Shop” pins.

“I think it’s important for people to know, especially going into the holiday season, that if you’re buying a dog at a pet store, there’s 95% chance it came from a puppy mill,” said Pincause co-founder Nate Stevens.

In the last two years alone, the Humane Society of the United States reports helping rescue about 5,000 dogs from puppy mills.

“The dogs are kept in very, very small areas, often living on top of each other, unfortunately in their own feces. They’re very sick, humans are getting sick from these dogs now too,” said Pincause co-founder Kate Lind.

Lind and Stevens say their involvement with HSUS started after meeting the owner of “Ella Bean,” a four-pound puppy mill survivor who was rescued just days before she was scheduled to be killed. Now, with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, organizers are calling Ella Bean a leader in the “Puptivist” movement, as other dogs join the effort wearing their custom-made pin.

“We’ve had well over 100 of these famous dogs share it with a cumulative following of well over 10 million people and that’s continuing to grow,” Stevens said.

Indianapolis artist Penelope Dullaghan created the artwork for the pins, with inspiration from her daughter and an adopted dog of their own.

“I sit down and start brainstorming, I sketch a whole lot of stuff,” Dullaghan said.

“I actually mentioned how about shake?” Her daughter Vada said, chiming in about the creative process for the pins.

As local shelter volunteers, it’s a cause she and her daughter both believe in.

“I love that partnering with Pincause has allowed me to reach so many people, it’s amazing to be able to help from my little studio here in Indianapolis,” Dullaghan said.

If you’d like to support the Pincause campaign, you can find the pins locally at “Silver in the City” in Indy, or you can find it online by clicking here.

So far, organizers say they've raised about $5,000 dollars for the cause with a goal of raising $100,000.