Iowa’s Puppy Mill Problem

A note from Mary LaHay, founder of Iowa Voters for Companion Animals.

I founded Iowa Voters for Companion Animals (IVCA) almost 10 years ago after discovering the extent of the puppy mill problem in our state. We had many good people who were aware of their existence, but no one had ever quantified the extent of the issue. I gladly dug in, not knowing quite where this would lead or what might be possible. I couldn’t forget those dogs or the cruelty and neglect endured daily. I had to do something to help the dogs! 

Very early on it became abundantly clear that Iowa lacked the laws needed to adequately address this puppy mill problem. And that’s why I started IVCA, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, to focus on winning the laws needed to clean up Iowa’s puppy mill problem and ensure Iowa’s dogs are protected. The number of compassionate Iowans who supported this effort grew so fast it was mind boggling! And the opposition grew too. Well-funded opposition including agriculture interests, American Kennel Club, and Iowa Pet Breeders Association. 

We did get the Puppy Mill Bill passed in 2010. And it resulted in decreasing the number of federally licensed dog breeders from more than 400 to today’s number of approximately 200. The problem, however, persists and those standing in opposition have thus far been successful at blocking our efforts for commonsense legislation. We are not deterred. Our fight for the dogs is not easy, but we will not give up. The dogs are depending on us. 

No matter what else we or other groups do to help, our laws are simply not holding those who harm animals accountable.


But changing laws doesn’t happen easily or quickly.

I set up IVCA as a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization specifically as this designation allows us to lobby for the dogs. Other special interests are lobbying for their interests each and every day, inside and outside the Capitol. The dogs also need a voice in this arena. We are happy to be their voice. We are committed to fighting for the dogs until adequate laws are in place. But we can’t do it alone. We need your voice and your support to help us win this fight.

Please donate today to help us continue fighting for the dogs!

As a 501(c)4 organization, we often do not qualify for most grantmaking opportunities. Truly, we depend upon the generous donations made by our loyal supporters and fellow animal welfare advocates like YOU! 

Please dig deep. The dogs need our help now more than ever! Please add your voice to ours as we continue to speak up and lobby for the dogs! Please donate today!


Mary LaHay
President and Founder
Iowa Voters for Companion Animals 
Iowa Friends of Companion Animals

This entry was posted in Blog for Iowa and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.