September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month across America, and we want to
tell you why this is an important month for us and the great organization we
Like millions of others, I wasn't aware of puppy mills until about 5 years ago.
Reading the Bailing Out Benji website and becoming aware of the horrors
that exist in these places made me completely outraged that they exist; that
are we complicit in their existence and engendered in me a deep
commitment to do what I can to put an end to this awful business.
In the 4+ years of Scratchpad Tees, we have helped produce shirts for dozens
of non-profit organizations, schools and church groups. We see no reason at
all why non-profit groups should be saddled with crappy shirts to sell or give
away to their sponsors and supporters, as though their efforts to change the
world in a positive fashion means low fashion on their backs.
Our relationship with Bailing Out Benji came about quickly and has grown
ever since. My wife Becky, a strong animal advocate, reported that she saw a
Facebook post from Mindi Callison, the Executive Director of Bailing Out
Benji, expressing her frustration with the poor customer service, poor quality
shirts, and lousy return on investment she was seeing with their current
provider of their tee shirts.
A personal message to Mindi setting up a Sunday night phone call that led to
swapping mock ups back and forth for a few days led to our first shirt for
Benji the ORDER PIZZAS NOT PUPPIES tees that is still one of our biggest
sellers. We sold our first tee through our online store on March 1, 2017 and
have never looked back.
We have now sold thousands of shirts to supporters of Bailing Out Benji all
over the world and have returned thousands of dollars to the organization,
feeling tremendous pride and gratitude to be able to do so. Let me share why
this organization is so special.
Non-profit groups come in all shapes and sizes, from community theatre to
major enterprises with large numbers of staff and volunteers. We think the
mission of Bailing Out Benji is special because theirs is so noble, counting as it
does on the human spirit to make positive change in the world.
Their fundamental belief is that if people knew of the horrible conditions in
which dogs are bred and bred to have litters of puppies to be sold to
individuals and dog brokers and pet stores nationwide, then people would
turn away from purchasing cute little puppies, knowing of the lifelong misery
of that puppy's mother. Through the education efforts of Bailing Out Benji,
they come to know that by purchasing that puppy they would only encourage
the puppy miller to continue the horrible conditions and daily abuse of their
Let me be more specific. Missouri and Iowa lead the nation in the number of
puppy mills. Right across the Iowa state line just 9 miles from our showroom
is Sioux County, home to dozens of puppy mills and some of the worst mills in
the nation. Dozens of dogs trapped for life in wire cages stacked in semi-
trailers parked behind the barns, being bred over and over. That is their life,
from their birth through giving birth to 7 – 10 litters to death from a miller’s
In Missouri, it is commonplace in Amish puppy mills to simply throw the old
dogs into pits to starve to death, because they aren’t considered worthy of a
So it seems quite appropriate that the latest hit shirt we've produced for Bailing Out Benji carries a powerful message that lays it on the line. SAY NO TO PET STORES THAT SELL PUPPIES. It's that simple, and it hopefully begs
the question from anyone who sees the shirt to ask the wearer why they
should SAY NO? That question can spark a conversation that can save
dozens of dogs, perhaps hundreds of dogs. We've always said that we love to
create shirts that start conversations, and we can't imagine a more powerful
conversation then that one.
We ask you to consider where your next dog comes from and support the
cause of Bailing Out Benji by purchasing any shirt from our Bailing Out Benji
collection and wearing it proudly. Become a part of this great cause and enjoy
a quality shirt while doing so. We must be the change we wish to see in the