How far would you go to spread the word about animal cruelty in puppy mills? All the way around the world? I know there are some Green Monsters that would take that trip in a heart beat! But, understandably, that may be a journey that not everyone can make. Luckily, there is a little cut out, named Teddy, who has already happily set out on that exact mission.

“Flat Teddy” as he is called, is a cardboard cut out version of the real life “Teddy,” a dog who was rescued from a puppy mill in Kansas by National Mill Dog Rescue. Puppy mill dogs are subjected to living in small cages, cared for only enough to keep them alive. Many puppy mill dogs are found with intensely matted fur, physical and dental ailments, and other injuries that seldom get the attention they deserve.

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Flat Teddy Takes on the World to Spread the Word About Puppy MillsNational Mill Dog Rescue

Teddy’s Story

As Teddy explains on his Facebook page bio, “I don’t like to remember that time [in a puppy mill] because it was the same day in and day out.”

When Teddy was first rescued, he did not trust humans and was very frightened not knowing that the crate he was being placed in would carry him to freedom.

After weeks of playing the “tough” guy, growling at anyone who would come near him, or his girlfriend Gwinnie, Teddy met Michele, the kind human who would later adopt him and little Gwinnie.

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Flat Teddy Takes on the World to Spread the Word About Puppy MillsTeddy/Facebook
 

Finally learning what it was to be loved and cared for by a human, Teddy “writes” on his Facebook, “No dog will ever love a person the way I love my mom – – – ever – — ever. I had been saving all this love in my heart for 7 years in a cage and now I FINALLY have someone to give it to. Isn’t that great?”

This was an incredible experience for him, finding the forever home of his dreams with Michele, and the other dogs in her “pack.” It has inspired Teddy to set to the streets and tell the world why no dog should have to experience the sad life of a puppy mill dog. Dogs are meant to love and to be loved, not to be treated like commodities with no more rights than a stuffed toy in a store.

A Dog With a Cause!

With the help of the kind and motivated people of National Mill Dog Rescue, Teddy’s mission is being realized with a little help from a fleet of travel savvy humans.

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If Teddy weren’t so busy running his pack at home, I am sure he would have hopped on a plane himself. But alas as he is needed to keep the other pooches in line, he has convinced some very smart humans to print cardboard cut outs in his likeness.

Flat Teddy Takes on the World to Spread the Word About Puppy MillsTeddy/Facebook
 
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So far, Teddy has been spotted across the monuments of Europe and popped up across the U.S.– but there are still quite a few countries and continents he has to cover!

Flat Teddy Takes on the World to Spread the Word About Puppy MillsTeddy/Facebook
 

You can help Teddy on his mission by joining the Flat Teddy Movement. All you need to do is follow this link, make a donation of ANY amount you please, and you can receive a print-out of Teddy (looking devilishly handsome) with Teddy’s story and a set of printable “Ask me about Flat Teddy” name tags to help you spark conversation with every human you meet.

Flat Teddy Takes on the World to Spread the Word About Puppy MillsNational Mill Dog Rescue
 
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Teddy’s story is one that is all too common, but also one that rarely gets the attention it deserves. The statistics surrounding pet homelessness in the United States are outrageous and frankly unnecessary, there are millions of healthy, adoptable pets waiting in shelters to be taken into a forever home. However, the pet store and puppy mill industry tells us that we need to adopt “purebred” pets from “certified” breeders. While I contend that every dog, regardless of breed deserves love and a happy, healthy life, there is no need continue a cruel, inhumane industry that regards animals solely as profit.

Take it from Teddy, no dog deserves to live in a puppy mill and the best way to start fixing this problem is to get the word out! So, where will you take your Flat Teddy? I hear South America is beautiful this time of year…

To learn more about National Mill Dog Rescue, check out their website. To follow Teddy’s progress around the world, follow him on Facebook.

Lead image source: National Mill Dog Rescue