Jeff Wheeler, owner of Welcome Waggin' Homemade Dog Treats in Newburgh, is on a mission to put an end to puppy mills across the state of Indiana, and he needs your help to do it.

In a recent interview with 44 News, Wheeler said the idea for the non-profit organization came to him after adopting his dog Cocoa from a backyard breeder "and underwent horrific things...he doesn’t want other dogs to have to go through."

Wheeler has created a Facebook page for the organization with a mission statement that states, "We are adamant in our efforts to abolish regulated and illegal unregulated puppy and other animal mills in Indiana by enforcing regulations, guidelines, and laws set forth by the state of Indiana. With unwavering resolve, we stipulate that Indiana pet stores end the business of selling puppy mill puppies and kittens, they be required to sell documented shelter animals. We demand that dogs imprisoned in puppy mills be removed from the classification of livestock, and reclassified as companion animals."

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a puppy mill is defined as "a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs." They go on to say the dogs are housed in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little-to-no recovery time between litters."

Wheeler will host an informational meeting at Tin Fish restaurant in Newburgh on Thursday, August 3rd from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. to further discuss the mission of Stop Indiana Puppy Mills, and how you can get involved.

In the meantime, visit the Stop Indiana Puppy Mills Facebook page for more information.

[Sources: 44News & ASPCA]