Cari Meyers has worked tirelessly for the past five years to help put an end to puppy mill cruelty and the horrifying abuse that puppy mill dogs endure.
Cari had been serving on the board and volunteering for a large no-kill animal shelter in Chicago when she had her “A-ha!” moment. She looked at the shelters and rescues and saw how many dogs in their care were from puppy mills, yet no one in Illinois was talking about this. That propelled her to take action.
In 2009, she founded The Puppy Mill Project (TPMP), a nonprofit grassroots effort in Chicago to educate the public and raise awareness about puppy mills and their direct connection to pet stores, Internet sites and newspaper ads that sell dogs. Under Cari’s leadership, TPMP has convinced pet stores in Naperville, Evanston and Chicago to stop selling “puppy-mill” animals and move to an adoption model.
Cari’s work has also influenced public law. She supported the Pet Store Disclosure Act passed in Illinois in 2010, and the Pet Lemon Law in 2013. Cari worked with City Clerk Susana Mendoza and Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey to help pass landmark legislation (The Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance) that banned the retail sale of commercially sourced puppies, kittens and rabbits from pet stores. The ordinance passed in March 2014 in the city of Chicago, and in April 2014 in Cook County.
In addition to her work in the Chicago area, Cari has traveled throughout the country to help rescue puppy mill dogs and to expose and shut down puppy mills. She has worked very hard to help find “forever homes” for puppy mill dogs that have been rescued and given a second chance.
Cari’s achievements have been recognized locally and nationally. In 2012, Cari was a winner in the Examiner.com’s ‘America Inspired’ Contest, which celebrated extraordinary people making a difference across the United States. And in 2014, Cari was named one of Today’s Chicago Woman magazine’s ‘100 Women of Inspiration’, an honor she received for her tireless work to put an end to puppy mill cruelty.
Although Meyers and TPMP were gaining momentum, she realized that this national issue was much larger in scope than her local organization alone could resolve. She knew there were others across the nation also working to end puppy mill cruelty and believed that if somehow they could connect, and work together, more could be done. National Puppy Mill Project (NPMP) arose from Meyers’ vision that ending puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of dogs used as breeding stock could be better accomplished as a collaborative effort. Working with fellow Board members Betty Stebbins and Janie Jenkins, NPMP was launched in 2014.
Cari lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and three dogs.
President of The Puppy Mill Project (IL)
Secretary & VP Membership Management
Volunteer, The Puppy Mill Project (IL)
Vice President, Adopt A Pet, Inc. (NJ)
VP Legal Affairs
President, Paws for a Cause (GA); Managing Attorney at Coleman Legal Group, LLC (GA)