GRRAND Tails Rest of the Story October 2023

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The Louisville Puppy Mill Ordinance Has Passed!

GRRAND is happy to share that the Louisville puppy mill ordinance, which bans the sale of dogs, cats, and ferrets in any retail pet store, flea market, shopping center, or other public setting in Jefferson County, has passed!

The idea for the ordinance was proposed over eight months ago by a Metro Council legislative assistant who had seen a news story about GRRAND’s work with saving puppy mill dogs. The ordinance was then introduced to the Metro Council by Council Member Stuart Benson from District 20. Since the ordinance was introduced, several GRRAND volunteers have turned out to help and show their support while wearing purple, the color for animal cruelty and abuse awareness. Among the volunteers in attendance have been GRRAND President Nina Scott, as well as GRRAND volunteer and Kentucky Animal Action founder Mychell Lawson.

“We have accomplished a major win in our city, and it takes a village every single time,” Mychell told WLKY. “The more people that stand up for animals, the more changes that can happen.” 

Among the many benefits of the ordinance, Mychell said that the new legislation will aid in curbing overpopulation in Louisville and surrounding areas. 

Mychell said, “The number one problem that faces animals in Louisville and Kentucky is overpopulation,” which leads to increased cases of cruelty, abuse, and neglect, as well as overcrowding in shelters and, potentially, euthanasias being paid for by taxpayers’ dollars.

Puppy mills largely contribute to this problem. According to Harley’s Dream, approximately 75% of dogs coming into shelters and rescues each year are either directly or indirectly tied to puppy mills.

“If we cut off [puppy mills’] retail outlet, we are lowering demand for supply,” Mychell said.

Not only will this ordinance affect business for puppy mills outside the Louisville Metro area, but it also sets a precedent for the rest of Kentucky, which is currently ranked 45th in the United States for animal welfare. 

“Ordinances are the building blocks to state legislation,” said Mychell. 

Many supporters, including some of our very own GRRAND volunteers, were in attendance on the night of Thursday, September 28th, as the Louisville Metro Council put the ordinance to a vote. When it was announced that the ordinance had passed, the audience was elated. 

“Everyone was overjoyed,” said Jane Woods, GRRAND’s Communication Coordinator. “As we migrated outside the Metro Council meeting room, there were lots of hugs, high fives, smiles, and thank yous for answered prayer!” 

“There’s this, just this, overload of-” Mychell said when trying to describe her feelings at that moment. “Overjoyed is the word.” 

The Louisville puppy mill ordinance will go into effect around this time in 2024. However, in the meantime, pet stores in Louisville will be required to disclose where their animals came from.

For more information on puppy mills and what can be done to stop cruel and irresponsible breeding practices, visit Bailing Out Benji.

GRRAND Wants to Visit You!

If you are associated with a school, small business, corporation, non-profit group, foundation, or other organization, we would love to discuss an opportunity to visit and talk with your group about GRRAND. We will educate your group about what we do, some of our experiences, and animal welfare issues in our community.

Here’s some additional information:

  • TIMING – We can visit during lunch break or other times at your request.
  • GRRAND SPEAKERS – We will provide a knowledgeable GRRAND volunteer and if requested, a rescued dog or two.
  • BENEFITS – Our well-trained, sociable dogs serve as petting relaxation therapy for everyday work stress.
  • CONTACT INFORMATION – Contact Pam for a visitation appointment.

For more information about our organization visit “Who We Are” on GRRAND’s website.

Seasonal Hazards


Chocolate sales rise around Halloween and it contains a stimulant, called theobromine, that’s poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine differs depending on the type of chocolate – dark chocolate has the most in it. Theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Signs will occur from 4-24 hours following ingestion and you may see vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity, rapid breathing, muscle tension, incoordination, increased heart rate, or seizures. Continue reading about the dangers of chocolate here.


Antifreeze is used in vehicles to regulate temperature and keep it running smoothly. This liquid is also one of the deadliest threats to both dogs and cats. It can pose a risk in garages if it leaks onto the floor and is then licked up by pets.

“It contains the chemical ethylene glycol, which is sweet tasting and odorless, so animals like to lick and consume it — even a tiny amount can be deadly,” warns McCarthy. Once consumed, this causes the animal to appear “drunk” and they may become lethargic, uncoordinated, drink and urinate frequently, experience seizures, or become comatose, she adds. Without treatment, this leads to kidney failure that is fatal. Continue reading about the harm that antifreeze can impose on your pets here.



Many pet owners overlook these small nuts that are found all over the ground during autumn, and what most people don’t realize is that acorns are poisonous to dogs if consumed. The effects on the dog can range from an upset stomach to being fatal, although this is very rare. The severity of the effects is usually dependent on how many acorns are consumed, but your dog will begin to show symptoms within just a few hours. If you believe your dog has eaten acorns you should call your vet immediately. Continue reading about the the harms acorns can cause here. 



More resources:,some%20cases%20be%20very%20toxic.

Therapists with Wagging Tails

Therapy can look very different for everyone, and the therapists can sometimes have wagging tails and fur! Many of our GRRAND adopters have noticed the comfort and love that their dogs bring to them and their families, and have decided to share this same feeling with others by going out into their communities to provide therapeutic experiences. In this article, we will be featuring two dogs, Callie (owned by Tom and Julie Hartwein) and Bella (owned by Steve and Lisa Ackels), who enjoy visiting people within their communities at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and a variety of other places!


Callie is a Great Pyrenees who was adopted from GRRAND in 2017 by Tom and Julie. From the day that they met Callie, which was two days before they officially adopted her, they have been completely in love with her and have always wanted to provide her with the best life possible. Callie goes on at least three walks a day, rain or shine, and her owners noticed her love for people while on these adventures. They saw this as a great opportunity to share Callie’s loving personality with others, so they got involved with WAGS Pet Therapy of Kentucky in 2019. “All I have to do is *touch* her canvas “WAGS Bag” or fill her water bottle, and she starts dancing! She loves to go, and do, and be petted by as many people as possible. (There are at least four other Great Pyrenees in the WAGS organization – their calm demeanor and heart for people can make them great therapy dog candidates.)”

When Julie was asked about her most memorable visit with Callie, she responded, “The one visit that stands out the most in my mind was a “routine” visit at Barret last year. In between groups of 8th graders, their presentation coach suggested that Callie and I sit near a corridor and let any passing students have a chance to pet her. There was one student who came back FOUR times between classes. Callie would gaze into his eyes, touched her nose to his, and really just connected with him on another level. I made sure to let him know that she doesn’t do that with just everyone, and that he was special to her. His whole face just lit up. I later mentioned it to the coach and the coach’s mouth kind of fell open. “Really? I am SO GLAD – that kid is going through some STUFF.” He looked away, and back to me, and repeated, “That kid is going through some STUFF. I’m so glad you were here for him.” I still get goosebumps, just thinking about it. I hope that kid is there when we come back this year. I thought I was doing this for Callie’s benefit. Seems I was a bit mistaken.”

Thank you to Tom and Julie for sharing Callie’s pet therapy experience with us – we hope that others will feel inspired to do the same with their dogs!


Bella, who is a mix of Great Pyrenees, Golden Retriever, and possibly another breed, was adopted from GRRAND in 2017 by Steve and Lisa. Bella is currently 10 or 11 years old and has two siblings, Murphy and Sammy. Bella and her owners are associated with Pet Partners of Greater Cincinnati – some of the visits she has gone on have been to Dayton Children’s Hospital, Christ Hospital Liberty Township, libraries, the University of Cincinnati, nursing homes, and schools with special needs children. “I chose to do dog therapy because I saw my mom have a therapy dog in 2003 when she was in hospice care and she loved it, so I said if I ever have a dog who would be good for this, I would like to do it.”

The following quote is from Lisa, “Right after our other dog Henry had passed, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and several other health issues. I was afraid I would not be able to do the therapy dog visits. That actually continued until 2022 with numerous surgeries, so even after we got Bella in 2017 and she passed the test, and we started taking her in 2018, I was still having health issues. What I came to find was that when I was scared, anxious or not feeling well, and I would take Bella out for a visit, It took my mind off of me and I realized how Blessed I was. I felt guilty sometimes because I felt like it was helping me more than the people we were visiting. There is a doctor at Christ Hospital Liberty Township campus that text me the other day saying she missed Bella. I had adults that would get on the floor with her in the lobby of a hospital. Bella would pull to a specific person and they would always say, “How did she know I needed her?”. She would let children climb all over her 105 lbs of furry love and she was always so gentle with them. But with adults sometimes she would let them know that they were not petting her enough! I watched patients getting chemo for the first time and they would pay no attention to what the nurses were doing, they’d just talk about their dog or ask questions about Bella or Henry. It is a pretty special thing to enter a room of people who don’t speak English, or elderly people who talk about the dogs they used to have. It is really such a beautiful thing and I guess that is why I’ve done over 600 visits!”

Thank you Steve and Lisa for sharing your incredible story. The visits you have taken your dogs on have made a huge impact on so many lives!

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