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Puppy mills pose as nonprofits to bypass new restrictions to sellers

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Recent laws aimed to curb puppy mill operations by placing restrictions on pet stores, but puppy mills discovered they could continue selling to these pet stores by registering as nonprofits. A Bailing Out Benji investigation, the subject of a Sony Production podcast, uncovered these "puppy laundering" operations.

Bailing Out Benji Executive Director Mindi Callison and Puppy Kingpin host Alex Schuman joined Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to talk about how one of the largest puppy mill operations in Iowa finally faced consequences and the rampant fraud and abuse at puppy mills in the U.S.

Later in the episode, Cedar Rapids artist Akwi Nji will host an art gallery in her home, "Living Color," in an attempt to blur the lines of private and public and showcase Black Iowa artists. She is joined by Chicago-based art collector Patric McCoy, who will speak at the event, to explain how to dispel myths of art world exclusivity.


  • Mindi Callison, founder and executive director, Bailing Out Benji
  • Alex Schuman, host of Puppy Kingpin, podcaster and documentary filmmaker
  • Akwi Nji, Cedar Falls artist, "Living Color" organizer and host
  • Patric McCoy, Chicago-based art collector
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.