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Iowa Friends of Companion Animals

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals

Mission: To advance the humane and responsible treatment of companion animals through collaboration and public awareness.

Results: Our research into the conditions in Iowa puppy mills supported the passage of a significant piece of state legislation providing additional protections for dogs in commercial kennels. We'll continue to do similar research and will continue to raise awareness.

Target demographics: dogs in Iowa puppy mills.

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of dogs.

Geographic areas served: Iowa

Programs: public awareness, law enforcement agency education, grassroots advocacy.

Community Stories

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Becky103

Donor

Rating: 5

I was one of the many people who was unaware of the existence of puppy mills until I started to see information posted on Facebook by the Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. My heart hurts for the dogs and puppies in these horrible places, and I support the work done by this amazing group to bring their plight to people's attention. "Man's Best Friend" needs our help, and I feel that the best hope of changing the laws in favor of the dogs is by supporting Iowa Friends of Companion Animals.

Laura K.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The organization is doing great work to spread awareness about the huge problem of puppy mills and the impact of irresponsible breeding on the health and welfare of pets, families, the community, and pet owners Nationwide. In addition to Awareness they are helping to advocate for the enforcement of standards that have been established but often times not followed. This organization is extremely well run by passionate, professional collaborators working together within communities across the state to impact change.

Donor

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals plays a critical role in raising awareness and exposing the cruel puppy mill industry in Iowa. They've made great strides and continue to fight to rid Iowa of cruelty.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Who knew Iowa had such an awful puppy mill problem?! Iowans know now, because of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. They shine a light on cruelty, share all their knowledge and data with the public, and work to make the changes that will put puppy mills out of business.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

IFCA is the leader in educating public and holding puppy mill operators accountable. Iowa has seen a significant decrease in number of puppy mills since their founding. Kind, dedicated individuals make up an Incredible team with rockstar leadership!

Donor

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals is an outstanding organization that has significantly raised awareness of Iowa's disastrous puppy mill industry. They are a wealth of knowledge. A wonderful organization led by dedicated people who I am proud to support financially and otherwise.

Piebird

Board Member

Rating: 5

I sit on the board of Iowa Friends of Companion animals and have for several years. My personal time is limited so I really need to choose carefully where I spend my energy. I have never regretted any of the time I volunteer for this wonderful non-profit. I'm continually amazed by the passion of the board, volunteers and primarily our president, Mary LaHay. Her experience with a bad breeder several years ago was the driving force for the creation of this and Iowa Voters for Companion Animals. She has steered the course of the organization and garnered the respect of so many people passionate about our furry friends. I am proud to be affiliated with this wonderful organization!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Upon learning that Iowa is second in the nation in the number of established puppy mills, I was drawn to help serve this organization and its mission. In just a couple short years IFCA and IVCA have seen great results towards better legislation and education on puppy mills in Iowa. We still have a journey ahead of us as there are still far too many dogs living in horrible conditions, but are definitely gaining momentum with the help of great volunteers and donors!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a charter member of the IFCA board of directors. I was on the front line with Mary LaHay when she dug in her heels and said"enough is enough, this puppy mill travisty in Iowa is not going to continue on my watch". I am proud of the impact we have had on the industry. Puppy mills have been reduced my close to 50 %. That is a huge accomplishment. None of this would have been possible without the shoes on the ground and financial support from all our members across Iowa... with Mary LaHay leading the parade. THANK YOU
Paul Koeniguer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends for Companion Animals is a nonprofit that is working to end the suffering of the dogs being kept in puppy mills in our state. The founder, Mary LaHay, started out as just one concerned citizen who shockingly found out about the puppy mill situation in Iowa. She has grown the organization to regional advocacy groups that focus on contacting their state representatives and on educating the public as to the need for change in the way the dogs in commercial dog breeding businesses in Iowa are treated. In February we all gather at the capitol to talk to our congressmen/women. Wearing our gold shirts lets all those who work for us know that we are serious about our desire for the betterment of the treatment of the dogs who are caged for breeding purposes. Mary has created a powerful advocacy group for the puppy mill dogs in Iowa!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals is an exceptional animal welfare organization working in Iowa, an exceptionally challenging state for such work. The organization's data-driven and strategic approach has not only raised public awareness, but has put animal welfare firmly on the legislative agenda. Comprised of compassionate, intelligent, and dedicated individuals, they are raising the bar for the benefit of animals and people alike.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

So impressed with the diversity of followers to this organization. I have attended a few of their fund raisers/events/parades, and the passion is real! Great job!!

Donor

Rating: 5

Very well run and organized - for a very good cause.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Improving animal welfare is a complex issue in a state like Iowa. Iowa Friends of Companion Animals' tireless efforts to educate and inform the public and our elected officials through hard facts are changing the discussion in both rural and urban corners of our state. Finding common ground and common language we all share is the surest way to make a future for Iowans and our animals free from unnecessary cruelty.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

A very respectable Iowa based, all volunteer organization focusing on improving the welfare of companion animals in Iowa. There are so many great organizations who do phenomenal work in providing care and rescuing animals in need. It is great that there is an organization focusing on the heart of the problem through educating efforts. It validates and supports the work of shelters and rescue operations.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals works tirelessly toward its mission of humane treatment for dogs in Iowa's commercial dog breeding facilities. The team is always looking to improve – evaluating tactics, finding new ways to support volunteers, and above all else, seeking ways to reach a larger audience with their important message.

Sally Cooper S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals is one of the most passionate, committed and fiscally responsible non-profits I have ever encountered. In the four years I have been involved with the organization, they have made tremendous strides toward raising awareness of the puppy mill problem in Iowa. Through their work, they have shined a light on the worst dog breeders in the state, and in turn saved countless dogs from a life of torture.

Donor

Rating: 5

I can’t think of a more meaningful cause than to ensure the humane treatment of thousands of dogs that are kept and bred to provide puppies to the pet trade - sadly known as puppy mills. A grassroots organization, for years now Iowa Friends of Companion Animals has been committed to putting an end to shameful Iowa puppy mills. This singular mission has lead to a springboard for action including educating the public, lobbying to change laws and organizing events throughout Iowa to bring attention to the blight of Iowa puppy mills.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization! Working relentlessly for the dogs and puppies being held captive and tortured in prisons known as puppy mills! We will not back down until our legislators listen and do the right thing buy these dogs!!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals is working diligently to change laws for the 15,000+ puppy mill dogs being tortured in USDA licensed commercial dog breeding facilities in Iowa. Iowa is number 2 in the nation for these types of facilities. These dogs are being denied veterinary care and are being bred to death.....cycle after cycle. They live in conditions with no heat in the winter and no air in the summer. They are producing sick puppies and selling them to the unsuspecting public. Mary Lahay and her team are working tirelessly to educate the legislators in the state of IA and the public in order to get these laws changed. Iowa is the only state in the USA that has no state oversight for these facilities. Only Mississippi has worse Animal Welfare laws than the state of Iowa. The only way to end this misery is to change laws and enforce them and Mary Lahay and her team are working tirelessly to get legislators to do that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Passionate, informed, diligent and invested - working along side these people helps me believe my time and resources are invested with integrity.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This group is and has been working hard, in an anything but friendly political atmosphere, to raise awareness, educate and try to toughen the lax laws regarding inhumane and callous dog breeders - puppy mills - in Iowa

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Mary several years ago and learned of her passion to help Iowa's puppy mill dogs. She has worked miracles on her own and now has the help and admiration of many people. It is true that a "squeaky wheel" can get things done. There is still much to be accomplished but those very important first steps have been taken and Iowa Friends for Companion Animals is doing all it can to educate people and law makers of the suffering and lack of oversight these these dogs have to put up with.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mary Lahay has organized and inspired an amazing network of dedicated volunteers to inform citizens and legislators in Iowa of the outrageous mistreatment of dogs held in puppy mills. She and volunteers have gone through FDA records to identify the worst offenders and have gotten many mills shut down. They have organized lobby days and they are changing laws governing mills. In an agricultural state like Iowa, where dogs in mills are treated as livestock, this is no small task. There is still much to do. Mary and the many volunteers for Iowa Friends of Companion Animals have worked tirelessly to help these abused dogs.

Lauris O.

Advisor

Rating: 4

I have donated a few times and have seen first-hand my money put into action to further their mission to improve both the current enforcement of federal and state laws regarding large-scale commercial pet breeding operations and the laws themselves. They are excellent in tracking inspection and enforcement actions then following up with government agencies when breeders do not take remedial action. They are also consistent and assertive with their public relations campaigns.