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AMES, Iowa– Advocates from all over Iowa are gathering in Ames to raise awareness about the puppy mill industry.

Bailing out Benji events took place across the nation.

Organizers said “Benji” is a metaphor, representing everyone’s dog.

According to the Humane Society of the United states, Iowa is one of the worst states in the nation with over 17,000 adult breeding  dogs trapped in 260 puppy mills.

The state ahead of Iowa is Missouri, the  state with the most and worst puppy mills.

Activists agree that puppy mills are not illegal, but hope the legislature can tighten regulations.

“We need more requirements on what is considered a safe living place and living conditions,” Ames resident Laura Bradner said.  “We need tighter regulations on required medical care and required cleanliness.”

Animal lovers, as well as rescue and shelter volunteers are coming together to make a huge statement against the cruelty of puppy mills.

Every Saturday Bailing out Benji has events in Ames.