In 2008, Bill Smith, frustrated over conditions in substandard dog breeding kennels in Pennsylvania and the lack of enforcement at that time, reached out to Oprah Winfrey via a billboard in Chicago asking the legendary talk show host to do a show on puppy mills. Considered one of the most successful outreach campaign in the history of animal welfare, the program and undercover footage Bill shot with Lisa Ling was seen by 49M people around the world. Adoptions in shelters around the world increased, hundreds of puppy mills closed their doors, and new laws were pushed through in over two dozen states.
In addition to his appearances on Oprah, Bill has raised awareness to the plight of puppy mill dogs on Nightline, GMA, the Today show, BBC, Animal Planet, HBO's Madonna of the Mills, and in the pages of Newsweek, LA Times, New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He's discussed the horrors of dog fighting on CNN, ESPN, NPR and in the Washington Post, and promoted the adoption of shelter pets on NBC Nightly News, the Meredith Vieira Show, Jill Rappaport's Best in Shelter, and The View. Profiles in Main Line Today and Philadelphia Magazine helped Bill find homes for animals throughout the Delaware Valley. And when People Magazine labeled him "The Puppy Saver," he was able to use the national attention to make changes for the betterment of animals on a national level. Bill feels extremely fortunate to have worked with some of the best reporters, producers, and photojournalists in the country to advance his lifesaving mission.
Going forward 1 Love 4 Animals will use whatever means available to raise awareness to the many issues facing animals in our society. As Oprah said on her groundbreaking puppy mill show "When you know better; you do better!"
Horrified by the Office of Inspector General's audit of the USDA/APHIS, Bill Smith came up with the idea to wrap transit buses in the DC area in an effort to pressure the USDA to enforce federal laws protecting dogs in federally licensed dog breeding kennels. Inspectors ignored dogs with wounds with exposed bones, argued that live and dead cockroaches were a source of protein (esteemed veterinary hospitals disagreed), and refused to cite repeat offenders. Then President Obama and numerous members of Congress saw the buses and the USDA was instructed to crack down on substandard kennels (to the surprise of many breeders who had benefited from the USDA's failed policies of "Educate, not Prosecute" and its unwillingness to protect thousands of dogs in our nation's puppy mills).
Under the Trump Administration, thousands of inspection reports were removed from the USDA data base making it impossible for the public and animal welfare advocates to identify suspected animal abusers and those breeders who have repeatedly violated the law. This was done to "protect the privacy" of animal abusers and businesses profiting from the exploitation/mistreatment of innocent animals. Despite the urging of hundreds of members of the House and the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, to restore complete records to the public data base, inspection reports remain fractured and unintelligible.