When Michelle Smith, designer and founder of MILLY, and Amanda Hearst, founder of Friends of Finn, decided to create an exclusive t-shirt collection to support The Humane Society of the United States Friends of Finn’s efforts to stop puppy mills, we knew good things would result. SHOP THE TEES HERE. Michelle worked with Amanda and Friends of Finn members Georgina Bloomberg and Kimberly Ovitz to a very special limited edition collection of graphic t-shirts, each with a hashtag phrase that relates to their dogs.
We were eager to get the inside scoop from Amanda about what inspired her to found Friends of Finn and what the man himself (her dog, Finn) is all about…
US: What prompted you to start Friends of Finn?
AMANDA: I had been working with The Humane Society of the United States and kept hearing all these horrible things about puppy mills, which are illegal breeding facilities where animals are usually treated terribly. I learned that over 90% of pet store dogs are from these types of places, so I did some research and found out that my own dog, Finn, was from a puppy mill. That’s why I started Friends of Finn, to raise money and awareness to end the industry of puppy mills in the US.
US: Tell us about Finn!
AMANDA: He is a foodie, so at the moment he’s probably not “sample size” - haha. There have been several occasions where I’ve found him on the dinner table eating straight butter! Not good for the waist line! Also he loves people, and usually kisses them on the mouth when he meets them. He also loves naps and his girlfriend Pequi, a Pomeranian that he goes on walks with.
US: Did you grow up with a dog as a child? Did you have any other pets?
AMANDA: I’ve always grown up with animals. In the city, we had Chili and Lizzie (two mixes) and a cat names Sarah. Then, my mom moved to a farm in the Hamptons, so now we have dogs, cats, ducks, geese, miniature goats, alpacas, miniature donkeys…it’s very much a Dr. Doolittle situation out there.
US: Where do you love to take your dog in NYC? Do you have any go-to spot, or places Finn loves to go?
AMANDA: Finn loves the West Village, especially Rag & Bone because they give him treats there. He also loves my local boutique wine shop…because they give him treats, too. So basically, anywhere where he can get food he’s happy! But the dog park in Washington Square Park is great, and he has lots of little friends there.
US: How can someone work with the The Humane Society of the United States to ensure their puppy is not from a puppy mill?
AMANDA: The bottom line is that the majority of pet store animals are from puppy mills. So if you really want to be safe, you should adopt or work with a reputable breeder. Please read up on The HSUS’ advice about how to make sure you don’t support puppy mills: https://www.humanesociety.org.