By Dr. Becker
As of May 21st, over 100,000 people have taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge in a campaign sponsored by the ASPCA as part of its ongoing battle against puppy mill cruelty.
The campaign was launched in July 2011 to raise awareness about the link between pet stores and puppy mills. The ASPCA’s goal is to reduce the demand for puppy mill animals by helping pet owners understand that most of the dogs sold in pet stores were purchased from mills.
The No Pet Store Puppies campaign urges consumers to completely avoid pet stores that sell puppies and online dog sellers. They want pet owners to purchase pet products only from stores and online outlets that do not also sell puppies.
According to the ASPCA:
Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Refusing to buy a dog from a pet store is a crucial first step. But we’re also asking all pet owners not to buy anything in stores that sell puppies! No kibble, no kitty litter, no toys—nothing! By purchasing anything from a store that sells puppies, you are unwittingly supporting the puppy mill industry.
Also in May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new rule1 to increase federal oversight of puppy mills and online dog sales. The new legislation would require large-scale commercial dog breeders who sell puppies directly to consumers to be licensed and submit to inspections by the USDA.
Supply and Demand
It’s a simple formula: where there is demand for a “product” like puppies, suppliers will fill that demand.
That’s why the ASPCA is focused on educating consumers not only about the connection between pet stores and puppy mills, but also about the impact of patronizing businesses that sell puppies – even if all you’re buying is a squeaky toy or some kitty litter.
“Consumer action is a critical element in the fight against puppy mills,” according to Laurie Beacham, ASPCA senior director of strategy and campaigns. “And convincing consumers not to shop for anything at stores and on websites that sell puppies is a powerful tool in stopping the demand for puppy mill dogs.”
How to Help
To take the ASPCA pledge “If a Pet Store Sells Puppies, I Won’t Buy Anything There,” visit No Pet Store Puppies.
When you sign the online pledge, you’ll be asked for your zip code. When you click the “Take the Pledge” button to add your name, the next page gives you a list of nearby pet stores that sell puppies, as well as a list of online puppy retailers to avoid. You’ll also see tools to help you spread the word by sending an email, sharing on Facebook, or Tweeting your pledge.
At the same website, you can learn about the horrors of puppy mills, why buying a puppy online is a bad idea, and where to find the right pet for your family.