If you still patronize pet stores that sell puppies and you think that cute little doggy in the window came from a clean, loving home, there is an island paradise for sale we’d like to show you in the middle of the desert.
Too many of these dogs come from what is known as puppy mills, large commercial operations that keep dogs in such deplorable conditions that most of the American public would be shocked.
Many times, cages are stacked on top of one another and dogs never even know the feel of grass beneath their feet. Many of these dogs that are rescued have to be taught to walk on a surface that is not a wire cage.
These operations are licensed by the USDA.
However, a recent poll commissioned by the ASPCA shows that 71 percent of Americans believe that commercial dog breeders licensed by the USDA treat their dogs humanely.
Animal lovers who know of these conditions would never buy from a pet store or online, but too many Americans remain in the dark about puppy mills.
That’s why the ASPCA has launched a new website, No Pet Store Puppies, which seeks to inform consumers through stories and photographs. The site also lists where pet stores near your location get their pups.
The site contains over 10,000 photos from commercial breeding facilities and in some cases, links them directly to the pet stores to which they sell.
"Consumers need to know that they should not be falsely reassured when a pet store tells them their puppies come from USDA licensed breeders,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign in a press release. “Unfortunately, USDA standards alone do not ensure that dogs are raised humanely in an environment in which they can thrive. We hope this new tool will allow consumers to make informed decisions and refrain from buying puppies at pet stores, and instead make adoption their first option, or seek a responsible breeder if they choose not to adopt.”
Editor’s Note: Photo of a puppy mill dog from the ASPCA site.
Do you think this initiative will help inform the public or change people’s minds about adopting a dog rather than buying one?