Hi, all. Maria is out collecting stories for her upcoming book on Soldier Dogs and I thought I’d pop in to tell you about an important campaign the ASPCA has started that people who truly love dogs should care about.
I don’t have to tell you about the horrors of puppy mills. We cover them regularly on this very blog, our readers howl back about them in the comments section of any given post and our community has fierce discussions in the Dogster forums about rescued mill pups they’ve helped rehabilitate. It’s sick and sad from every angle you look at it and it infuriates and offends me, personally, when I meet otherwise intelligent people who somehow thought it was OK at one point or another to exchange cash* for a puppy at a pet store.
But apparently there is a huge disconnect in a staggering number of people’s heads when it comes to puppy mills and pet stores. Many are aware of the harsh conditions at the puppy plants but don’t realize they wind up turning into the cogs in the mill machine when they pay for that cute puppy in the window. It’s only later, when they run into the typical genetic or behavioral/socialization problems that they realize their mistake. (Please note: I am aware that not ALL mill dogs display these issues, but that does not excuse the conditions under which they were born and raised, etc.)
A few days ago, the ASPCA released the results of a poll they’d commissioned Lake Research Partners to conduct on their behalf. From it, these two eye-widening numbers emerged: apparently 78% of consumers dont know that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. The poll also found that 80 percent of consumers would not purchase a puppy if they knew the animal came from a mill.
Putting two and two together, the ASPCA has launched the No Pet Store Puppies campaign. At the heart of it is a pledge — and whether you’re a dog, cat, chinchilla or iguana parent, I urge you to take it along with me and encourage friends and family to do the same. The pledge is simple, here’s what mine looked like:
Add your voice and take the pledge over here. After you’ve done so, please leave a comment below to let us know you’re with us on this.
Thanks for reading,
Managing Editor, Dogster and Catster
*P.S. Please also note that stores that host adoption days for rescues/shelters are different from stores that SELL puppies.