Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Puppy Mills: US Pet Stores Take Pledge

Thanks to the efforts of local advocates, 46 pet stores across the nation have recently signed The Humane Society of the United States' Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge — committing not to sell puppies, and instead support local animal adoption programs and provide literature that helps customers learn how to locate a reputable dog breeder. The HSUS applauds these retailers because their actions prove it is not necessary to support the cruel puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

"These stores have set a positive example of corporate responsibility for other businesses to follow," said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the puppy mills campaign for The HSUS. "Pet stores that profit from the cruel puppy mill industry need to step up and do the right thing by stopping their puppy sales. I am thrilled to have wonderful local advocates working in our area to increase the public's awareness of puppy mills."

Store owners and managers who sign The HSUS' pledge receive a placard proclaiming, "We love puppies; that's why we don't sell them," to display in the store, as well as materials about adopting a dog or finding a responsible breeder. The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the puppy-friendly sign.

The retailers that have recently signed the puppy friendly pledge to not sell puppies are:
  • An-Jan Feed & Pet Supply (Calif.): locations in San Jose, Milpitas, and Morgan Hill.
  • PET CLUB (Calif.): locations in Corte Madera, San Mateo, Hayward, Mountain View, Emeryville, South San Francisco, San Jose, Elk Grove, Fairfield, Santa Rosa.
  • Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies (Calif.): locations in Burbank, Costa Mesa, Culver City, Encino, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, Westchester, and West Los Angeles.
  • Natural Pawz (Texas): locations in Houston, The Woodlands, Vintage Park, Sugar Land
  • Woof Gang Bakery: locations in Naples, Fla., Celebration, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Sarasota, Fla., Windermere, Fla., Lutz, Fla., Austin, Texas, and Asheville, N.C. 
Policy Helps Dogs Across the United States
The majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from puppy mills, which are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions. The breeding dogs at puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder's home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel puppy mill industry.

  • Approximately one-third of the nation's 9,000 independent pet stores sell puppies.
  • The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
  • Documented puppy mill conditions include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor food and shelter, crowded cages and lack of socialization.
  • Dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills suffer for years in continual confinement. They are bred as often as possible and then destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.
  • Pet stores and online sellers often use attractive Web sites to hide the truth and to dupe consumers into thinking that they are dealing with a small, reputable breeder.
  • Reputable breeders never sell puppies over the Internet or through a pet store and will insist on meeting the family who will be purchasing the dog.
  • Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.
  • Over the past three years, 16 states have passed laws to crack down on puppy mills.

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