NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the launch of a national campaign called "No Pet Store Puppies" to raise awareness about puppy mill cruelty and urge consumers not to shop for anything at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies.
According to a newly released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and commissioned by the ASPCA, 78 percent of consumers are unaware that most puppies sold in pet stores come from large-scale commercial breeding operations commonly known as puppy mills. The poll also reveals that nearly 80 percent of consumers would not purchase a puppy if they knew it came from a puppy mill. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded and often cruel conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. The ASPCA estimates that there are more than 825 pet stores in the U.S. that sell puppies.
"The ASPCA's research shows that people know that puppy mills are bad, but they don't realize that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills," said Matt Bershadker, senior vice president of ASPCA's Anti-Cruelty Group. "Consumers can help end puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of dogs by not buying anything in pet stores that sell puppies. This campaign sends a clear message that the public does not support the inhumane breeding of dogs."
The ASPCA encourages animal lovers and advocates to support its campaign by pledging not to shop at their local pet stores for any items--including food, supplies or toys--if the stores sell puppies. The campaign urges consumers to share the online pledge with others via social networking sites. The pledges will be sent to strategically selected pet stores in order to pressure them to stop selling puppies. Additionally, NoPetStorePuppies.com hosts a blog and a series of videos, which can be shared online and via social media platforms to engage consumers and help spread the message about puppy mill cruelty.
"It's hard to resist those cute little puppies in the pet store windows, but most people have no idea where they come from," said Laurie Beacham, senior director of ASPCA Strategy & Campaigns. "Our campaign will educate consumers and inspire them to take action to be part of the solution and reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies. We continue to urge those who are looking for a new companion to adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter or seek a responsible breeder so that the puppy mill industry becomes unsustainable."
Responsible breeders, unlike puppy mills, do not sell their puppies through pet stores because they want to screen potential owners to ensure that the puppies are going to good homes.
The ASPCA believes that consumer action is a critical element in the fight against puppy mills. Convincing consumers not to shop for anything, including puppies, at pet stores that sell puppies is the most effective way to stop the demand for puppy mill dogs. The ASPCA ultimately seeks to convince pet stores to limit their business to pet supplies and encourages them to partner with their local shelters to offer adoptable pets in their stores.To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.