Way to go, San Diego! On July 9, the City Council voted to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. Effective 30 days from the vote—so, in early August—retailers may no longer source animals from commercial breeders (many of which are puppy mills). They are allowed to offer in-store adoptions of humanely sourced animals, such as those from shelters, which the ASPCA, of course, fully supports.
The new rule makes San Diego the second-largest city in California, behind Los Angeles, to ban retail sales of commercially bred animals—and you might be surprised to learn that a total of 32 cities in North America (including Austin, Albuquerque and Toronto) have similar ordinances in place!
At the ASPCA, we’re working from many angles to end puppy mill suffering. Encouraging stores to offer pet adoptions, rather than selling pets bred in questionable, often inhumane conditions, is one of our very top priorities. Please visit No Pet Store Puppies to learn more and to get involved.
A disturbing new trend—“pet flipping”—has been getting a lot of attention this week.
Pet flipping involves a criminal picking up a pet, either by stealing the animal or claiming to be the pet parent of a missing pet, and then quickly selling the animal for a profit. Is your blood boiling yet? It gets worse!
According to Time, pet flipping is on the rise in cities including Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The stolen dogs are often purebred and very valuable. In March, an Indianapolis man was arrested after a three-month investigation found he had been stealing dogs for years, mostly purebred German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.
“Many of these pets are housed in puppy mill-like conditions until they can be flipped—no food or water, caged and sick,” Dawn Contos, of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, said in an interview following the arrest.
Guest blog by Deborah Dubow Press, Regulatory Affairs Senior Manager, ASPCA Government Relations
It has been nearly eight years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, forever changing the way America responds to natural disasters. The human and animal suffering wrought by Katrina and Superstorm Sandy should remain fresh in our minds as we enter another hurricane season, and preparedness should top the agendas of animal caretakers and policy makers.
That’s why yesterday we were shocked to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be reconsidering the disaster plan rule requiring all facilities licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act—this includes breeders, zoos, research facilities, dealers, and other exhibitors and intermediate handlers—to prepare emergency plans for protecting and caring for animals during disasters. Asking those who use animals commercially to demonstrate a level of readiness to protect animals in their custody is fair and reasonable. We are dismayed by the possibility that the USDA would waver on a rule that could save lives at such a small cost.
For the ASPCA responders who experienced Katrina, Sandy, and countless other disaster deployments firsthand, the horrors of these events have not faded from memory: dogs chained in yards and left to drown; cats starving to death in homes after evacuations dragged on and on; animals covered in oil and toxic sludge; dogs stranded on rooftops; animals wandering the streets malnourished, dehydrated, and frightened, many never to be reunited with their owners.
The more that pet owners and animal facilities prepare for emergencies, the better responders can focus their relief efforts when disaster strikes. We hope that ultimately the USDA will remember the heartbreaks of Katrina, Sandy, Joplin, and countless other disasters and renew its resolve to protect imperiled animals under its jurisdiction.
July 21 is “No Pet Store Puppies Day,” and we’re celebrating the third year of our campaign to put an end to puppy mills. If you’re looking for an opportunity to get involved, we know someone looking for help—meet Molly!
Molly, along with her faithful pup, Joey, is out to teach the world all about puppy mills and why you shouldn’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies.
Molly and Joey want to make sure their message reaches as many people as possible, so please share their video with the hashtag #MeetMolly after you’ve watched it.
Join Our Puppy Mill Twitter Chat Next week we’re hosting a Puppy Mill Twitter Chat to answer ALL of your questions about puppy mills. Where do pet store puppies come from? What really happens to mill dogs when they can no longer breed? Is my dog from a puppy mill? How can I help? Join us, and co-hosts Thoughts Fur Paws and Dog Book on Tuesday, July 23, at 1:00 P.M. ET. Use hashtag #ASPCAchat to join the conversation.
For more information on No Pet Store Puppies Day, please visit nopetstorepuppies.com. And remember—adopt, don’t shop!
In March 2013, Eriny Y. decided to drop by the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan to peruse the adoptable animals. That’s when she met a special black-and-white kitty named Hamper, since renamed Lucy, and the two became inseparable. She shared the following story with us:
When I first saw Lucy at the Adoption Center, I asked if I could meet her because I thought her lazy eyes were adorable. The moment her cage opened, she started licking my fingers and purring. I knew I had to have her. I was hooked! She came home with me, and with a bit of time, she began to trust me.
Eventually, she started to curl up in bed with me and fall asleep as I scratched her head. She now insists on sleeping with me every night! She also loves her kitty treats and her catnip toys.
Whenever I leave the room, Lucy meows until I come back. At the end of the day, when I come home from work, she meows as though she is telling me about her day.
I love sharing my home with my adorable companion, and she has enriched my life in so many ways. I'm so thankful I decided to take that trip to the ASPCA on the off chance I might find a new friend.
Lucy has adjusted very well, and she makes me so happy to come home every day. Thank you so much, ASPCA!