With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping in full swing, we know you’re busy. But if you have a second, we could really use your help. This week, we launched our holiday campaign focusing on puppy mills and why you should never, ever shop at any pet store that sells puppies.
You see, most pet store puppies come from puppy mills—you know, those huge, factory-like breeding operations where dogs live in horrible conditions and never receive love. Every time you buy anything from a pet store that sells puppies, you’re actually supporting this very cruel industry. We made a one-minute video that explains how:
We think our video has a really great message and we’d love for it to go viral. That’s where you come in. After you watch our video, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and kindly ask them to share it, too. Be sure to use the hashtag #AdoptDontShop. We’re counting on you to help us reach millions of people with this important message.
Also, if you’re really into helping end puppy mills, sign up for a chance to win a free ASPCA Puppy Mill Advocacy Pack. It contains all sorts of cool gear, including a puppy mill message tote, a puppy mill message tee and more!
While you’re out shopping in the weeks ahead, you might see a giant puppy staring at you from an ASPCA billboard! Because puppies are a popular holiday gift, we’re using these billboards to educate people about the overwhelming likelihood that puppies bought in pet shops were born in puppy mills.
We’ve learned that nearly 80% of consumers would not purchase a puppy if they knew he/she came from a puppy mill. The problem is that most people are still not aware that almost all pet store puppies do come from puppy mills.
We know buying a pet store puppy as a present might make your family happy, but your purchase would most likely support the cruel puppy mill industry. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded and often inhumane conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.
We need your help sharing this message. Please take the following actions to help fight puppy mills!
Make the Billboard Your Facebook Cover Image! We’ve created a special Facebook cover photo that looks just like our new billboard! In a few easy steps you can download the image and use it as the cover image on your own page. Think of it like your own personal billboard! Click here to start spreading awareness.
Sign the Puppy Mill Pledge! Another easy way you can help fight puppy mills is to sign the No Pet Store Puppy Pledge! By signing the pledge, you vow not to buy anything in pet stores or on websites that sell puppies. It’s as easy as pumpkin pie! Click here to sign.
The ASPCA is saddened by the loss of one of Congress’ most dedicated animal welfare advocates: Representative C.W. Bill Young (FL-13). As the longest serving Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Young led a career filled with compassionate actions for animals.
Rep. Young was well known for his dedication in the fight to stop the brutal practice of horse slaughter. In addition to his consistent support of authorizing legislation, like the SAFE Act, to ban horse slaughter, Rep. Young was also a staunch ally to horses on the House Appropriations Committee. In June of this year, Rep. Young cosponsored an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2014 that would prevent federal dollars from being spent on horse meat inspections, language that would keep horse slaughter plants from reopening in the United States. Thanks to his leadership, the amendment was swiftly adopted into the FY 14 Agriculture Appropriations bill by the committee.
Rep. Young, a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, advocated for many animal welfare issues during his 42-years of service in Congress. A longtime leader on legislation to combat puppy mills, Rep. Young joined as an original cosponsor of the PUPS Act this Congress, legislation that would close loopholes in the existing law and improve conditions for dogs in commercial breeding establishments.
In addition to his leadership on these key efforts, Rep. Young supported many other animal welfare initiatives over the course of his career, including legislation to combat animal fighting, stop horse soring, and protect America’s wild horses.
The ASPCA is grateful to Rep. Young for his many years of compassionate service in Congress, and remembers him for standing up in defense of our nation’s animals. His memory and legacy will long be cherished.
Just take a quick look at these distressing photos, and it’s obvious: Many puppy mill dogs clearly do not receive adequate veterinary care. The dogs in these photos are suffering from symptoms of grave neglect—emaciation, severe matting, advanced dental disease, eye and ear infections, skin diseases and mammary growths—that indicate a lack of regular, preventive veterinary care. This is especially true of adult breeding dogs, who typically are bred at every opportunity regardless of their health.
Why does this happen? Part of the problem is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the enforcement agency for dog breeding requirements outlined in the Animal Welfare Act, recommends that facilities have veterinarians visit a minimum of once a year. An annual veterinary exam may be sufficient for a well-cared-for pet, but for dogs living in crowded, filthy enclosures and enduring frequent pregnancies—which vets consider a state of “accelerated starvation” because it is so physically taxing—annual vet visits are simply not enough.
Take Action! The USDA is accepting comments on its veterinary care policy until Friday, October 11. Please tell the agency to revise its policy to recommend twice-a-year vet exams for animals, especially breeding animals. Submit your comments directly on this government webpage—we’ve provided talking points you may use (below), but your message will be more powerful if you tell the USDA how you feel in your own words.
The USDA’s Policy #3 on veterinary care falls short of common professional standards. The recommendation that veterinary visits occur “at least annually” is not sufficient to protect animals. -Breeding dogs frequently suffer from emaciation, severe matting, advanced dental disease, eye and ear infection, skin diseases, and mammary growths that indicate a lack of regular, preventive care. -Organizations including the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the American Kennel Club, the American College of Theriogenologists and the Society for Theriogenology recommend semiannual veterinary exams and veterinary exams prior to breeding. -Please revise Policy #3 to recommend a hands-on veterinary exam at least twice annually for all animals, particularly those bred more than once a year.
On behalf of the puppy mill dogs, thank you for your help.
As the budget stalemate in Washington led to this week’s government shutdown, a lot of animal advocates have been left wondering exactly how this unusual event is impacting our nation’s animals. Yesterday we told you about the shutdown’s effect on puppy mill inspections, but the federal government has many additional routine animal-protection responsibilities. We’ve done a little digging and outlined how the following animal welfare-related duties are being altered during this shutdown:
Horse Soring The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is charged with enforcing the Horse Protection Act to combat the abusive practice of horse soring. APHIS oversees the inspection of at-risk show horses to ensure that they have not been sored and assesses penalties for violations. Suspension of this program during the shutdown could mean that unscrupulous trainers will take advantage of this lapse in oversight.
Animal Slaughter The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) upholds the requirements of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act related to the treatment of animals prior to and during slaughter. This has been deemed a necessary function, so FSIS inspectors who monitor food safety and humane treatment in slaughterhouses continue to perform their duties during the shutdown.
Wild Horses Federal agencies periodically round up and remove large numbers of free-roaming wild equines on public rangelands, a policy that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild horses languishing in holding facilities. Additional gathers are suspended during the shutdown, but caretakers for the horses already confined remain on the job.
Zoos/Circuses Exotic animal exhibitors are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and unfortunately, the welfare of these animals will go unchecked for the time being. However, the National Zoo in D.C., managed by the Smithsonian Institution, has retained employees essential to the security and the care of the zoo’s animals.
Animals in Laboratories The USDA enforces the AWA to ensure minimum standards of care for animals in laboratories. While employees are on the job maintaining the animals, there is no USDA watchdog ensuring that minimum standards of care are being met.
Hunting and Trapping All National Wildlife Refuges are currently closed to the public, meaning hunting and trapping on these lands is prohibited for the duration of the shutdown. Federal law enforcement activities will continue on public lands to preserve resources and protect against illegal hunting.
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade! By joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, you will receive important alerts from us when we need your help to fight for laws against animal cruelty.