ASPCA Honors Edie Falco with the 2021 Puppy Advocate and Protector Award

July 21, 2021

Edie Falco with two dogs

Wednesday, July 21, has been declared “No Pet Store Puppies Day” to build critical awareness of puppy mills—cruel commercial breeding facilities where puppies are mass-produced in filthy conditions, then shipped to pet stores where they are marketed as healthy dogs from responsible breeders. Families who purchase these dogs often leave with sick animals and no idea their purchases support such a vicious enterprise. 

These dogs need a loud voice and dedicated champion, and no one’s been a stronger advocate for them than award-winning actress and animal hero Edie Falco. Edie works tirelessly to support legislation that would shut down the puppy mill pipeline by ending the sale of dogs in pet stores across her home state of New York.

For her unparalleled commitment to protecting victimized and vulnerable animals, guiding prospective pet owners to humane options, and elevating the humane reputation of New York State, we are proud to present Edie Falco with the ASPCA 2021 Puppy Advocate and Protector Award.

“I’m very honored by this award and hope it brings attention to the issue of puppy mill cruelty,” Edie told us. “The more people outraged by this cruelty and inspired by the commitment of compassionate organizations like the ASPCA to fight it, the closer we’ll come to ending puppy mills for good.”

Edie, who often speaks about puppy mills alongside her dog Sami—a puppy mill survivor—spends incredible amounts of personal time and energy helping the ASPCA fight puppy mills and animal cruelty, including recording moving videos, participating in animal welfare fundraisers, speaking at press conferences, talking to state lawmakers, writing newspaper editorials, and reaching out directly to New York voters.

In July, Edie lent her voice to support an ASPCA petition urging the Biden administration to improve enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act in order to better protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities.

That’s a remarkable amount of work for anyone, much less a busy film, television and Broadway actress whose credits include starring roles in “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie”—becoming the only person to win Lead Acting Emmy awards in both the drama and comedy categories. Edie will be playing Hillary Clinton in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming drama series “Impeachment: American Crime Story” and has a featured role in the next two “Avatar” sequels.

“No celebrity has worked harder over the years to end puppy mills than Edie Falco,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA CEO. “Edie’s determination is as big as her compassion, and all of us—animals included—are fortunate to have her as our friend and ally. We are proud to present her with the ASPCA 2021 Puppy Advocate and Protector Award.”

Thank you, Edie, for being such an inspirational and powerful force in the fight to end puppy mill cruelty.

Please join Edie in taking a stand against puppy mill cruelty. Sign our petition asking President Biden to direct the USDA to do its job and hold dog dealers accountable if they violate the law.