Honoring Goldie on No Pet Store Puppies Day

July 14, 2022


Thursday, July 21, 2022, is No Pet Store Puppies Day, a day to remind pet-lovers everywhere that puppies in sold pet stores very likely come from puppy mills (even if the pet store tells you that’s not true!). 

Pet stores work hard to present a spotless, wholesome image so customers don’t think about where the puppies were born, how their parents were treated or what the living conditions were like. But purchasing a puppy from a pet store might be supporting the cruel puppy mill industry

Weighing heavily on our minds on this year's No Pet Store Puppies Day is Goldie, the Golden Retriever who lived and died in a puppy mill. 

This week marks one year since Goldie died after enduring prolonged and extreme suffering at the hands of a USDA-licensed commercial breeder. Goldie, known only as Golden Retriever #142, was one of more than 500 dogs living in horrific conditions at a breeding facility in Iowa.

Goldie died in the facility without fresh food, water or veterinary care. She never experienced love or a warm bed. Hidden in a barn on the property, she was so thin you could see almost every bone in her body—and USDA inspectors did see her but did nothing to intervene.

Despite Goldie’s tragic fate, it was months before the USDA took action to shut down this puppy mill, even though their inspectors documented more than 200 violations of the law. Dead dogs, sick dogs, dogs in filthy cages, dogs with no veterinary care, dogs without food and water … the USDA still allowed the business to continue as usual, breeding and shipping puppies across the U.S. 

The USDA’s policies completely failed Goldie. The agency was supposed to protect her. Instead, they looked the other way. 

Tragically, this is not an isolated instance–puppy mill operators care more about profits than dogs, and the USDA makes it easy. The USDA’s standards of care are notoriously low, violations of the law are rarely cited, and they regularly go unpunished. The USDA continually fails the thousands of dogs in federally licensed puppy mills across the country. Dogs continue to suffer, so it’s time for Congress to act and force the USDA to do its job. 

Goldie’s Act will help ensure that no more animals meet the same dreadful fate in USDA-licensed commercial breeding facilities. Goldie’s Act would require inspectors to intervene and help animals who are visibly suffering. It would also require meaningful penalties for violations, and situations involving cruelty and neglect would be shared with local law enforcement.

We must never forget what Goldie endured. No dog should suffer and die on the USDA’s watch. We must pass Goldie’s Act to ensure that the USDA is doing its job and protecting the animals under their oversight. Urge your U.S. representative to support Goldie’s Act today.