As an advocate of puppy mill awareness, it breaks my heart every time I drive by a pet shop. How could these owners be so cruel? So ignorant? It takes so much self restraint to not just march right in there and give them a piece of my mind…
But – as with so many things, sometimes you can catch more flies with honey. Next time you drive or walk by a pet shop and feel the need to offer a piece of your mind, try this:
Ask the clerk/owner where their puppies come from? How often they get new puppies? If they allow those who purchase these puppies to contact the breeders?
More often than not the responses will be vague and guarded.
Continue to let them know you, as a dog lover, only shop at pet stores that hold adoption drives instead of selling puppies. And you would be thrilled to see them change their practice to hold adoption drives instead.
Here are some benefits you can cite:
- Increased name recognition for the store
- Consumer loyalty
- Financial support through new customers and repeat visitors
- Stronger community ties thanks to your partnership with the local animal shelter(s)
The Humane Society also offers FREE listings to Puppy Friendly Pet Stores on their website, along with a free listing in their phone app so shoppers can find them anywhere. Did you know you can text “PUPPY” to 30644 to see puppy-friendly stores near you? Click here for more info and resources from the HSUS, including a printable “pledge” you can take into these stores.
This may seem like a such a small action, but imagine if each day someone took the time to stop in these pet stores and have this “talk. Imagine if each time a family was there, looking at puppies to purchase, and overheard your conversation. Sometimes, as an individual, we can feel powerless in this fight. But your voice – when combined with legislation, legal actions, rescues, and other efforts – does make a difference. It takes a lot of steps to walk a mile.
Click here to join me in supporting National Mill Dog Rescue as they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded puppy mill breeding dogs.