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Pet stores are great places to buy pet food and supplies, but if your local pet store still sells puppies, chances are they came from heartbreakingly inhumane puppy breeding facilities known as puppy mills. Consider shopping for your pet products in some of the many pet stores across the U.S. that refuse to sell puppies (and other animals like kittens and rabbits) that come from mills.
It’s getting easier to find pet stores that don’t participate in the puppy mill trade. According to the ASPCA, dozens of local governments have banned the sale of commercially-bred dogs in pet stores. Many cities and towns have already enacted retail pet sale bans, and several states are working to ban puppy mills by regulating the number of breeding dogs a breeder may keep.
What else can you do to help end the puppy mill trade? Besides boycotting pet stores that sell puppies, you should also avoid buying pets online, as many of these animals also come from questionable sources. Pet adoption is the best way to ensure that you are not supporting puppy mills.
You don't need to go to a pet store to find the puppy you want. If you’re interested in a specific breed, consider adopting a former puppy mill dog or looking into one of the many breed-specific rescue groups across the country. Review the Humane Society’s responsible breeder checklist before buying a puppy from a breeder.
For more information on state and local efforts to put an end to the puppy mill business, check out the ASPCA’s interactive map of states with puppy mill regulations HERE. The Best Friends Animal Society’s website maintains a list of local jurisdictions with retail pet sale bans HERE.
Photo credits from top: "Uptown quality, downtown prices" by Liesbeth den Toom; "DSC_5171" by Josh Henderson; "puppy mills1" by Paula; "Old English Sheepdog Puppy" by David Martyn Hunt; "Pups for sale" by shankar s.--all Flickr.
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