Each year, the ASPCA recognizes “No Pet Store Puppies Day” on July 21, to spread awareness of the thousands of dogs suffering in puppy mills – large-scale commercial dog breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. They live in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions for years on end, and may suffer from behavioral, congenital, and hereditary problems as a result of irresponsible breeding practices.
Because these dogs are sold in pet stores, among other places, pet store purchases actually support these breeding factories.
The story of Dusty, a Chihuahua rescued from a Kentucky puppy mill in February, is just one example of the horrors of that cruel industry Dusty was one of 40 dogs rescued from a deplorable commercial breeding facility where he was kept in inhumane living conditions lacking adequate veterinary care and socialization. When he arrived at the ASPCA’s Behavior Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J., Dusty was suspicious and fearful of new people.
During his treatment, the ASPCA’s dedicated team of behavioral experts used scientifically sound techniques to reduce Dusty’s fear of people to gradually acclimate him to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma or severe stress. Dusty thrived, learned how to walk on a leash, and became comfortable meeting new people. After graduating from the ASPCA Behavior Rehabilitation Center, Dusty was adopted into a loving home in June.
Dusty’s story has a happy ending, but so many do not. Here are some ways you can help other puppy mill dogs on No Pet Store Puppies Day:
- Watch and share our latest video about why puppy mills are no laughing matter to spread awareness about pet store puppies.
- Enter our No Pet Store Puppies Day sweepstakes for a chance to win a one-year subscription to BarkBox.
- Send an email to the Secretary of Agriculture and urge him to stop the cruel import of puppies from overseas puppy mills.
- Help the ASPCA continue our fight against puppy mills by signing up for the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to learn about legislation in your area that will help reduce animal suffering.
Most states have laws in place to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities, with Connecticut, Minnesota, and Virginia being the most recent states to increase regulations of commercial breeders. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, as illustrated on NoPetStorePuppies.com, where consumers can view a database of more than 10,000 photos of USDA licensed dog breeders, taken during routine USDA inspections that allow the public to see where pet store puppies really come from.
For more information about the ASPCA’s efforts to eliminate puppy mills, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.