Pledge to help put puppy millers out of biz

Like two plus two is four and vegan donuts are underrated, I thought everyone knew that pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Apparently not. According to a new poll, “78 percent of consumers are unaware that most puppies sold in pet stores come from large-scale commercial breeding operations commonly known as puppy mills.”

I was shocked — I figured such unsavory truth was common knowledge. And while there will always be a few people out there who simply don’t care that breeding factories are hellish places, there is some good news: Eighty percent of those polled indicated they would not purchase puppies they knew came from puppy mills.

In light of these stats, the ASPCA has launched a national “No More Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which urges the public to avoid any store that sells puppies. Instead, they encourage animal-loving consumers to purchase all pet-related supplies — food, toys, cat litter, etc. — elsewhere. (In my area, Petco and PetSmart are good options. Not only do they not sell dogs and cats, they host adoption fairs on behalf of our local shelters.)

If you’re not sure which stores in your area are guilty of the practice, check out this map. You can also pledge right there on the site to boycott shops that do sell puppies.

I pledged. Not because I’m worried I might otherwise slip and head into my local Al’s Puppies ‘n’ Stuff for a bag of dog chow. I did it because I had no idea so many people are still in the dark on this issue. Publicity and awareness is badly needed.

Let’s send a strong message (monetary — the language they speak) to the stores who sell puppies. And let’s put the puppy millers out of business once and for all.

Some puppy mill dogs, especially those used to breed, never in their lives set foot outside their tiny kennel.