Puppies Aren't Presents - The Puppy Mill Project Launches Holiday Education Campaign Informing Consumers about Puppies Sold at Pet Stores and Online
A Chicago advocacy group is sounding the alarm to parents about a popular item on many children's wish list - a puppy. The Puppy Mill Project is launching the "Puppies Aren't Presents" campaign to educate consumers about the origins of the puppies sold in pet stores, on the Internet and in newspapers.
- Chicago, IL (1888PressRelease) December 06, 2011 - A warm, cuddly puppy is high on many children's holiday wish lists. However, a local advocacy group would like more parents to rethink that idea. They are launching the "Puppies Aren't Presents" campaign to educate consumers before they shop for that one holiday gift. The Puppy Mill Project is sounding the alarm about the origin and health of the animals sold in local pet stores and on the Internet.
"We want people to realize that puppies aren't presents, they are a living, breathing thing," says Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. "Too many parents will head to the pet store to buy a puppy and not do their homework first. Most people don't know the right questions to ask."
Dogs sold in pet stores and online come from puppy mills - large, commercial breeding operations licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These puppies were breed in inhumane conditions to a mother that hasn't been properly nourished and then removed from their mother earlier than recommended by veterinarians. Many animals are ill and have parasites because they are too young and haven't received proper nourishment and medical care.
"It's even more heartbreaking to think of the large number of children who receive a puppy as a present and so many of the puppies are either sick or just too young to be away from their mothers," adds Meyers. "Families end up with a sick puppy and high veterinary bills. Meanwhile, the mother left behind in the mill has a life sentence behind bars."
Meyer's organization worked with Illinois lawmakers to pass the Illinois Pet Store Disclosure Act. The bill requires pet stores, shelters and rescues to disclose the origin of their pets on or near the animal's cage to help consumers make an educated choice after doing their homework. Through the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture, her organization now has lists of the breeders or brokers that supplied the dogs, the number of dogs breed each year by each factory farm and where the animals are sold. The information is listed on the organization's website.
"Most pet stores not only fail to disclose the breeding information, but repeatedly tell consumers that the dogs they sell come from respected breeders," says Meyers. "If they say that the breeding operation is USDA inspected, that means it's a commercial breeding operation, which is a puppy mill. If a pet store or Internet seller then tells you that they are not selling dogs from puppy mills, they are committing consumer fraud."
Founded in September of 2009, the Puppy Mill Project's mission is to educate the public and raise awareness about puppy mills and their direct connection to pet stores, Internet sites and newspaper ads that sell dogs. The organization educates through community events, peaceful protests at puppy stores and through advertising campaigns. The organization holds peaceful, educational protests at pet stores to inform the public about the origin of the dogs sold in pet stores. Learn more at www.thepuppymillproject.org