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ASPCA to Consumers: Don't Buy into Animal Cruelty this Holiday Season

“No Pet Store Puppies” campaign urges consumers not to shop at stores that sell puppies
December 1, 2011

NEW YORK-With the holiday season upon us, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), as part of its national "No Pet Stores Puppies" campaign, is urging consumers to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to shop at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies. The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for pet stores as many families hope to give the gift of a new puppy, but many consumers are unaware they are supporting the inhumane puppy mill industry by shopping for anything at pet stores that sell puppies.

"The image of an adorable puppy with a red bow is a familiar icon of the holiday season," said Laurie Beacham, senior director of ASPCA Strategy & Campaigns. "Unfortunately, chances are that the puppy in your local pet store came from a puppy mill, and shopping for anything at those stores this holiday season only serves to perpetuate animal suffering."

Consumers who purchase a puppy from a pet store or website run the risk of taking home an unhealthy puppy in addition to the risk of unknowingly supporting a cruel industry. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. The ASPCA believes that consumer action is a critical element in the fight against puppy mills. Convincing consumers not to shop for anything--including puppies and supplies--at stores that sell puppies is the most effective way to stop the demand for puppy mill dogs. The ASPCA ultimately seeks to convince pet stores to limit their business to pet supplies and encourages them to partner with their local shelters to offer adoptable pets in their stores.

As part of the No Pet Store Puppies campaign, 40 outdoor billboards will be unveiled in the Los Angeles, Calif. area to raise awareness about the connection between pet stores and puppy mills and encourage shoppers to give a new life to a homeless dog or cat by adopting from their local animal shelter or rescue organization. Approximately five to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and millions are destroyed simply because there is no one to adopt them. Billboards in other locations were posted earlier in the year.

Beacham added, "Many people think they are 'rescuing' the cute puppy playing in their local pet store window by purchasing it, but they are actually opening up that cage for another puppy mill puppy. Instead, why not give a lovable shelter dog a special gift of a loving home this season? That makes for a win-win holiday for all."

To learn more about the ASPCA's No Pet Store Puppies campaign, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.