I was baking Christmas cookies with my nieces – aged 16-18 – and the discussion of dogs and puppies came up. My in-laws are considering adding a dog to the family, the first since their beloved lab died six years ago. This time around they are well aware of some allergies in the family and are looking for non-shedding dogs, which haven’t been bugging the allergies of the three people in the house that suffer from them.
My youngest nieces has her heart set on a golden-doodle – while her mom and I have been talking rescue. Then she said it – “I found some stores and internet sites where the dogs are on sale.”
Before I could go into puppy mill overdrive her older cousin commented – “if you had googled puppy mills like I told you two years ago, we’d not be having this conversation.”
I was so proud. Especially since I’d just recently become involved with the Puppy Mill Project and hadn’t even started to talk about puppy mills with them. We did a quick lesson on how to use the site for the Puppy Mill Project, the Amish and their connection to puppy mills and the dogs at Lambs Farm (puppy mill dogs as well).
In my circle of friends, we all know where the puppies in the window come from. However, my circle is very full with people in the animal rescue community. That isn’t the case for the rest of America. According to the Puppy Mill Project, an estimated 75 percent Americans are not aware of the puppy mill/internet/pet shop connection.
If you live in the Chicago-area, here is a very short version of a list of places not to purchase your puppies –
- Lamb’s Farm
- Happiness is Pets
- Furry Babies
- Puppies R Us
- Go here for the full list.
There are three pet stores that I know of that used to sell dogs and have now moved to adoption through various partnerships. Wilmette Pet Center made the move over a year ago with the help of Adopt-a-Pet. Thee Fish Bowl in Evanston worked with the Puppy Mill Project(TPMP) and Chicago Animal Care and Control to set up an adoption program.
In November, it was Naperville’s oldest pet store – Dog Patch Pet and Feed – that made the move with help from TPMP. Annie’s Little Angle’s Rescue has been working with Dog Patch to pull dogs from Death row at CACC (Dog Patch already had a relationship with a Wisconsin Shelter for cats).
So far, all three stores have found many new customers since making the move to adopt instead. And, dogs and cats are now being saved from death row.
In the meantime, animal advocates will continue to protest and get the word out about puppy mills. Go here for an article on the efforts of the Puppy Mill Projects Cari Meyers (and vote for her at this site each day).