#1 - TAKE THE PLEDGE
Show you care. Click here to take the pledge to adopt a shelter/rescue animal or to make sure your next pet comes from a responsible breeder.
The key to ending dogs being bred in these conditions is to decrease consumer demand. Animals in pet shops or available over the internet often come from “puppy mills.” Animals in newspaper classified ads and sold through brokers can also come from “puppy mills”. By buying an animal from one of these venues, you support the conditions at large scale breeding facilities. The USDA’s May 2010 reported noted that due to a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act, large breeders that sell AWA-covered animals over the internet are exempt from inspection and licensing requirements.
Click here for tips on how to responsibly add a companion animal to your life and ensure your next pet does not come from a puppy mill.
#2 DO NOT BUY PET SUPPLIES FROM A STORE THAT SELLS DOGS, CATS, OR OTHER ANIMALS FROM INTENSIVE BREEDING FACILITIES OR OTHER UNETHICAL SUPPLIERS
If you only purchase pet supplies from pet stores that do not sell animals, you can ensure that your dollars are not supporting the commercial pet-breeding industry. Make sure you ask about the sources of animals if you are considering purchasing supplies in a store that sells animals – of any type.
#3 SPREAD THE WORD
Educate your friends, family, and co-workers about large scale breeders and how the decision to buy an animal from a pet store supports these operations. Ask your friends to take the pledge not to support puppy mills. Inexpensive educational materials are also available online for you to order and distribute, click here to learn more.
#4 WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper(s) to educate your entire community, and your elected officials, about the issue. Click here to learn more.
#5 ENCOURAGE LEGISLATIVE PROTECTIONS - ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL
Contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that is charged with inspecting commerical breeding facilities, to encourage stricter enforcement and stronger laws. You may also wish to contact your U.S. Senators and Congressperson about your concerns. In Massachusetts, if you do not know who represents you, visit http://www.wheredoivotema.com/ and look for two U.S. Senators (under Statewide Office Holders) and Congressional (under District Representatives).
#6 ENCOURAGE LEGISLATIVE PROTECTIONS - ON THE STATE LEVEL
You can join the MSPCA's Animal Action Team and we will let you know about pending legislative and regulatory proposals on this issue and others. Unfortunately, there have been bills filed in the legislature in some years that would eliminate our authority (and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s) to inspect pet shops. This would obviously be very detrimental to these animals. We have defeated this type of harmful legislation in the past, but may need your help in the future.
You can also contact the Department of Agricultural Resources' Division of Animal Health and request to be put on their mailing list for notification of any future public hearings regarding the pet shop regulations. Their contact information is: Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114; Phone (617) 626-1720; Fax (617) 626-1850.
You may also wish to contact your state legislators and express your opinion and concerns regarding puppy mills and pet shops. If you do not know who represents you, you can find out at www.wheredoivotema.com and after entering your address, scroll down to find the name next to “Rep in General Court” and “Senator in General Court”.