First of all, I want to share this good news: this week, the Los Angeles city council approved an ordinance banning the retail sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits obtained from commercial breeders. LA will be joining at least 27 other cities in North America, including 10 in California, and is the largest community in the US to do so. Pet stores will only be able to sell pets obtained from shelters, registered rescues, and humane societies. The effort to get this legislation passed was led by one of my favorite rescues: Best Friends Animal Society (see my previous blog about this wonderful place). Hopefully, this will lead to other cities following suit! This effectively puts puppy mills out of the pet store business there. You can read more about this on Best Friends’ blog.
Now, what else can we as individuals do to put an end to puppy mills? Let’s start with some easy things:
- Support rescues and organizations such as Best Friends who are working on this issue. Other groups are:
- Do not buy a pet from a pet store who may buy from puppy mills, or from a breeder who sells online. If you want to buy from a breeder there are safe ways to do so, to be sure they are not a puppy mill. There are pet stores that are “puppy friendly” and you can find out who they are in your area here .
- If you are on Facebook, find and “like” the above groups. Share the information that they share, and get the word out any way you can! Educating people is very important. Often some of these groups are in contests to win money for their cause, and it is easy to help them that way, with just a couple clicks of your mouse.
- Sign a pledge to help stop puppy mills ; or a pledge to not shop at a pet store that sells puppies. There is a list available through the ASPCA that you can use to search your local area stores.
Other things you could do include contacting your legislators and letting them know where you stand on this issue; and encourage them to pass any pending legislation (discussed in Part 2). You can also find out your legislator’s record on these issues through the Humane Society Legislative Fund. This website can also provide you with contact info for your legislators.
There is even more you can do; and you can learn what some of these things are at the HSUS website. One of my favorite suggestions on there is writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, especially around the holidays, to educate people about puppy mills and adopting instead of buying puppies. They even give you sample letters to give you a guide. I am going to do this during this holiday season. This is an easy way to get the word out.
I think that is really the #1 thing we can all do: Spread the word and educate others!! Encourage everyone to follow this rule: “DON’T SHOP – ADOPT!!”