“Where do puppies come from?” Children asked this simple question revealed some touching, imaginative and heartwarming answers. Answers like, “from New York City, in a doggy condo,” or “from little puppy land,” or “treat world.” Fantasy lands where puppies are happy, healthy and surrounded by treats and love.
A new campaign launched by media agency Rokkan and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is hoping to educate society that most puppies found at pet stores, or purchased online, are produced in so-called puppy mills and that the reality of the conditions found at these breeding operations is far from dog treats, sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately, the reality of puppy mills is vastly different than the sweet, warm-fuzzy “puppy land” of childhood imagination. The campaign, titled Don’t Buy Into Puppy Mills, is meant to shed light on the hidden reality that is the still-thriving puppy mill industry.
John Goodwin, senior director of the stop puppy mills campaign at The HSUS, commented on the latest campaign, “We’ve had great success in many of our previous efforts, but the fact remains that mills are still operating thanks to support from well-intentioned but unsuspecting buyers. This latest campaign aims to chip away at the puppy mill facade and stress that where your puppy comes from matters.”
Sean Miller, Rokkan’s Chief Strategy Officer, added:
“Consumers have become hyper-aware of where their food and clothes come from, but what about their pets? It’s pretty hard to believe that most dog purchasers don’t know that they’re buying from puppy mills. Puppy love blinds us from the truth. By asking this one question, we hope to spur people to think more critically about where puppies really come from.”
While consumers may hope that the puppies who were purchased at a retail store, or online, came from safe, loving and humane environments, the sad reality is that many came from breeding operations where puppies are nothing more than a product to sell – a source of income, not a life worthy of love and care. Recently, 130 dogs and puppies were seized from a breeding operation in Mission Valley, Montana. On the kennel’s website, the owners of the facility assured consumers that puppies were raised in the most “loving, humane, clean environment possible.”
The reality is that the conditions discovered by local authorities were so deplorable that the kennel owners were facing felony animal cruelty charges. According to KPAX News, most of the dogs at the kennel lived in crowded wire cages – their feet had never touched the ground. After the LDR Kennel owners agreed to surrender custody of the dogs, the felony charges were dropped, reported NBC Montana.
(Photos Don’t Buy Into Puppy Mills)