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Student Action: A Cause for Paws

How you can help stop puppy mills

What is a puppy mill? If you've ever looked at cute puppies in a pet store or for sale on the internet, chances are you've seen a puppy mill puppy.

These storefronts and websites hide the suffering and loneliness that breeder dogs and their puppies face. Breeding dogs are forced to live in terrible conditions for their entire lives, and the puppies themselves are often sickly. Some die within days or weeks of purchase. Watch the video above to learn more.

Most people are unaware that when they buy a puppy from a pet store, via the internet, or from any place they have not visited in person, they are probably supporting a puppy mill. Teach people how to avoid supporting this cruel industry!

1. First, sign the puppy mill pledge. Promise not to buy any puppies that may have come from a puppy mill.

2. Pick one of the options below to teach others not to support puppy mills.   

Use the news.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers. A short, polite letter is most effective. Read our tips on writing and submitting your letter and check out examples.

Flyer your community. 

Download and print our flyers and bring them to veterinarians, groomers, and other pet-related businesses in your area. "Getting a Puppy?" and "How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder" are designed to help potential pet owners avoid puppy mills. (Just be sure to get permission from the business before putting up your flyers.)

Be a mentor.

Teach younger students about dog care and what they can do about puppy mills. Click here for details

Lobby your lawmakers.

Contact your federal and state legislators and let them know that you're concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the puppy mill issue to be a priority.

Check out your state's laws. How does your state define proper care? Are puppy mills required by law to give proper sanitation, ventilation, or nutrition for their dogs? Ask your federal lawmakers to expand the reach of the Animal Welfare Act to include kennels that sell large numbers of puppies directly to the public.

Make a video.

Create a short video to inspire others to take action to stop puppy mills. Upload your video to YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, or another video sharing site. Think about using some of the information located in the Puppy Buying Tips and other info at humanesociety.org/puppymills as a resource.



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