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Pet Stores in 35 States Pledge to Protect Puppies

Pet stores put 'puppy friendly' in the window this holiday season

More than 400 pet stores across North America have signed The Humane Society of the United States' puppy friendly pet store pledge. The pledge indicates the store's commitment to not to sell puppies, but instead support local animal adoption programs and educate customers about how to find a puppy from reputable sources.

The holidays are the busiest puppy-buying season of the year. Shopping at humane-minded businesses is one way to be sure not to support the cruelty of puppy mills this holiday season.

Pet stores participating in the program span the nation and represent more than 230 cities in 35 states. The HSUS applauds these independent retailers because their actions prove it is not necessary to support the puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

The independent retailers that have signed the puppy friendly pledge are listed here.

"Pet stores that profit from the cruel puppy mill industry need to stop their puppy sales. We encourage people who want a new pet to first consider adoption from local shelters and rescue groups, which are filled with healthy, loving dogs who need a family of their own this holiday," said Stephanie Shain, senior director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign.

Puppy mills are the main supplier to pet stores that sell puppies. Puppy mills are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions. The breeding dogs at puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder's home first hand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel puppy mill industry.


  • Approximately one-third of the nation's 9,000 independent pet stores sell puppies.
  • The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
  • Puppies born in puppy mills are more likely to develop health and/or behavioral issues than puppies who are born to reputable breeders.
  • Pet stores and online sellers often use attractive Web sites to hide the truth and to dupe consumers into thinking that they are dealing with a small, reputable breeder.
  • Reputable breeders never sell puppies over the Internet or through a pet store and will insist on meeting the family who will be purchasing the dog.
  • Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit humanesociety.org/puppymills.


Follow The Humane Society of the United States on Twitter.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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