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September 15, 2010

Florida Pet Store Discontinues Sale of Puppies, Takes The HSUS’ ‘Puppy Friendly’ Pledge

Gigi and Luca’s Pet Boutique of Lighthouse Point, Fla. has discontinued the sale of commercially-bred puppies and has signed The Humane Society of the United States' puppy friendly pet store pledge — committing not to sell puppies, but instead support local animal adoption programs.

"These stores have set a positive example of corporate responsibility for other businesses to follow," said Jennifer Hobgood, Florida state director for The HSUS. "Pet stores across the country can follow this example by signing the pledge to stop their puppy sales. Shelters and rescues are brimming with all types of dogs in need of homes." 

The HSUS applauds Gigi and Luca’s Pet Boutique for proving it is not necessary to support the cruel puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

Elizabeth Correa, the owner of Gigi and Luca’s Pet Boutique — whose store is named after her 11-year-old bulldog, Gigi, and her Yorkshire terrier, Luca — took the pledge because she “couldn’t sleep at night” thinking of the plight of her community’s homeless pets. Correa now works with Animal Aide, a small nonprofit animal shelter, to place dogs for adoption through the store. She also plans to hold monthly events with groups like Get a Life Pet Rescue, which would come and showcase homeless pets to potential adopters during one-day events.

Store owners and managers who sign The HSUS' pledge receive a placard proclaiming, "We love puppies; that's why we don't sell them," to display in the store, as well as materials about adopting a dog or finding a responsible breeder. The stores are also listed on The HSUS’s website. The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the puppy-friendly sign.

Facts

  • About 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.
  • Documented puppy mill conditions include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor food and shelter, crowded cages and lack of socialization.
  • Dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills suffer for years in continual confinement. They are bred as often as possible and then destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.
  • 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.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

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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