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Bay Area’s Pet Food Express Takes ‘Puppy Friendly’ Pledge

Pet Food Express, with 36 outlets in the greater San Francisco Bay area, has signed The Humane Society of the United States' puppy friendly pet store pledge, committing not to sell puppies, but instead support local pet adoption programs and provide literature that helps customers learn how to locate a puppy from a responsible source.

The HSUS applauds this corporate chain for joining the program because their business model proves it is not necessary to support the cruel puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

Pet Food Express has never sold puppies and has long been a strong advocate for pet adoption in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"This company sets a positive example of corporate responsibility for other businesses to follow," said Melanie Kahn, director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign. “With the addition of Pet Food Express, we now have more than 1,000 pet stores across the country that have taken an official stand against puppy mills by pledging never to sell puppies in their stores. These stores also help us to reach out and educate as many pet lovers as possible about the reality of puppy mills.”

Store owners 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 free materials for their customers about how to adopt a puppy or find a responsible breeder. The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the puppy-friendly sign.

“Pet Food Express is proud to serve pet lovers in our community by marketing quality pet supplies and helping local adoption groups and shelters,” said Mike Murray, director of community relations at Pet Food Express. “As the eighth largest pet specialty retailer in the U.S., this business model has been very successful for us. We’re glad to join the Puppy Friendly Pet Stores program to help spread the word about responsible pet acquisition.”

Pet Food Express will soon have two more locations opening, for a total of 38 outlets. Pet lovers can find a list of the participating Puppy Friendly Pet Stores in their area at humanesociety.org/puppystores.

Policy Helps Dogs Across the United States

The majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from puppy mills, which 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 firsthand 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.
  • 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, responsible breeder.
  • Responsible 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.


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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