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March 29, 2012

Discount Pet Supply Converts to Adoptions-Only Model; Takes The HSUS’ ‘Puppy Friendly’ Pledge

Instead of Selling Commercially-Raised Puppies, Store Now Helps Homeless Pets

Discount Pet Supply, located in Salem, N.H., has signed The Humane Society of the United States' Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge, and has converted to adopting out homeless puppies instead of selling commercially raised dogs. The store has now teamed up with breed-specific rescue organizations that provide the store with puppies in need of homes. Store co-owner Judy Blackington estimates that the store places approximately 35 rescued puppies per month.

“We’ve had more people come into the store than ever after converting to the Puppy Friendly model,” said co-owner Judy Blackington. “Our customers love that we’re an adoption center now and not a store that sells puppies raised in commercial breeding facilities. I’m very happy about the humane changes that we’ve made.” 

"We are thrilled to hear from the store owner that business is booming since she converted to a humane adoptions-only model," said Melanie Kahn, director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign. “Stores like Discount Pet Supply help demonstrate that pet stores don’t need to sell puppies to run a successful pet-related business, and perhaps more important, they are saving lives almost every day.”

With the addition of Discount Pet Supply, The HSUS now has more than 1,700 pet stores across the country that have taken an official stand against puppy mills by pledging never to sell puppies in their stores.

Stores that sign The HSUS’ Puppy Friendly pledge commit 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 reputable source. 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 lovers can find a list of the participating Puppy Friendly Pet Stores in their area at humanesociety.org/puppystores. The HSUS urges people who want to get a puppy to consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group first. If deciding to buy from a breeder, potential buyers should always visit the breeder in person to see that the dogs are treated humanely and ensure the puppies and their parents are living in spacious, clean areas. For more information, see humanesociety.org/puppy.

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.

Facts

•    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, reputable breeder.
•    Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.

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Media Contact: Jordan Crump: 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

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