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Videos Show Why Puppy Mills Stink

The HSUS announces video contest winners

screen shot from winning entry by Carmen Ferraro in the

The Humane Society of the United States has announced the winners and finalists of its first puppy mills-themed video contest, "Why Puppy Mills Stink."

Contestants submitted roughly 90-second videos to The HSUS, and submissions in the judged category were based on originality, creativity and quality.

Selection of the winners and finalists wrapped up The HSUS' sixth annual Puppy Mill Action Week, which was held to bring attention to the plight of dogs suffering in puppy mills.

"We received so many creative, touching and inspiring entries, and it was very difficult to pick a winner. All of the videos submitted are powerful examples of the strong support for cracking down on puppy mills," said Melanie Kahn, senior director of The HSUS’ Puppy Mills Campaign. "The videos will raise awareness and will encourage people to take action to stop this cruelty."

This video titled "Why Puppy Mills Stink" by Michelle Geiger of Appleton, Wis., was a finalist in the judged category.


This video titled "Be Their Light" by Elyse Harmon of Glenmont, N.Y., was a finalist in the judged category.


This video titled "Rescue Me!" by Brian Bullard of Houston, Texas, was a finalist in the judged category.


Based on online votes cast by The HSUS supporters, the "People's Choice" award went to Jennifer Peterson of Los Angeles, who won for her video "I Will Be Saved." This video also was a finalist in the judged category.


Carmen Ferraro, of Richmond, Va., and owner of Community Co., won for "Angel's Story," a hand-drawn cartoon about the life of a puppy in a puppy mill set to music and narration.

"Angel's Story" will be broadcast on television in Ferraro's home state of Virginia and other selected media markets.

Both the winners and finalists will receive free tuition to a new online course, Stop Puppy Mills: Advocating for Change, offered through The HSUS' education affiliate Humane Society University. 

The puppy mills campaign will continue to share some of the excellent non-winning entries on its Facebook page over the next two weeks.

Dog-friendly duds

You can help the dogs and puppies who suffer every day in puppy mills by wearing campaign gear from Humane Domain to spread the word.

To learn more about how to stop puppy mills, go to humanesociety.org/puppymills.

To see more videos, check out The HSUS’ Puppy Mills Campaign Facebook page, where additional contest entries will be uploaded.

Puppy Mill 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 websites 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.


Media Contact:  Rebecca Basu: 301-258-3152, rbasu@humanesociety.org

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