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October 5, 2012

The HSUS Applauds Joe’s PET DEPOT for Helping Adoptable Dogs and Cats

Gillette and Rock Springs stores help homeless pets as part of The HSUS’s Puppy Friendly Pet Stores program

  • Young and old alike enjoyed meeting the dogs at the adoption event. Tim Kupsick/For The HSUS

  • This chihuahua mix delighted shoppers. Kristin Murphy/For The HSUS

  • Workers wrote up the paperwork so that shelter dogs like Buddy could go home. Tim Kupsick/For The HSUS

With support from The Humane Society of the United States, Joe Seneshale, owner of Joe's PET DEPOT, will no longer sell puppies at his stores, and has converted to a humane business model of selling pet supplies and making available homeless dogs and cats from local animal shelters. Seneshale owns two stores in Gillette and Rock Springs, Wyo.

“With millions of dogs and cats being euthanized each year due to a lack of homes, I realized that this decision was the right thing to do for the animals and for our community in addressing the pet overpopulation problem,” Seneshale said. “I’m proud to have the support of The Humane Society of the United States, and I look forward to my business being a part of the solution.”

The majority of pet stores in the United States that sell puppies carry dogs from puppy mills, which are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions. Unsuspecting consumers purchase puppies that may become sick, or worse. Increasingly, owners of pet stores are realizing they don’t need to sell puppies to run a successful pet-related business, and they are saving lives almost every day.  With the addition of Joe's PET DEPOT, 1,900 pet stores across the country have taken an official stand against puppy mills by signing The HSUS’ Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge and agreeing not to sell puppies in their stores.

“Joe Seneshale is  not only promising to no longer sell puppies, but is also providing space for animal shelters to showcase adoptable pets needing to find their forever homes,” said John Moyer, outreach coordinator, The HSUS's puppy mills campaign. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds Joe's PET DEPOT for making this puppy-friendly conversion and being a leader in the humane economy.”

The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying a puppy-friendly sign. Store owners who sign The HSUS's Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge commit not to sell puppies and instead support local pet adoption programs and provide literature that helps customers learn how to find a puppy from a reputable source. A list of the participating stores is available at humanesociety.org/puppystores.

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.

*Photos available from the media contact below

Media Contacts: The HSUS - Rebecca Basu, 240-753-4875, rbasu@humanesociety.org

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