In advance of the holiday season—the busiest puppy-buying time of the year—the Humane Society of the United States is cautioning consumers against purchasing a puppy from a pet store and unknowingly supporting the puppy mill industry. To better serve the high number of Spanish-speakers, the HSUS is distributing materials in Spanish for the first time this year as well as in English to consumers in the Miami area to educate them on the puppy-mill-to-pet-store-pipeline. Miami-Dade County has the highest concentration of puppy-selling pet stores in the country, with about 28 stores, making it the dream destination for puppy mills to send their animals to.
John Goodwin, senior director of the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, says: “Too often, puppy buyers only contact us after they have purchased a puppy and then realized within days that the puppy is sick or dying. Not only are they left with high vet bills, but they’re also often duped into signing on to high-interest loans to finance their new $3,000 pet. Consumers who want a puppy from a humane source should consider adopting from an animal shelter or reputable pet rescue first, or go only to a small, responsible breeder they have met in person.”
- Most puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills where they are raised in large numbers and inhumane conditions. Breeding dogs live in small cages for their entire lives.
- Florida is the number one state for pet store complaints in the country received by the HSUS.
- The HSUS has linked over a dozen Miami-area stores to large-scale commercial dog breeders, also known as puppy mills. Many have appeared in the HSUS’s Horrible Hundred reports for violations including failure to provide adequate food, water or veterinary care and dirty and unsafe living conditions. One breeder who supplied dogs to Glamorous Puppies, Luxury Puppies, Puppies Secret and Tiny Paws was cited by inspectors for having seven dogs die under their care with no clear explanation as to why.
- The HSUS encourages anyone who has purchased a sick puppy to submit a complaint to the HSUS and to the Florida Attorney General to formally document the incident and to contact the state’s Consumer Affairs division online or by phone (1-800-HELP-FLA).