The Humane Society of the United States urges other puppy buyers not
to make the same mistake
It was reported this weekend that Britney Spears purchased a Yorkshire
Terrier puppy for $3,000 from a pet store in Bel Air, Calif. after spending
less than 30 minutes in the shop. The Humane Society of the United
States is extremely concerned not only that the pop star purchased a dog
from a pet store, but also that she apparently took very little time to
make such a major decision.
According to Stephanie Shain, The HSUS director of outreach for companion
animals, “Ms. Spears is setting a damaging example to the public.
Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills — factory-like facilities,
churning out purebred and “designer” puppies in large numbers. Puppy mills
look only to make a profit; commonly disregard the dog’s physical and emotional
health; and do not adhere to sound breeding practices. The result is often
sick or dying puppies who suffer from genetic, mental and physical problems
that are not immediately apparent. The consequence is always breeding dogs
left for years suffering in cages. Every time someone purchases a dog from
a pet store, they risk perpetuating the horrendous business of puppy mills.”
In addition, The HSUS is concerned that Ms. Spears took little time
to choose the right dog. Shain explains, “Choosing a dog is a major
lifestyle decision that should not be taken lightly. We suggest that people
take time to choose a member of their family, and to be sure they are working
with a reputable breeder.”
Most pet stores are adamant that they do not support puppy mills and
that the dogs they sell are strictly from “reputable breeders.” However,
many people who purchase their puppy from a pet store end up with a very
ill animal. The HSUS is sure Ms. Spears doesn’t want her money supporting
animal cruelty by buying a puppy mill puppy. Shain would like her
to know, “If you send us a copy of your dog’s papers, we’d be happy to
look into the situation for you.”
* Approximately one-third of the nation’s 11,000
pet stores sell puppies.
* The HSUS estimates 2 to 4 million puppy mill dogs
are sold each year in the U.S.
* Puppy mill puppies are more likely to have severe
health problems, genetic defects and behavioral issues.
* 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, being bred as often as possible, and are killed, sold through auctions
like a used car, or abandoned when they are no longer useful to the mill
* The Internet has become another tool for puppy
mills. Pet stores and some breeders use attractive websites to hide the
truth and to dupe the public into thinking that they are dealing with a
* Reputable 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 drastically contribute to the millions
of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.
* Never buy a dog from a pet store. Visit a shelter
where one of four dogs is a purebred, or find a breed rescue group.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal
protection organization – backed by 10 million Americans, or one of every
30. 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.