Friday, April 4, 2008

Thoughts After Oprah

Armed with a hanky, I watched Oprah's show on puppy mills. The first thing I did when it was over was give my dogs a treat. ;P It was good how it showed not only puppy mills, but also the effect down the road on overpopulation. I'm glad they pointed out towards the end that puppy mills are not just in PA - they're everywhere.

It's easy to help the cause even if you are not interested in getting a pet for yourself. If anyone you know wants to buy a pet, warmly suggest that they go to a shelter or rescue. They were right on the show - I've seen MANY purebred puppies available from rescue groups. To find one, simply google the breed name and "rescue." You can also donate money and/or food to shelters and rescue groups. Or simply show your support by signing the pledge with the HSUS not to support pet stores that sell puppies (by purchasing other supplies as well) or internet breeders.

The AKC made a comment on the show about finding responsible breeders. I agree that responsible breeders are doing it out of care and love of a breed, but people who are looking for breeders must be extremely cautious - forged AKC papers, fake "Kennel Clubs", and false health guarantees are used by irresponsible breeders to promote their puppies. One way to find a reputable breeder is through a rescue group that deals with that breed. Also, like it was said on Oprah, be sure to check out the breeder in person. One person from a local rescue group once told me that reputable breeders don't need to advertise through websites. They often have waiting lists for future litters because they have built a reputation for being quality breeders.

From a newsletter sent out by the HSUS immediately following the show:

  1. If you are thinking of bringing a new dog into the family, or know someone who is, request a free copy of our puppy buyer's guide for information on how to find reputable breeders, shelters, and rescue groups.

  2. Ask your federal legislators to crack down on puppy mills.

  3. Get the word out about puppy mills: write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Visit to educate yourself.

  4. Download one of our Stop Puppy Mills campaign badges or banners to your own MySpace or Facebook page, blog, or website.

  5. Did you adopt your canine companion from a rescue group or shelter? Then order our Proud to Adopt care package.

  6. Download Puppy Mill Cruelty flyers and post them or give them out at your neighborhood dog park, to engage fellow dog owners and help spread the word.

  7. Help us place advertisements and billboards to spread the word about puppy mill cruelty.

For more information:
HSUS site on puppy mills
ASPCA site on puppy mills
Info and links from Oprah about puppy mills

...and I'm spent.

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