Learn more about ending the horrific cycle

By People Staff
Updated December 02, 2009 09:17 PM

You’ve heard horrific stories about dogs who live in puppy mills – from animals not receiving medical care to being cooped up in cages for most of their lives. Our hearts break for them, but how can a regular person help? Now through Dec. 6, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is sponsoring Puppy Mill Awareness Week to educate the public about the dangers and treatment. Here are five ways you can help:

1. Sign the pledge. The HSUS is asking animal lovers to promise not to purchase their next pets from pet stores or Internet sites, and to refrain from buying supplies from such places that sell puppies.

2. Lobby for Better Laws. Contact your legislators and let them know you’re concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the issue brought before Congress. Consider asking them to expand the reach of the Animal Welfare Act to include kennels that sell large numbers of puppies directly to the public.

3. Alert Your Community. Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is a great way to get the word out about puppy mills in your community. Write your own version, or download a pre-written letter from the HSUS that you can alter.

4. Purchase the Dog Savers Kit. The kit ($3) has everything you’ll need to start spreading the word about puppy mills in your community: printed materials, letter templates, tips for developing legislation and activity ideas. The kit is designed to help you discuss the puppy mill issue accurately and intelligently, whether speaking to friends and family or the local media.

5. Make Your Local Pet Store Puppy Friendly. The Puppy Friendly Pet Stores initiative asks dog lovers everywhere to work with their local animal shops to encourage them to implement “puppy friendly” policies by refusing to sell dogs in their store and supporting homeless pet adoptions instead.