JoAnna Lou
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Facebook Says No to Puppy Mills
ASPCA teams up with the social network to clean up their online classifieds

In some ways ridding the world of puppy mills seems easy. If people simply stopped buying animals from pet stores, the problem would be solved. But in reality, it sometimes feels like a battle that will never be won.

Anytime a friend is looking for their first dog, I try to educate them about puppy mills and point them in the direction of reputable breeders or shelters. But many times, I've been disappointed over the years when some of those friends give into instant gratification and turned to a pet store.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the Internet has only helped perpetuate puppy mills. Buying dogs online has become as common as buying from pet stores. This is particularly troubling because dogs sold on the Internet are exempt from the Animal Welfare Act license and inspection requirements of brick and mortar pet stores.

Now, puppy mills have one less place to advertise online. The ASPCA's No Pet Store Puppies campaign teamed up with Facebook and Oodle, the company behind the social network's Marketplace, to put new measures in place that ensures puppy mill dogs will no longer be sold in Facebook's online classifieds.

This is a small step in solving the problem of online puppy sales, but it's great to see key companies, such as Facebook, supporting the campaign. Puppy mills contribute to the overpopulation problem and
ignore the best interests of the dogs they exploit. Preventing these sales might be an uphill battle, but it's an critical one. I'm hopeful that one day we will be successful in making puppy mills a thing of the past.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Brett McBain/flickr.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Stephanie | March 27 2012 |

If people don't "rescue" dogs from the pet stores, what happens to those pups? They are a victim and deserve a good home too but it seems like they will suffer even more when they sit in the pet store forever.

By no means would I advocate for buying a dog from a pet store, let alone a reputable breeder (when there are so many adoptable dogs) but maybe increasing awareness on where these dogs come from may be the answer so that unknowing consumers don't give in to the puppy in the window.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 28 2012 |

Shelters and rescue groups who market their adoptable pets well, especially in off-site adoption events, can help shut down the sales of puppies and kittens in their community because the public adopts instead. A winning situation all around. Congratulations to those communities and volunteers working hard and saving more lives!

Thank you to the groups who help get community pets spayed and neutered when people need to find homes for babies or rehome their pets.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 31 2012 |

I recently rescued a 6 year old poodle and it was the most rewarding experience. She was a priding dog form a puppy mill and after 5 years living in a cage was finally rescued. She is the sweetest most feel behaved dog. I would definitely adopt again.

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