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November 21, 2008

Barking Mad About Puppy Mills

Since our announcement yesterday making public the results of our latest puppy mill investigation, the message of puppy mill cruelty has been front and center across the country.

Our 8-month investigation exposes Petland, Inc. as the nation’s largest retail supporter of puppy mills. With approximately 140 Petland stores nationwide, it's a national chain, and it's got a major problem.

Petland has the opportunity to do the right thing here—to follow PETCO and PetSmart in only offering adoption of dogs from shelters, rather than the sale of dogs from mills. I hope the executives there are listening to what a nation of thoughtful, animal-loving consumers are saying—that Americans will no longer ignore this kind of mistreatment of pets.

My staff and I were so touched by your submissions to our "Pets Against Puppy Mills" photo album. I post some of them today and share a slideshow of your photos. If you haven’t already, please add your pet’s photo. And be sure to write to Petland’s corporate headquarters and let them know they've got to change their ways.

Here are some of your "pets’" responses to “how I feel about puppy mills”:

Please don't buy from pet stores. My mommy bought me from Petland before she knew better, she traced my papers back and I was from a puppy mill!! Now she does everything to spread the word about this horrible situation. Please adopt. —"Cracker" - Shana in Elizabeth , PA

Bailey I am a puppy mill survivor. I never got the chance to feel the ground beneath my feet, let alone run and play. I am enjoying my new found freedom. I love running through the yard and watching all those squirrels! I'm so thankful there were people who cared enough to come and rescue me from that awful place. —"Bailey" (pictured at left) - Alison in Columbus, Ohio

Sad, disgusted, hurt. Animals are not just money makers, they are our FAMILIES, and should always be treated as such! —"Scooter & Gracie" - Vicki in Greer, SC

Puppy mills BITE. I spent 8 years in one, having litter after litter of puppies, bored, depressed, and lonely. When I was rescued, I had a huge tooth abscess—OUCH—and itchy, bleeding skin. I didn't know how to climb stairs, or even how to play! —"Daisy" - Catherine in Wheaton, MD

Puppies shouldn't be kept in cages. They should be free to run and play like me. —"Lucy" - Bez in Wollongong, Australia

I came from a puppy mill. I was locked in a cage for almost 5 months before my mommy came to rescue me. My little paws didn't even touch the ground before. I am having a really hard time trusting people. I know I am in a great home but I still can't stop thinking about the horrible conditions I was in for 5 months. —"Baxter" - Karen in Metairie, LA

Zion and Holden We were both rescued from animal shelters and HATE the idea that with all the dogs out there that need to be adopted, people would actually go into a pet store and purchase one that was born under horrible conditions. Please stop the madness and adopt a great pet just like us!!! —"Zion and Holden" (pictured at right) - Mallory in Charlotte, NC

My name is Roper and I'm against puppy mills. I know that I'm a lucky pooch because my family adopted me from a shelter instead of getting a new pup from a pet store. I may not have pedigree papers but I'm very loyal and have a big heart. I love my family and would do anything for them! I just wish all my friends at the shelter could find homes too. They so badly long for a family to call their own. Give us a chance, a lot of famous dogs were just mutts like me! —"Roper" - Sabrina in Bradenton, FL

We purchased Lilly from the Lake St. Louis, Mo. Petland in April 2008, before we knew that Petland was a recipient of puppy mill puppies. This is such a tragic discovery! We have made great friends with the owners of Petland, and now we are completely horrified. Lilly is very upset. We are just thankful that she is a healthy puppy. We plan to bring all of this material to our Lake St. Louis Petland to protest and discourage people from purchasing puppies from Petland ASAP! Lilly will come, too! This is a very dear issue to her heart, also. Thank you for your research and your discovery. —"Lilly Puppy" - Lauren in Ofallon, MO

I can't imagine what it's like for my poor friends locked away in puppy mill cages across the country. My mom has her own campaign against puppy mills. She works on it tirelessly. If everyone out there including us furry creatures work together to get the word out about pet stores/Internet breeders and the puppy mill connection, we can all help make a difference for the poor puppy mill dogs. Let's help save them together. Peacefully protest your local pet store like my mom and all her many friends do each weekend straight through the holidays! The largest puppy buying season of the year. Ask everyone to adopt and not to buy. —"Blazer" - Sherry in Londonderry, NH

Blinkie Cleo, my beagle friend, told me that she wants all puppy mills to close and that only humans can speak up for them as dogs can't speak for themselves. Help! —"Blinkie" (pictured at left) - Karen in New Berlin, WI

We are so thankful to have owners who don't support puppy mills! All dogs, not just us, deserve lots of love, compassion, exercise, healthy food and medical care and should never be caged up! Thank you for not supporting puppy mills! —"Harley & Star" - Dawn in Cooper City, FL

GRRRR!!!! I was born in Tijuana, Mexico; I have known hunger and neglect—I was a street dog... now I am man's best friend, loved and healthy. My body still carries the scars of my past but my heart doesn't. I feel so much sadness knowing that there are animals out there still suffering. —"Leela" - Erica in San Diego, CA

I hate puppy mills. I have had firsthand experience living in a mill. I was taken from my mother too soon; I have many health problems since I came from a mill. But a nice lady came and rescued me from the conditions I lived in. She has become an advocate for little ones like me. Please do not encourage the selling of puppies either at a pet store or Internet breeder. Not every pup is as lucky as me!! —"Coco" - Kim in Monroe, N.C.

Fizban Fizban was an adult breeder dog rescued by GRRAND from a puppy mill in Kentucky. When we got him, he could barely walk from hip dysplasia and lack of exercise. He had a cancerous tumor that had been ignored. He had mouth fungus and was missing teeth But, look at him now. All that remains is the horrible tattoo inside his ear—he was a number, not a pet. I love him so. He is a testament to the unconditional forgiveness and love that a dog can have. —"Fizban" (pictured at right) - Gail in Liberty Township, OH

I came from a puppy mill in Mississippi and shudder when I think about how my life began. I still have many bad behaviors that began with my time there and don't want any other dogs to go through what I experienced, not to mention my mom who is probably still there. Please help other dogs like me! Thanks. —"Daisy" - Chris in Gaithersburg, MD

I came from a puppy mill and I think my parents are still there somewhere in Arkansas. I am the lucky one who got out! Please stop buying puppies at pet stores! —"Milo" - Abby in Denver, CO

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