Help make 2019 the year we end puppy mills! Here are 12 resolutions you can make TODAY! Hundreds of thousands of breeding dogs currently trapped in commercial breeding facilities (aka puppy mills) are counting on us.
1. Adopt, Don’t Shop! Never purchase a puppy from a pet store or online. If you insist on getting a puppy, please check every shelter and rescue in your area first, as they often have puppies. Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet are good resources. When you choose adoption over purchasing a dog, you save two lives – the life of the dog you adopted, and the dog that can now take its place in the shelter.
2. Spread the word through social media. Be an armchair advocate! Help spread the message about puppy mills by sharing and posting educational material on social media. Be sure to follow Harley and Teddy on Facebook and share their posts. Also, be sure to join one or all of our Harley’s Dream-sanctioned Facebook groups.
3. Don’t patronize stores that sell puppies. The general rule of thumb is, “If they sell puppies in the store; walk out the door!” By shopping at a store that sells puppies, you are inadvertently supporting the puppy mill industry.
4. Educate yourself so you can educate others. Learn all you can about puppy mills so you can educate your family and friends. Teach them how to avoid supporting puppy mills. Make them aware that breeding dogs are suffering in small cages their entire lives just to supply puppies to be sold in pet stores and online. Educational information can be found at www.harleysdream.org. Encourage would-be adopters to work through shelters, rescue organizations, or, at the very least, responsible breeders.
5. Be a voice of change within your community. Attend an organized rally (or consider organizing one yourself), sign a petition, and write letters to your legislators. Consider forming a Harley’s Heroes team in your area. Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers about puppy mills and explain how they keep their breeding dogs in unacceptable conditions. Notice how many people are advertising puppies in your classified ads while shelters overflow with unwanted pets.
6. Take action against pet stores that sell puppies. Nearly all puppies sold in pet stores are supplied to them by USDA licensed puppy mills. Reputable breeders do not sell their puppies to pet stores. Ask pet stores to consider switching to a humane business model, one that promotes adopting instead of selling puppies. And very important – never patronize a store that sells puppies!
7. Know the existing laws. Many states have laws that regulate commercial breeders and/or retail pet sellers. To find out how your state stacks up, visit Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America and Canada.
8. Contact your lawmakers! Starting at the most local level of government, you have the ability to educate and raise awareness with those who have the power to create laws. Learn how to contact your lawmakers here. Tell them how you feel about puppy mills, provide them links to puppy mill information and photos, and share Harley’s website with them: www.harleysdream.com Ask your lawmakers to pass stricter laws for pet stores and dog breeders. Keep your call, letter or email brief, respectful and to the point. You may not receive a response, but know that these communications are counted and can really influence legislators.
9. Elect animal-friendly candidates. Before any election (local, state or federal), ask candidates if they would support laws regulating commercial breeders. Learn their views on puppy mills and animal welfare and vote accordingly.
10. Raise awareness through fundraising. Host an awareness/fundraising event in your community (or online). You can educate the public about puppy mills while raising much-needed funds for Harley’s Dream or another nonprofit. The ideas are endless: set up a donation jar, organize a walk, bake/rummage sale, etc.
11. Become a Harley’s Hero. Join Harley’s Puppy Mill Action and Awareness Project and help make a difference for puppy mill dogs by spreading awareness through events, protests, and other effective ways. Keep in mind, there are many ways that our Harley’s Heroes create awareness and educate the public about puppy mills without ever leaving their comfort zone. Learn about this project here.