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Join Me and Take the No Puppy Mill Pledge

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Puppies are adorable. Yet, whenever I see them in pet stores, my heart shudders. Their cuteness can lure you in, and that happened to my son. He ran into a pet store and begged me for one of those puppies. I proceeded to lecture him and anyone else within hearing distance on why we will NEVER purchase a dog or cat from a pet store. The owner came by and assured me that her dogs did not come from a puppy mill. When I asked to see the dogs’ papers she shooed me out of her store.

Photo courtesy of the ASPCA.

The only time to consider purchasing a pet at a pet store is when they host adoptions from local animal shelters. My local PetSmart and PETCO host adoption weekends.

No Pet Store Puppies
I hope you will join me in pledging that you will NOT shop at any pet store that sells puppies or kittens. This pledge is part of an ASPCA national campaign called No Pet Store Puppies. According to the ASPCA, 78 percent of adults nationwide do not know where puppies in pet stores come from. They are unaware that most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.

The ASPCA also found that nearly 80 percent of adults would not purchase a puppy at a pet store if they knew that pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Since many consumers don’t know the truth, they spend millions of dollars for puppy mill dogs and pet supplies at pet stores across the country.

No Pet Store Puppies raises awareness about puppy mill cruelty and urges consumers to pledge not to shop at pet stores for any items—including food, supplies, or toys—if that store sell puppies. The pledges will be sent to strategically selected pet stores in order to pressure them to stop selling dogs. Additionally, the campaign urges consumers to share their pledge with others via social networking sites. Convincing fellow pet owners not to shop for anything, including puppies, at pet stores that sell dogs is the most effective way to stop the demand for puppy mill dogs.

I signed the pledge, and have never and will never shop at stores for anything if they sell puppies or kittens. To take the pledge click here.

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73 comments to Join Me and Take the No Puppy Mill Pledge

  • Stacey Kowal

    I completely support your efforts and respect your initiative to make change.

    Please check out my twitter page @LucyLOO2008

  • Will Garfinkel

    We need stronger disclosure laws that make it mandatory to tell the consumer where a puppy or kitten comes from with harsh penalties for failure to comply and strict enforcement. We also need mandatory spay and neuter laws. Better yet, close down the puppy mills!

  • Hi Will, I agree with you on all counts. Michele

  • sue mcguey

    Done, shared & posted to Facebook!~

  • Patrick M. Donovan

    I fully support the pledge, we have a strict family rule: nothing is bought from pet stores that sell pets. That’s slavery.

  • Thanks Sue!–Michele

  • Once again, I agree with you Patrick. We have the same rule at our house. Michele

  • Fulvia

    I support the pledge! There are so many rescue dogs in need of a forever home! Here in Italy I volonteer to help these poor creatures to find a caring and loving family and I strongly discourage people who want to buy a puppy. So many innocent souls need our help!

  • Thanks Fulvia, And so many wonderful cats and dogs, puppies and kittens, are available at rescue groups and shelters–for a fraction of the price!!!–Michele

  • Danica Haddadi

    We have the same rule at our house: no shopping at stores for anything if they sell puppies or kittens.

  • Justin Freed

    Great campaign. It will work.

  • Jerneja

    I am with you Michele! Thanks for all you do!!

  • Gina Rosenberg

    All of my dogs and cats are rescues. We did get a dog from our local Petco when they hosted an event with our local shelter. We weren’t expecting to get a pet that day, but they had Shelley, who was so beautiful and friendly, we couldn’t resist. She has been with us over 2 years. We will never shop at a pet store that sells dogs or cats. We signed the pledge.

  • Roberta Rosen

    All of our pets come from shelters. It’s the only way to go. Adopt Don’t Shop is our motto at our house. Thanks for this post Michele!

  • Amy DeVita

    I agree that we must vote with our pocketbooks. This campaign will make a difference. I want to see the day come when we all get our pets from shelters/rescue groups and when everyone spays or neuters their pets. And we never would even go to a breeder.

  • Mia Smith

    Thank you Michele for posting this. I have never supported stores that sell dogs or cats. Now, I just signed the pledge. It felt good.

  • Susan Hellman

    Thanks Michele! I signed and shared with my friends.

  • Troy Marksman

    I’m sharing this with my rescue group. We rescue pit bulls.

  • Martin Lander

    I also belong to a pit bull rescue group, and you will practically never see pits at pet stores. Even though they are my favorite breed, I will never shop at a store that sells dogs or cats. Most of the breeds at these stores are small dogs, and I prefer big and medium sized dogs. But we must be kind to all animals.

  • Lawrence Wilson

    I just signed the pledge and will share with my network of friends. Thank you Michele–keep up the great work.

  • Mary Reid

    I love this site. I signed the pledge.

  • Robert Holloway

    Thanks Michele! These posts that call us to action are the best. It makes me feel empowered to take the pledge. I would never shop at stores that sell pets!

  • Jordan Mazer

    Signed and shared. Thanks for this important post about closing puppy mills. They are run by some of the worst people on the planet.

  • wolf dreams

    I’m with ya.

  • Linda

    I would never buy a pet from a pet shop.
    There are so many animals being euthanized because
    of overcrowded shelters.

    Rescue is the only way to go!

  • Kate Kenner

    I have no plans to ever buy a puppy from a pet store. I can not support them and so many dogs need homes. My dogs have all been rescued except for one when I was 16. My mother was involved and i knew nothing about shelters or puppy mills (it was a long time ago). I found my first dos when I was 3 and since then all have found me somehow. Rescues for me forever.

  • Kc

    I took the pledge and thanks for bringing it to my attention. I agree completely that with so many wonderful dogs and cats waiting in shelters for a good home — why would anyone support puppy mills or buy anything from a store that does support them.

  • FentonDude

    I worked at a pet store for many years. We provided a service to the community and took in litters of unwanted kittens and puppies, got them the first round of shots, and offered them for a pittance. This saved hundreds of litters from being dumped at the pound or shelters, or worse. Please don’t arbitrarily condemn shops for selling dogs or cats. get to know the people at your local store, and find out the story of the pets they offer. This is like pledging to only support and acquire pets from “no-kill” shelters… what happens to the animals that are waiting their final moments at the “kill” shelters? They need rescuing too!

  • After interviewing Bella, the Yorkie rescued from a Missouri puppy mill, for Interviews from the Ark I would never consider buying ANYTHING from a pet store that sells dogs or cats. What we learned from Bella about her five years as a breeding mom was enough to give you nightmares.

    Thanks for posting this pledge, Michelle!

  • Edwin M

    I will gladly abide by your pledge and with so many shelters with dogs and cats in need of good homes why would anyone go to a “pet store”?



  • Gracias Maria!–Michele

  • Penny Ryan

    With pleasure, these practice is terrible, more explotation.

  • Lisa

    I believe all pets should be adopted from a shelter and ALL puppy mills should be shut down. Our local SPCA has picked up many dogs from puppy mills and it is sad to see the condition of the dogs. Their vet has treated them for ticks, fleas, heartworm etc… I think there needs to be laws against puppy mills.

  • Thanks Michelle. This is SO easy to promise! My heart goes out to all those poor animals that are being sold in shops. It is such a shame. I promise that I will always rescue animals only from shelters or ones who come starving to my door!

  • Becky

    I agree that puppy mills need to be stopped now. What happens to the puppies in the pet stores if they are not purchased?

  • That is a big problem. Not all puppy store puppies are sold. Some go to rescues and others go to shelters–both kill and no kill shelters. So if we stop this problem at the root–by educating people about the cruelties behind puppy mills, we can eradicate the problem.

    And by supporting pet shops that sell puppies, we just increase the breeding cycle. It’s so sad for these dogs. Many have to be retrained because they are often kept so crowded in cages with little human contact. Many of these dogs get along well with other dogs. They need to be trained on how to be around people. Many of the dogs have fear issues. The ones who are kept outdoors crammed together in rows of cages don’t want to go inside–a home! The ones who are stacked in cages on top of each other in garages have fears of going outside. I’ve spoken to animal behaviorists who do a lot of training of puppy mill dogs. The ASPCA has a really good retraining program for when they rescue puppy mill dogs. Here is the link: http://petnewsandviews.net/2010/11/rehabbing-puppy-mill-dogs/.
    I just want puppy mills to be shut down because of the profound cruelty it causes.–Michele

  • Karen Beliveau

    Great idea,
    I always buy bird seed and millet ( for my 2 cage free cockatiels )at a pet store that sells dogs,and other animals etc.
    I always chat with the manager and I will be informing her of the reason WHY I will no longer shop there, she’s a sweetheart, hope I can convience her to try and do something . . . .
    Wish we had a petition for Canada . . . .

  • Thanks Karen, That is great news and so good of you to talk to the manager of the pet store. Michele

  • Hi Becky, I asked my contact at the ASPCA, and here is what she said, “I can tell you on background that unfortunately – there is no one simple answer to that question. Often, we don’t know what happens to the puppies that don’t sell straight away. Generally, consumers are interested in purchasing young puppies so if a dog is not immediately purchased and lingers in the pet store, his or her chances of being sold start to decline. Pet store owners may reduce the price of an older puppy in hopes of enticing a buyer, but that puppy runs the risk of ending up in shelter or rescue group, being sold at auction, or simply disappearing.”

    So by not shopping at pet stores that sell dogs and cats, we can end this terrible cycle of puppy mill breeding.–Michele

  • David Kane

    I agree — pet stores should be avoided. Go to an animal shelter or pick up a stray from the street.

  • Becky

    Thanks for the extra info about the puppies that aren’t sold. So sad.

  • Irene Miller

    As long as puppy mills/breeders are allowed to continue to churn out puppies, and irresponsible people choose not to spay or neuter their dogs & cats,and pet shops are allowed sell pets, the animal shelters will continue to have to do society’s heartbreaking dirty work and put millions of healthy cats (and dogs) to death every year. The Governments need to get their act together & put a stop to this dreadful carnage of the innocent animals.

  • Too many animals without PERMANENT homes, just like children

  • Dave, I always say I will get my next pet from a shelter. All of my pets came from the street.–Michele

  • Nancy Chismar

    Always rescue and encourage others to do likewise…

  • Sharon Frankel

    Like your other readers, my family and I NEVER shop at stores that sell pets. We would never support puppy mills. And we don’t support breeders either because shelters are filled with thousands of dogs and cats that need forever homes. People who support breeders are just selfish.

  • Jill

    Thank you Michele!

  • Matt McCaffery

    Thanks so much for this. I am going to share this with my shelter. We will all take the pledge.

  • Val Rose


  • I fully support the pledge. I would never buy an animal from any pet store,all my animals are rescues.

  • I fully support the pledge. I would never buy an animal from a pet store, all my animals have been rescues.

  • nancy sands


  • I will NEVER, and have NEVER bought a puppy/dog from a pet store! I fully commit to the No Puppy Mill Pledge!
    Thanks for the great article,
    -Jen @http://jenleeblair.wordpress.com/

  • Jen wilk

    Puppy mills are awful places where dogs are deprived of not only live, but the basic needs for survival. Disgusting.

  • […] Join Me and Take the No Puppy Mill Pledge […]

  • Shannon Dalton

    Always adopt a homeless pet!

  • Ivy

    Will not buy! Will ADOPT!

  • I took the pledge – thanks for sharing!

  • I never have and never will. Hope everyone will take the pledge, for where there is no demand there is of course no necessity for supply!! Rosi Caswell Animal Whisperer Therapist

  • Margaret

    There are too many beautiful dogs and cats that need warm loving homes but instead are euthanized weekly at humane societies for me to ever buy a pet from a pet store. I have taken the pledge.

  • Susie

    adopt a shelter animal
    you will never regret it
    spay and neuter and this horror
    of animal shelters can be furever stopped

  • De LaFreniere

    I have a little Poodle/Maltese ~ Buddy ~ who was rescue from a puppy mill here in Ontario as well as 4 rescue cats and a rat.
    Not only are they all loving animals but Buddy helped me with the loss of my 15 year old dog Mickey who I still miss every day.
    We need to stop these greedy people!!! Save the animals.

  • Kim Anderson

    I took the pledge, and am sharing this with my friends.

  • Hal Burton

    Signed and will share on FB and Twitter. Thanks. I would never shop at a store that sells animals–no exceptions.

  • Diane Powers

    Signed and shared!

  • Casie Seitman

    Signed and sharing!

  • Helen Coverse

    Signed. Thank you~

  • Sally McIntyre

    Signed with hope. Thank you for this petition.

  • Janet Bachelor

    Signed and will share on FB and anywhere else I can. Thanks. This is only the beginning…we need a national law that will outlaw puppy mills! There’s enough proof of the horrible ways that they neglect their dogs. NO MORE PUPPYMILLS!!

  • Lillian Monserrat

    Signed and shared. I will NEVER shop in a store that sells puppies.

  • Torrie Valentin

    Signed. Thank you for sharing.

  • Gregory Smith

    Information well presented and very useful. Thanks Michele