Puppy Friendly Pet Stores Program Exceeds Milestone of 1,000 Members

With the addition of Pet Food Express, a California pet supply chain with 36 outlets, more than 1,000 independent pet stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia have now signed The Humane Society of the United States’ puppy friendly pet store pledge, committing not to sell puppies, but instead support local pet adoption programs. The pet stores also provide literature to help customers learn how to avoid puppy mills by getting a puppy from a reputable source.

The HSUS applauds these independent retailers for joining the program because their numbers prove it is not necessary to support the cruel puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

“These companies set a positive example of corporate responsibility for other businesses to follow,” said Melanie Kahn, director of The HSUS’ puppy mills campaign. “More than 1,000 pet stores across the country have now taken an official stand against puppy mills by pledging never to sell puppies in their store; an important step towards combating puppy mills across the country.”

Store owners who sign The HSUS’ pledge receive a placard proclaiming, “We love puppies; that’s why we don’t sell them,” to display in the store, as well as free materials for their customers about how to adopt a puppy or find a responsible breeder. The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the puppy-friendly sign.

Pet lovers can find a list of the participating Puppy Friendly Pet Stores in their state at humanesociety.org/puppystores.

Policy Helps Dogs Across the United States

The majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from puppy mills, which are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions. The breeding dogs at puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder’s home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

Public education materials for the Puppy Friendly Pet Stores program are paid for in part by The Michael Wiseman and Helen Garten Foundation Fund for Puppy Mill Education and Outreach.


  • Approximately one-third of the nation’s 9,000 independent pet stores sell puppies.
  • The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
  • Documented puppy mill conditions include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor food and shelter, crowded cages and lack of socialization.
  • Dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills suffer for years in continual confinement. They are bred as often as possible and then destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.
  • Pet stores and online sellers often use attractive Web sites to hide the truth and to dupe consumers into thinking that they are dealing with a small, reputable breeder.
  • Reputable breeders never sell puppies over the Internet or through a pet store and will insist on meeting the family who will be purchasing the dog.
  • Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.

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