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Dogs can speak, but can you hear them? September 19th is ‘National Puppy Mill Awareness Day’ & ‘Responsible Dog Ownership Day,’ started in 2004 by animal activist and Last Chance for Animals. We are excited to be involved in raising awareness to create a safer environment for all pups. If you’re searching for a fun, loving pet, be sure to check out our adoptables page and let's find your FurEver Friend!

"It’s a fact that dogs, the furever friend, bring countless benefits to our lives. They help us stay fit by reminding us to get outside for those daily walks. Petting them decreases our heart rate and releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make us feel content. Dogs provide emotional support to those who need it, and trained service dogs help their handlers to remain active in their communities. Dogs are social lubricants as well, breaking the ice when we meet new people or explore new places. Dogs are unconcerned with political affiliation, economic status, or the make of your car; they just want to spend time with you. You owe it to them to make sure that you are reciprocating that devotion by reviewing and committing to the AKC’s Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise."

Here are some of our best tips for being a responsible dog owner:
  • Spay/Neuter your dog.

  • Microchip your dog and keep the information up to date.

  • License your dog and adhere to all local ordinances.

  • Provide proper medical care and ensure their annual vaccinations are kept up to date.

  • Always obey leash laws and all local ordinances.

  • Dog-proof your home! Secure any dangerous home items, cleaning chemicals, or toxic foods that your dog could potentially get into. Create a secure space for them to go outside.

  • Commit to caring for them their entire life - this includes proper housing, feeding, vet care, and unconditional love.

  • Provide adequate shelter that meets the needs of their health, safety, and welfare. We always recommend keeping your dogs inside but if your dog is an outdoor dog, be sure you are exceeding the minimum requirements to care for them including appropriate food, water, and shelter that protects them from the elements.

  • Provide proper training and socialization to protect your dog in any situation they may encounter throughout their lives.

  • Plan for an emergency! Always include your pets when creating your family's emergency plans. Find a trusted person to care for your dog in the event something happens to you. If you live alone, be sure to keep a card in your wallet to let first responders know that you have a dog who is home alone.

  • Keep your dog active - stimulating toys, going for walks, working on training, etc. All of these activities will keep your dog happy and healthy.

  • Give your dog nutritious food and stick to the recommended serving size. Limit treats and even opt for more nutritious treats such as apples, green beans, carrots, etc.

  • Save for the unknown! Owning a dog is a huge investment in terms of time and money. Always plan for emergencies and save for unexpected costs that can occur such as emergency vet visits.

Here is a great article created by the American Veterinary Medical Association that goes into further detail on what it means to be a responsible pet owner:

Now that we've covered responsible dog ownership, let's stroll onto the facts on puppy mills..

Puppy Mill Statistics

  • There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States (this includes both licensed and unlicensed facilities).

  • Over 2 million puppies bred in mills each year.

  • An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.

Where are puppy mill puppies sold?

  • Nearly all puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills. Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for puppy mills and are essential for keeping puppy mills in business.

  • Both licensed and unlicensed mills sell to pet stores (many mills sell to pet stores without the required license and are not held accountable).

  • Puppies are bred in mills and then shipped all over the country. For example, puppies bred in the Midwest may be shipped on trucks to southern California or Florida.

  • The shipping conditions are inhumane. They can be forced to go up to 12 hours without food or water, and they are confined in a small space where diseases can be easily transmitted. Many puppies do not survive.

What You Can Do

  • Adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group; never buy from a pet store. Remember that 25% of shelter animals are purebreds

  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter or rescue group

  • Ask your elected officials to outlaw puppy mills. Urge them to demand that the USDA enforce the Animal Welfare Act. For your senators’ and representatives’ contact information, visit

  • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers about the horrors of the puppy mill industry and its connection with pet stores

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Together we can work to create a world that is both safe and loving for our furry best friends!

Links to the resources used in this post:

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