puppy mills

7 smart ways YOU can help stop puppy mills

Before we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, I’d like to send my thoughts, love and blessings to the forgotten mothers out there: the approximately 1 million dog mothers suffering in puppy mills across the United States.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has worked hard to draw attention to this problem; a few years ago, the organization designated the first week of May as its annual Puppy Mill Action Week. Though we are making progress—dozens of cities nationwide, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix, have banned the sale of dogs and cats from commercial breeders in retail outlets—we still have a long, long way to go. Just take a look at the HSUS’s annual list of the Horrible Hundred breeders. These businesses continue to operate, despite documented inhumane conditions. And people still buy purebred puppies and kittens in pet stores.

Clearly, more progress must be made. But don’t give up! I truly believe that together, we can help to stop puppy mills once and for all, forever. Here are seven actions you can take right now that will negatively impact puppy mills …

8 recent documentaries that will open your heart

Do you love documentaries as much as I do? I especially love animal-centered narratives that educate as much as entertain. In our screen-obsessed society, sometimes a film can be the best way to spread the word about an important issue. (Just consider “The Blackfish Effect”—and SeaWorld’s announcement earlier this month that it will be ending whale breeding and phasing out Orca shows by 2019.)

The following eight recently released films either highlight critical issues or educate the next generation about the importance of animals. Take a look and prepare to open your eyes—and your heart …

5 compelling reasons to adopt from a shelter

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years in animal shelters, so I know all about the misconceptions surrounding shelter animals. For instance: Many people think shelter animals are put there because of aggression or behavior problems. Wrong! According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, the top two reasons for an animal to end up in a shelter are (1) moving/financial and (2) landlord issues. Here, I’d like to clear up some of the myths and point to my top five reasons why adopting from a shelter is the absolute best decision you can make:

1. You’re saving TWO lives: You save the life of the animal you bring home, plus you make room in the shelter for another animal to take their place. This is true even if you’re adopting from a no-kill shelter. The no-kill shelters save animals from the kill shelters whenever they can.

2. You have a better chance of knowing the animal’s personality: Animals in shelters sometimes live there for months or even years. That time gives the caregivers a good handle on the dog or cat’s personality: if they’re sociable, loving, shy and so on. When you buy a puppy at a breeder or a pet store, you truly don’t know what you’re getting until they grow up and their adult personality emerges …