More than 150 cast-off puppy mill dogs from a number of Midwestern states are safe after arriving to a glamorous green-carpet welcome, complete with red velvet ropes and a throng of adoring fans from more than a dozen animal rescue groups.
It was “Miley takes Manhattan” as fans celebrated Miley the milestone 1,000th dog to be transported by Best Friends Animal Society since the Pup My Ride program began in May of 2009. Miley is a seven-year-old schnauzer who had spent her entire life churning out puppies at a mill containing more than 1,000 dogs. She is the chief spokesdog for this, the sixth transport to bring dogs unwanted by their commercial breeders to safety in the NY area, where they can find their forever families.
After a long, cross-country journey, the Best Friends Animal Society arranged for release and provided transport of the dogs. Sportime on Randall’s Island hosted the dogs’ arrival and greeted them with dozens of tennis balls-most likely the first toys they’ve ever seen in their lives. Their arrival in Manhattan is fitting-a place where dreams are made and everyone can reinvent themselves, including puppy mills dogs!
Among the rescued dogs were adults used for breeding, adolescents and puppies, including various breeds such as Pomeranians, Boston terriers, Shiba Inus, papillons, dachshunds schnauzers and poodles. Instead of being
killed or sold at auction when the breeders no longer want them, these dogs will get a new chance for happy lives and will be available for adoption from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania rescue groups.
The rescue and transport of the dogs are part of Best Friends Animal Society’s Puppies Aren’t Products national campaign, which also targets the retail end of the puppy mill industry through informational demonstrations at New York puppy emporiums. Since 2008, the peaceful pet store demonstrations at stores across the country have caused some stores to only offer for sale pets that come from rescue groups and shelters.
“Puppy mill dogs comprise a significant percentage of the 4-5 million pets that die in American shelters annually”, said Kelli Ohrtman, campaign specialist for Best Friends Animal Society, which funded the rescue of the dogs to the New York area through its Pup My Ride transportation program. “The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets. It’s what the public wants and the pet trade industry must change rapidly and dramatically, as it is swiftly becoming a relic of the past.”
Numerous pet store closures and legislation banning puppy sales in various communities as well as several dozen Midwest puppy mills’ shutting down last year all seem to point to what appears to be a national trend for consumers to reject old-style pet shops that most likely are stocked by puppy mills.
“The tide is turning,” says Oreck, “It’s similar to other consumer shifts toward more socially responsible behavior, like choosing to recycle. Likewise, adopting a homeless animal from a shelter or buying from a store that only carries rescued animals is becoming not only the right thing to do, but also the cool thing do.”
Best Friends’ Puppies Aren’t Products campaign educates consumers about where many pet stores get their pet inventory-factory-like commercial breeding operation where puppies and breeding parents are forced to live in squalid conditions, with little or no medical care. Although puppy mills are legal in the United States, many such breeders are not licensed and don’t follow even the minimum standards of care for their dogs, who are usually confined in tiny wire cages.
Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit, membership organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets. The society’s leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the support of a grassroots network of members and community partners across the nation.
For more information contact: Temma Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org, and join the Best Friends Animal Society Network HERE.
*Photos Courtesy of: Gary Kalpakoff