Measures are being put into place to ensure that no more puppy mill dogs will be sold via Facebook’s Marketplace. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) believes this action will help to combat the puppy mill industry.
Many puppies sold in pet stores and online come from puppy mills—where breeding generally takes place in unsanitary, overcrowded, and often cruel conditions. Puppies born into puppy mills frequently have insufficient veterinary care, food, water, or socialization.
As part of its national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, the ASPCA is working with Facebook and Oodle, the company that powers Marketplace on Facebook, to restrict online classifieds listing puppy mill dogs for sale.
Beginning this month, an ongoing removal process has been started for ads listing puppy mill dogs for sale. This process will still allow users to post dogs that are available for an adoption or rehoming fee.
"Removing an online platform for the cruel puppy mill industry sets a positive example of corporate citizenship and will help improve the lives of countless dogs," said Ed Sayres, ASPCA President and CEO. "Most consumers are unaware they are perpetuating animal cruelty by purchasing a puppy online, and given the visibility of Marketplace on Facebook, this move has the potential to raise critical awareness about unscrupulous online breeders."
Unregulated Internet breeders are selling tens of thousands of puppies a year to unsuspecting consumers, and the number of puppies sold online has only been increasing. This is a problem because, despite regulations put on facilities that breed puppies for commercial resale through pet stores, facilities selling directly via the Internet are exempt from the Animal Welfare Act clause that requires licensure and inspections.
"Consumers who purchase a puppy from a website run the risk of acquiring an unhealthy animal and often end up with expensive vet bills and broken hearts," said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. "We hope additional online retailers and classifieds will follow this example and stop providing a platform for puppy mill sales."
Internet Crime Complaint Center notes that hundreds of complaints are filed every year by victims scammed through buying a dog online.
The “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign is encouraging consumers to adopt pets from their local shelters, or seek out a responsible breeder, rather than purchase puppies from pet stores. The ASPCA is also calling for consumers to pledge to not buy any pet items at all from stores or websites that sell puppies. The hope behind the campaign is that these actions will reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies.
To learn more about the ASPCA's campaign to eradicate puppy mills, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.
Image: Katja Kodba / via Shutterstock