How Much Is That Doggie On Your Browse? - IFAW Tells The Truth Behind Online Puppy Sales

Early morning Tuesday, December 11, I attended to the IFAW’s (Fund for Animal Welfare) press conference held in Beverly Hills CA. Actor and Honorary Member of IFAW Board of Directors Ben Stein along with other board members and media, gathered to face The Truth Behind Online Puppy Sales

IFAW was founded in 1969, saving individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it's dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. We also advocate saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as our campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts.

Their vision is a world where animals are respected and protected. IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world, promising supporters and policy makers effective animal protection solutions delivered with intelligence, compassion and integrity. IFAW’s team includes rescue workers, veterinarians, policy experts, campaigners, scientists, educators and the highest quality support staff all driven by a determination to help animals in need.

At the press conference IFAW members of the board of directors declared that over the past decade, the public has increasingly moved from buying their dogs in person to buying their pet dogs online. Those in the market to purchase a new dog are now turning to their computer screens where they are instantly presented with images of what look to be adorable, tail-wagging, well-cared-for puppies.

On May 10, 2012, the U.S Government announced a proposal to create new federal regulations in an attempt to better monitor and regulate the sale of certain pets - in particular, dogs. 

Internet marketplaces have become a major platform for commercial breeders to sell their puppies directly to the public, sight unseen and without regulation.  While many people believe the puppies they purchase online are perfectly healthy, well-bred animals, the fact is, the majority of the hundreds of thousands of puppies advertised for sale over the Internet are from large-scale commercial dog breeding operations commonly known as “puppy mills.”

At these facilities, dogs are faced with terrible atrocities. They are kept in cramped and unsanitary quarters, living in wire cages with wire flooring (their paws never touch the ground), without adequate food and water, no veterinary care and little or no human socialization. Female dogs are mated to produce litter after litter until they can no longer do so and are then killed. Because of their poor living conditions, dogs born in puppy mills often get sick and die after families bring them home.

It’s devastating. Yet, profit-seeking, unscrupulous breeders are placing emphasis on quantity breeding over quality care, at the cost of the welfare of millions of innocent dogs.

It is essential that the public learn the truth. Dogs are not a commodity to be purchased from an anonymous seller online. They are living, breathing, thinking creatures that experience both happiness and suffering.

If you are in the market for a new puppy, the best thing you can do is adopt or purchase from local animal shelters, rescue groups or breeders, where you can see firsthand the conditions in which the facility keeps the dogs. That is the only way to ensure that the puppy you bring home is coming from a reputable organization or breeder.

I personally got my best friend Cello (dog) from an Internet dog breeder 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of this awful online business until IFAW’s press conference. One of my biggest concerns when getting Cello from the web, was the amount of money I had to pay over the Internet, not even talking to anybody about the purchase or transportation details from the state he flew from to CA. I was hoping for the best when I made the payment. I have a very special love connection with Cello, he is a family member and can’t really think of all the horrifying moments he could have been through before becoming part of my life.

Online deals are great for electronics and clothing. But when it comes to a pet, the responsible thing to do is step away from the screen.

Each click to purchase a dog over the Internet builds incentive for puppy mill breeders to continue their operations. We need to eliminate the demand for these nefarious facilities.

Make a difference today by NOT supporting the “puppy mills”. 

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