The Protect Pet Choice Alliance is a group of pet industry organizations and companies whose mission is to promote and celebrate responsible pet ownership, protect the rights of pet owners, ensure a sustainable supply of pets, foster industry commitment to animal care and breeding standards, and support well founded and meaningful regulatory and legislative initiatives regarding household pets.
Protect Pet Choice Alliance Manifesto
We want to shut down puppy mills, too.
The images are shocking and horrifying.
Dogs being raised in dangerously unhealthy environments, kept in poorly maintained cages stacked to the ceiling as if they were cargo containers on a freight ship.
Illegal puppy mills, where unscrupulous breeders violate federal and state law to advance their own financial interests with little regard for animal care, SHOULD be the targets of animal lovers who are sickened by the conditions in which these animals are forced to exist, all in the name of profit.
We hate it, too. And we want them out of business – now.
But our collective desire to shut down puppy mills has been co-opted to support an ill-conceived campaign to prevent the responsible sale of dogs at local pet stores. Advocates of pet sale bans contend they will eliminate puppy mills, because that’s where they believe the pets are coming from. Already more than 80 communities have instituted such bans, in cities as large as Chicago and Phoenix. Even more troubling is that some communities are banning the sale of all animals, not just puppies. These bans are forcing prospective pet owners to turn to the very puppy mills we want to put out of business for their beloved pets.
The fact is the only thing a pet sale ban accomplishes is putting good breeders and local retailers out of business. Labeling all breeders that supply pet stores as puppy mills, or suggesting that “no responsible breeder would ever sell to a pet store” is simply inaccurate. There is more oversight of licensed responsible breeders who sell their puppies to pet stores than most shelters or rescues. We cannot allow well intentioned but misguided animal rights zealots spreading misinformation with elected officials to destroy small businesses and prevent access to breeds that are unavailable in shelters.
We are a coalition of animal lovers and industry leaders championing responsible pet ownership, and we are lending our support to efforts to enact tougher breeder standards with more rigorous enforcement. Let’s go after the bad breeders who are flouting federal law – not the pet-store owners who create jobs, pay taxes and bring pets into homes across the country. And while we’re at it, let’s help educate consumers about what questions to ask so they’re making responsible, informed choices.
America’s pet lovers agree with our approach. In a recent Harris Poll, four in five (81%) U.S. adults say banning dog sales entirely at pet stores will not stop puppy mills from continuing. Dog and cat owners say the best way to crack down on illegal puppy mill operators is not to ban the sale of dogs and cats at local pet stores, but rather to enact and enforce tougher breeder standards (67% vs. 33%). And they want follow-up visits to breeders to ensure state and federal regulations are being followed.
Those of us who have followed our passion to pursue careers in the pet field – including providers of pet food, toys, equipment, and the veterinarians who care for these animals – all agree. Let’s put these puppy mills out of business by shutting down the illegal operators. Let’s keep the focus where it should be.
Supporting Organizations and Companies
The Protect Pet Choice Alliance is comprised of the following: