About Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan

Mission

The Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan is working to end the mass production of dogs in commercial kennels ("puppy mills"). Our mission is to educate the public about the cruel cycle of commercial dog breeding and the pet store link.

Our Goals 

The only way to end commercial breeding (“puppy mills”) is to end the sale of puppies sold in our local pet stores, because it is estimated that 99% of pet store puppies come from puppy mills. We need the public to refuse to buy pet store puppies (even if it is in a mistaken attempt to “rescue” the puppies from the store) and to ask their local stores to instead promote only the adoption of rescued pets.

The Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan:

1) Encourages pet stores to become "Pet Friendly" and not sell animals.

2) Educates the public about puppy mills through tabling events, leafleting, social networking, workshops, pet store demonstrations and petitions.

3) Works to pass stronger laws to protect animals confined in breeding kennels and to discourage breeding.

4) Works to help solve the homeless pet problem by promoting the ease and benefits of adding a family member via rescues and shelters. 

Success Stories

In 2010, nearly 100 Michigan pet stores signed a pledge committing not to sell puppies and to instead support local animal adoption programs.  They received a sign to display that reads, "We love puppies; that's why we don't sell them,” as well as materials about adopting a dog.  This encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies only at stores displaying the “puppy-friendly” sign. A list of stores that have pledged not to sell puppies can be found here.

Since 2008, five puppy-selling stores likely closed from public pressure and boycott efforts. Although we do not want to see any businesses close in our community, we do consider these success stories because fewer profits are being made from animal suffering and other stores may be more discouraged to sell puppies. 

New state laws have been introduced to protect both animals and consumers in 2011.

Education 

We spend most of our time educating the public about the pet store link to puppy mills through our weekly pet store demonstrations. In addition, we set up information booths at nearly 20 events each year. We also have our own educational calendar. In 2011, we participated in a short film called "Holding out for Buster" that follows a little girl in her journey of finding a new best friend at the pound after she visits our Petland protest. Members are encouraged to develop creative ways to educate their communities through classroom presentations, library displays, puppet shows, writing letters to their local papers and distributing flyers at dog friendly businesses.

In conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, we hold Grassroot Workshops across the state to train new activists.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day Events

Each year we hold an event in September to bring attention to the unethical business practices of the puppy pet trade. In 2008, we held a parade and invited puppy mill survivors and rescued dogs. The participants marched past a new puppy-selling store with priceless price tags on their collars. In 2009, we held a Memorial Rally at Petland Westland for the breeding dogs who spent their lives producing puppies for the industry. In 2010 we held a large protest at The Family Puppies newest location in Flint after finalizing 5-month breeder investigation. We host car cruises in 2011 in Oakland county locations and a big protest at Westland Dog Food Co. 

Lobbying 

We lobby for stronger laws twice a year with the Humane Society of the United States. We visit our law makers in both Lansing and Washington, DC. We regularly fax our petitions to lawmakers to show them how many constituents care about this issue. In conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, we hold Lobby 101 Workshops across the state.

We are asking our Meetup members to: 

• Contact their federal and state legislators and let them know that they are concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the puppy mill issue to be a priority for Congress. 

• Ask them to support H.R. 834/S. 707, the “PUPS Act” to expand the reach of the Animal Welfare Act to include kennels that sell large numbers of puppies over the internet or directly to the public. 

Pet Store Demonstrations 

Why must we protest pet stores? Protesting should be the last resort. We often meet with the store owner(s) well before protesting.  We ask the store to stop selling animals acquired from breeders and instead support only adoption efforts. Shipping records prove that most of our local pet stores work with out-of-state commercial breeders  “puppy mills”, even though the dogs are marketed as "AKC certified" or from "reputable" or "USDA licensed" breeders. Pet stores will tell you that they do not get their dogs from puppy mills, but only these mass-breeding facilities can fulfill the demand. 

Puppy Mill Awareness is asking Southeast Michigan pet stores to:

•  Agree to no longer sell puppies acquired from breeders in their store(s) or on the Internet;

• Promote only rescued dogs from Michigan county or municipal animal control shelters or 501(c)(3) animal rescue groups.

Pet store demonstrations are held every Saturday year round at various pet store locations. Check our Meetup Calendar for a demonstration near you. (2012 locations: Flint, Utica and Novi

Studies

We have completed several research studies. In 2009, we conducted a study of county licensed dog breeding facilities in Michigan with a goal of determining how many large commercial breeders were operating. This study was initiated to support Michigan Humane Society’s Puppy Protection Act. The database includes the dog breeding, boarding, pet sitting, grooming, sheltering, and rescue kennel licenses for 83Michigan counties that were issued in 2009, totaling 1,900+ kennels. Kennel Study.

In 2011, we completed a study of study of puppy-selling pet stores in Michigan. The primary goal of the study was to determine breeder information to help protect conscientious customers from unknowingly contributing to animal neglect and abuse in distant states. The study revealed which Michigan pet stores are importing puppies from other states, the estimated number of puppies that are being imported, and just how many sick dogs may be purchased at pet stores.  Pet Store Study.

Contact Information 

Pam Sordyl
Phone: 734-718-7100
Email: pmamichinfo@yahoo.com