Dozens of animal lovers gathered outside of Worldwide Puppies and Kittens in Bellmore on Saturday, April 7, to share a simple message: Adopt, Don’t Shop. The signs they carried informed passersby that the dogs sold in pet stores are often from puppy mills, despite the breeder being USDA licensed.
According to the ASPCA, “[USDA] standards leave a lot of room for dogs to be severely mistreated, and enforcement is abysmal.”
One protester’s sign pleaded with Governor Andrew Cuomo to “please ban puppy mills.”
“You can take the puppy out of the mill, but you can’t take the mill out of the puppy,” said Keri Michel-Esposito, member of Puppy Mill Free Long Island. “Pet store purchases support animal abuse.”
While there is debate among animal rights activists about “saving” pet store puppies, Puppy Mill Free Long Island maintains that buying puppies from pet stores propagates the cycle of abuse.
The group recently organized protests outside of American Dog Club in Westfield Sunrise and The Puppy Store in Merrick. Owner of The Puppy Store, Robert Lawrence, was arrested in February on animal torture charges.
For more information, visit Puppy Mill Free Long Island on Facebook.
To take action against animal abuse, see aspca.org.