‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ Movement Stages Another Pet Store Protest

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

Kimberly Dijkstra
Kimberly Dijkstra is the web editor for Anton Media Group, a writer for Long Island Weekly and recipient of several Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) and New York Press Association (NYPA) awards.


  1. You must have missed when a vietnam veteran wearing his hat shopping being cursed out by one of the protesters. They have no respect.

  2. You wish those words came out of his mouth.. this man is a vietnam vet wearing his hat in honor of serving his country .. you can not justify to be vulgar and attck him for shopping for a dog dor his grandson..you should be ashamed. And if Long island weeky wouod like to do a true story .I wouod be more than happy to show video of the entire protested videotaped and recorded.. these people will soon be exposed as to how low they will go. Anyone who attacks our beteraj is garbage .. you shouod switch your screen name.

  3. I respect his service, but as a Vietnam vet, he should be able to empathize with the puppy mill dogs that are imprisoned in cages and tortured. There are plenty of lovable dogs sitting in shelters that would love to be a best buddy to this man’s grandson.

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