Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The End of Pet Store Puppy Sales?

2009 may mark the end of puppy sales in NYC pet stores.

Following the model of its successful and ongoing "Puppy-Store-Free LA" program in Los Angeles, Best Friends Animal Society, based in Kanub, Utah, will launch its NYC campaign to stop the sale of puppies in pets stores. This will be a local program driven by members and friends in the New York area. In Los Angeles, over the last year, seven pet stores have either changed to a humane model or ceased to do business at all.

Despite thousands of cats and dogs sitting in city shelters and rescue groups, 70% of the pure breed dogs in New York City shelters were born in a puppy mill and sold through the city's pet stores. The cutesy pet stores in the city are simply the happy face of a gruesome industry.

Last month, I attended the first meeting at the home of art collector Valerie Diker, who is helping raise money for the effort. Among the dozen or so attendees, was music promoter Ron Delsner, who advocates on behalf of retired racehorses, and Best Friends founder Francis Battista, who discussed the group's upcoming strategy.

This week's meeting is open to all but is targeted at those who are able to devote two hours/week to peaceful protests and public information to end the sale of puppy mill dogs in the New York area.

It will be held Friday, February 20, at 6:30, at the Animal Haven Adoption Center and Boutique, 251 Center St., (btwn Centre and Broome).

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