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Cathy1 March 29th, 2012 05:09 PM

Facebook Joins Fight Against Puppy Mills
Facebook Joins Fight Against Puppy Mills

The Facebook Marketplace will no longer be a forum where puppy mill breeders can sell their dogs.

This past week, Facebook responded positively to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and their concern that the Facebook Marketplace could be an online forum for puppy mill breeders to sell their dogs. Many of the dogs sold online (and in pet stores) come from puppy mills: large-scale facilities that house dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded and cruel conditions. Dogs that are forced to live and breed in these places aren't provided with proper veterinary care, food, water, housing or even socialization with humans and other dogs. It is a cruel and sad existence which results in sickly, unhealthy puppies.

Together with the national "No Pet Store Puppies" campaign, measures are currently being put in place by Facebook and Oodle - the online classifieds service which runs the Marketplace - to ensure that listings of possible puppy mill animals are completely restricted. As for ads that are currently up, an ongoing removal process is sifting through each posting to separate those that are created by irresponsible breeders and those created by individuals looking to re-home their own dogs for a nominal fee. The latter will still be allowed on the popular site, though now much more closely monitored.

In a press release by the ASPCA, President and CEO, Ed Sayres explains that, "removing an online platform for the cruel puppy mill industry sets a positive example of corporate citizenship and will help improve the lives of countless dogs. Most consumers are unaware they are perpetuating animal cruelty by purchasing a puppy online, and given the visibility of Marketplace on Facebook, this move has the potential to raise critical awareness about the unscrupulous online breeders."

Over the last decade, the puppy mill industry has unfortunately become a booming one. With the ability to use fake purebred dog registries to sell their dogs online to unsuspecting consumers, irresponsible breeders have been able to not only take advantage and abuse more dogs, but people, too. In 2005, Ontario made amendments to the OSPCA act to address puppy mills specifically; a maximum fine of $50,000 was implemented for puppy mill owners convicted of animal cruelty. And, fortunately, many pet stores across Canada are now working in conjunction with Humane Societies and local rescue organizations to, instead of selling puppies, use their space for housing adoptable animals who otherwise might not get any exposure.

Facebook's choice to take a stand against puppy mills is a huge check in the "win" column, but there is plenty more to do as compassionate, informed consumers and animal lovers.

Go to [url][/url] to learn more about the campaign and to take the pledge to never buy anything from a pet store if they sell puppies. I have.

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