AAHA voices support for coalition targeting puppy mills

Puppy mills were met with increased legislative opposition and media coverage in 2012, and it appears the trend will continue in 2013 with support from several high-profile organizations.

An influential coalition composed of animal welfare organizations, retailers, and pet industry associations has formed to target puppy mills that subject puppies and dogs to inhumane living conditions and substandard health care.

Many prominent names appear on the list of project participants, including:

  • American Pet Products Association
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • Pet Industry Distributors Association
  • Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
  • Petco
  • Petland

Participants in the project will focus their collaborative efforts on improving conditions for dogs used for commercial breeding, as well as providing consumers with more reputable sources for buying puppies, according to a news release from the group.

One of the coalition’s first steps has been to collectively decide on a definition for puppy mills, which is: “A dog breeding operation, which offers dogs for monetary compensation or remuneration, in which the physical, psychological and/or behavioral needs of the dogs are not being fulfilled due to inadequate housing, shelter, staffing, nutrition, socialization, sanitation, exercise, veterinary care, and/or inappropriate breeding.”

AAHA has voiced its support of the ambitious effort to work toward improved welfare for puppies and dogs.

“The American Animal Hospital Association applauds the efforts of such a diverse group that has come together to improve the lives of dogs,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, executive director and chief executive officer of AAHA.

“This kind of collaboration is inspiring for everyone who is passionate about bettering the lives of the animals we live with. I am looking forward to seeing the impact this group will have on these important issues,” he said.

For more information about the project’s participants and objectives, visit www.safehealthydogs.com.