HSUS asks federal consumer protection agency to crack down on deceptive advertising of puppy mill puppies

By on June 15, 2018 with 0 Comments

Puppy sellers routinely use deceptive practices to lure consumers into buying sick puppy mill dogs – practices we recently documented in our 10-year Puppy Buyers Complaints report. This week, taking our battle against these puppy sellers one step further, we filed a legal petition with the Federal Trade Commission, the government agency tasked with preventing deceptive business practices, asking it to stop puppy sellers from using misleading advertising to attract unsuspecting buyers.

Pet retailers often falsely assure consumers that the puppies they offer for sale are raised in reputable or humane breeding facilities, even when they come from inhumane facilities like mass production puppy mills. Sadly, this widespread practice continues without any repercussions to the sellers. At the Humane Society of the United States we hear every year from thousands of devastated consumers who bring home a dog only to have the animal fall sick and, in some cases, even die.

Our Stop Puppy Mills campaign’s 10-year puppy buyer complaint report detailed several such cases of consumers duped by puppy sellers. Last month, we also released our sixth annual Horrible Hundred report which highlighted numerous inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities that serve as a source of puppies for the pet trade. Common deceptions include offering a “health guarantee,” advertising certain breeds of puppies as “hypoallergenic,” or representing certain breeders as “local” without verifying where they really are.

Related: HSUS report details 10 years of complaints about puppy mill dogs

Puppy mills, designed for maximum profit, raise animals in extremely poor conditions and as a result these facilities become incubators for major illnesses. Just recently, an antibiotic resistant strain of campylobacter linked to a chain of pet stores started an outbreak that sickened dozens of prospective pet buyers.

The Humane Society of the United States has been working to end this disreputable practice on many fronts, including by assisting consumers harmed by these deceptive tactics and trying to prevent consumers from falling victim to them in the first place. Our legal team has assisted dozens of consumers across the country in filing lawsuits against unscrupulous puppy sellers.

We also have a training program to alert consumer protection agents at attorneys general offices to the deceptive practices that so often violate state consumer protection laws and lead to heartbreaking outcomes for both puppies and pet owners. We have assisted and supported hundreds of communities and two states in banning the sale of commercially raised puppies in pet stores.

Despite all of our efforts, however, pet sellers continue to find ways to get around these laws and deceive consumers. In Chicago, for example, where pet stores can only sell puppies sourced from shelters or rescues, some pet stores are now being supplied by “rescues” that have close ties to the commercial dealers the city has banned. We are working with the city to address this issue. We also continue to hear from heartbroken puppy buyers who believe they were tricked into purchasing a sick puppy.

Ensuring that puppy retailers are not advertising falsely is the FTC’s job, but the agency has been silent on the retail pet sales issue and has done nothing to address consumers’ grievances when the “product” is a pet. With our legal petition, we are asking that the FTC step in and do what it’s supposed to do: protect millions of potential consumers who are being duped by pet retailers when all they want to do is bring a new family member home.

If you believe you have been tricked by the deceptive practices of the retail pet industry, submit a complaint to the FTC and ask them to help stop these practices. You can also report your story to us by filling out our Puppy Buyer Complaint Form.

Breaking news: Judge says New Hampshire Great Danes can be placed for adoption

By on June 15, 2018 with 52 Comments
Breaking news: Judge says New Hampshire Great Danes can be placed for adoption

The verdict is in — and it’s a good one — for the future of dozens of Great Danes who have spent a year in legal limbo since their dramatic rescue from a New Hampshire breeder’s mansion last June. A judge yesterday ruled that the . . . 

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Raccoons are great climbers – and wild neighbors

By on June 13, 2018 with 0 Comments
Raccoons are great climbers – and wild neighbors

What goes up must come down – eventually. Americans watched with great fascination this week as a raccoon climbed up a 23-story Minnesota building. A video of the little creature’s derring-do went viral as the social media universe lit up with interest. Millions wondered whether . . . 

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More than 5,600 dogs and cats helped in first round of Spayathon for Puerto Rico

By on June 12, 2018 with 3 Comments
More than 5,600 dogs and cats helped in first round of Spayathon for Puerto Rico

Our team has just completed the first stage of Spayathon for Puerto Rico, an ambitious initiative to spay and neuter 20,000 cats and dogs at no cost to pet owners on the island, and it’s been an amazing success. For seven days, surgical teams, ground . . . 

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HSI rescues 50 dogs from South Korea meat trade before summer slaughter begins

By on June 11, 2018 with 6 Comments
HSI rescues 50 dogs from South Korea meat trade before summer slaughter begins

For 50 dogs raised on a dog meat farm in South Korea, this will be a summer of hope instead of terror. This week, Humane Society International began pulling the dogs out of the farm just before the start of the Bok Nal summer season, . . . 

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Racehorses have a right to a good retirement and protections against slaughter and drugging

By on June 8, 2018 with 7 Comments
Racehorses have a right to a good retirement and protections against slaughter and drugging

The horse racing season concludes this weekend with the Belmont Stakes, the third and final race in the Triple Crown series. Racing enthusiasts will watch to see which horse takes home the big prize. But once the race ends and the tracks are empty again, . . . 

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Ohio senate advances groundbreaking reform for puppy mill dogs

By on June 7, 2018 with 7 Comments
Ohio senate advances groundbreaking reform for puppy mill dogs

We have exciting news to report from Ohio today. In response to our Stop Puppy Mills Ohio ballot initiative campaign, the state legislature has given near-final approval to a bill that brings major reforms designed to improve the lives of breeding dogs. The measure includes . . . 

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Duchess Sanctuary, a safe haven for abused equines, celebrates its 10th anniversary

By on June 5, 2018 with 0 Comments
Duchess Sanctuary, a safe haven for abused equines, celebrates its 10th anniversary

For years, the government, through the Bureau of Land Management, has attempted to control wild horse and burro numbers by rounding the animals up and offering them for adoption. It was during one such roundup in the year 2000 that a flashy sorrel and white . . . 

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In India, an elephant wins freedom from tourist rides and the illegal wildlife trade

By on June 4, 2018 with 0 Comments
In India, an elephant wins freedom from tourist rides and the illegal wildlife trade

It is a heartrending story, but with a happy ending for one elephant. Suman is born into captivity to Champa, one of dozens of elephants who are used to ferry tourists up and down the hills to Amer Fort, a popular spot in Jaipur, India. . . . 

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Training police officers to identify animal cruelty crimes

By on May 31, 2018 with 4 Comments
Training police officers to identify animal cruelty crimes

When the George County, Mississippi, sheriff’s office recently received a report of a property that could be housing a dogfighting operation, they knew exactly what to do. Deputy Lisa Finlay, who had just completed a course with the Humane Society of the United States’ Law . . . 

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