The press attention generated by our exposé of the pet store-puppy mill connection, highlighted by our investigation of Pets of Bel Air and broken in a press conference I led yesterday at a Los Angeles Animal Services shelter, has been more than considerable. There are stories today in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, and all of the local Los Angeles television stations did major pieces last night. Many bloggers also helped us to break the story and a piece on TMZ, the popular entertainment site, has generated a vibrant discussion.
© The HSUS
This mass-breeding operation is one of five facilities HSUS
undercover investigators visited that supply Pets of Bel Air.
This morning, I appeared on The Early Show on CBS (you can see the segment here). Co-host Harry Smith and veterinarian and correspondent Dr. Debbye Turner were right on point and helped me make the case about how people interested in obtaining a dog should go to a shelter or rescue group, not a pet store or Internet site.
Yesterday, I was joined at the press conference by Ed Boks, general manager of L.A. Animal Services. Ed not only reminded people about the fabulous animals at shelters, but his animal control officers also shut down Pets of Bel Air yesterday for failing to secure the proper permits. Also with me yesterday was Jana Kohl and her dog Baby, whom she rescued from a California puppy mill. Baby’s leg had to be amputated after her rescue because it had been broken so many times during her 10 years of being used for breeding in a puppy mill. Baby’s presence highlighted how breeding dogs suffer so terribly at the mills. And finally, HSUS board member Persia White joined us with her rescued dog. Persia made a powerful case for adopting small breed dogs from rescue groups and shelters, and how you can find these dogs if you try.
This occasion gives me an opportunity to promote The HSUS’s new Proud 2 Adopt program, created to encourage people to adopt their animal companions from a shelter or rescue organization, and to highlight the pride that people feel after adopting.
As part of Proud 2 Adopt, anyone who has adopted an animal can receive a free care package that includes an “I Adopted” T-shirt, a lapel pin, a bumper sticker, and other items. Shelters can also get involved by requesting free, specially printed Proud 2 Adopt invitations to distribute to adopters.
We are fortunate to have teamed with John Tartaglia, well known for his work on Broadway and in Disney’s “Johnny and the Sprites” show, to serve as a spokesman for Proud 2 Adopt. John has adopted his dog and three cats from shelters.
If you’ve adopted an animal and would like to receive a Proud 2 Adopt package, or if you know of a shelter or rescue organization that might like to get involved, look for more information at humanesociety.org/adopt.