Soaring Spaniels, Whirring Whippets, and High-Flying West Highland Terriers

By on May 7, 2015 with 11 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Our new video, showing puppies being delivered right to your home, compliments of high-flying drones, is causing people to skip a breath.

It straddles the line between the absurd and the plausible. We live in a world where Amazon is already experimenting with drone deliveries, the military uses them for precise maneuvers, and wardens employ them to stop poaching. Kids are even getting them as birthday presents.

Why is it so far-fetched that drones would deliver puppies right to your home?

Any right-thinking animal lover will be concerned though to see the image of a dog in a harness buzzing across the sky. In the video, it’s not clear where the animals originate – perhaps they come from puppy mills? What’s more, the drone puts animals up in the air and leaves them unattended – what if it malfunctions? And though navigation systems are all the rage, they could go astray — maybe the puppy will be delivered to the wrong person, who will do something bad to the vulnerable little being?

The video is meant to shock you. That’s exactly the point. The absurd in the world of irresponsible puppy breeding and delivery in our culture of convenience has already become the reality.

So many would-be pet parents buy dogs sight unseen. The biggest trend is buyers ordering puppies via the Internet, with so many puppy mills catering to the demand. For the mills, it’s perfect – they don’t have to worry about consumers seeing the miserable conditions that their dogs live in, and they can continue to cut corners on animal care. All they have to do is develop a nice-looking web page and trick consumers into thinking their dogs frolic in a field or sleep on a soft bed– in sharp contrast to the dogs’ actual lives spent in filthy and stacked wire cages, exposed to the elements, with no socialization or veterinary care, and forced to breed every heat cycle.

So many people in the market for a pet have the right intention in bringing a loving creature into their lives. But they’re clueless about the means. They assume– wrongly– that all the breeders or pet stores that are selling puppies are acting responsibly, or that there’s some government regulation preventing cruelty.

I can tell you, based on dozens of rescues of these Internet-selling puppy mills that we’ve conducted with law enforcement, that consumers should not put faith in this sector of the dog sales world. In fact, earlier this week, we released our annual Horrible Hundred 2015 report, exposing shocking abuses of dogs at puppy mills across the United States. Puppy mills produce two million puppies each year, and many of these animals are sold online. These websites pose as responsible breeders and play on the puppies’ cuteness to lure in customers.

That’s why The HSUS is launching a multimedia campaign, in partnership with Maddie’s Fund, to intercept potential puppy buyers, educate them about the horrors of puppy mills, and direct them instead to better sources. The video is part of that campaign. It directs potential buyers to our new website,, which is designed to be a spoof of online pet stores. When visitors shopping for puppies click on photos of cute animals supposedly for sale, they are instead diverted to our awareness-raising website,, where they can learn more about puppy mills and how to avoid supporting them.

Watch our new parody video below which highlights the absurdity of puppies delivered by drones. We aim to get potential puppy buyers to slow down and think carefully about bringing a new family member into their home, and consider superior sources like shelters and rescue groups and responsible breeders.

Help us spread the word to your family and friends on how they can join the fight to end puppy mills now.

P.S. No actual puppies were lifted into the sky in making the video.

Companion Animals

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  1. Jackie Phillips says:

    Great job! Very good!

  2. David Bernazani says:

    It seems like worth a try, anyway, for all those people who still don’t get it. I bet some people will be duped by the video and think it’s real, but hopefully will eventually get the message.

  3. Ann Wall says:

    I was very disturbed by this video – and not as a result of the intended shock of seeing pups flying. There is nothing in the video that even hints at the horrors of puppy mills or the fact that a pup bought online is almost certain to have come from such a place. It’s obvious that puppies would not be flown through the air and common sense says it would be unsafe so there is no shock value at all. Instead all of the positive imagery, music, smiling actors and the pup wagging its tail leaves a positive impression. In my opinion it is completely ineffective and worse (and what upsets me ) is that it reinforces the imagery those online sellers use to convince people that the puppies are from happy places. In fact it reminded me a lot of advertising campaigns of dairy & poultry industries showing happy cows & chickens in green pastures. Sometimes talking cows; which like flying dogs would simply be amusing, especially to those clueless to what those industries involve.

    • Maria says:

      I will have to agree with you! I expected to see a glimpse at where they actually came from towards the end if the video. That would be the shock!

  4. Julia Jester says:

    Don’t let this happen! Anything could happen to these animals! Abusers will shoot them out of the sky.What about thunderstorms and hail and tornadoes. This is awful please don’t allow this happen!

  5. Stafford Green says:

    I worked in international marketing for a Top 10 global consumer marketing company – I directed and produced a lot of TV spots, did virals films, mobile apps, games, etc…. This film is really over produced and confusing to many viewers – as you see from the Facebook comments. I hope you didn’t pay too much for it. Have you ever thought of intelligently-crowdsourcing films from prosumers/artists as a way of achieving a better result at a radically lower cost? I used to do that for brands without a lot of money – and the production value, correct brand positioning, and messaging was on target. Contact me and I’ll offer help … for free. ‘Cause I like the little animals too.

  6. Mary Woods says:

    I think this video and message are brilliant. Kudos for taking a different path than PETA style horrors in your face. And the drone fantasy sequences are disturbing enough for us to worry about the puppies. That’s the point. From the response it seems that the video campaign is just a little too smart for the constituency. But I loved it, thanks!

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