This commercial was probably not going to be seen as funny in any case, but certainly not when there are thousands of online puppy mill sellers throughout the country, victimizing hundreds of thousands of dogs. These mills sell to customers sight unseen, with their online marketing showing happy and healthy puppies frolicking in the fields. The HSUS has worked with law enforcement to shut down many of these wholesale sellers, and many are among the worst mills we've seen. We've also worked for 20 years to bring these sellers under the regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and finally achieved that in 2013, although that's only the first step in addressing the problem.
The fierce reaction to the GoDaddy ad is a sign of the public's deep connection with animals, and a strong indicator that the public increasingly gets the notion that the online selling of puppies, a key sales strategy of the puppy mill industry, is a threat to animal welfare. It was reported last night that the online petition protesting GoDaddy's ad, started by Pennsylvania advocate Helena Yurcho on Change.org, was one of the fastest growing petitions in recent memory.