Web domain company GoDaddy has pulled a Super Bowl advertisement that hit a nerve with dog lovers across the country.
The television spot, released online ahead of its planned airing on Sunday, depicts a lost puppy's long trek home after falling from a truck on a country road. What might have been a heartwarming story takes a dark turn when the dog finally makes it back, running happily into the arms of his owner.
"I'm so glad you're home!" she says. "Because I just sold you on this website I built with Godaddy."
Animal welfare supporters were outraged by the ad, saying it made light of puppy mills, cruel breeding operations where dogs are repeatedly forced to reproduce only to have their offspring sold off like merchandise - often online. As the animal advocates point out, puppy mill operators routinely put profits ahead of the well-being of animals.