6 min read

Online Puppy Sales Are Anything But 'Convenient' In New Commercial

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

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, SameDayPups.com, 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, APuppyIsNotAProduct.com, where they can learn more about puppy mills and how to avoid supporting them.

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.