Our animal rescue team has saved dogs from at least three different puppy mills that sold puppies at flea markets. These operations were some of the most squalid dog breeding factories that our team had ever witnessed.
Several states, including Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virginia, have laws that restrict the open-air sales of puppies at flea markets, swap meets, and at other roadside venues. And in states without these rules, increasing numbers of public markets are making the sensible decision to stop or phase out the sale of live animals. On Aug. 29, we assisted the Gibraltar Trade Center, a large public market in Mount Clemens, Michigan, in implementing a "puppy friendly" policy. The market's new policy does not allow any animal sales at all, but welcomes adoptable dogs, cats and birds from Macomb County Animal Control. Trade centers like Gibraltar are paving the way for a new humane economy.
You can help encourage other markets to make the switch, and also advocate that state lawmakers impose bans on the fly-by-night dealers selling dogs at these markets. Please contact The National Flea Market Association and ask its leaders to prohibit the sales of puppies at the flea markets they represent.