Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Despite its popularity, Facebook still drums up its fair share of complaints from its legions of users about everything from hacked accounts to overzealous status updates from new parents about a baby’s first burp.
But the social networking pioneer — along with Marketplace partner Oodle — played hero recently when they teamed up with the ASPCA to eradicate unregulated puppy mill advertisements from the website.
Puppy mills, which are essentially unmonitored operations that breed often unwell or inbred dogs, have become a major problem for animal welfare activists and dog owners alike.
Pet stores have long supported these questionable breeders says Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign, but the Internet has made matters worse. Online businesses are even harder to police and, depending on the state, are not even required to be licensed.
Last year, the ASPCA noticed that Facebook’s Marketplace was becoming a major hub for puppy mill sales. “Before we approached Facebook, we had prepared to launch a fairly massive campaign about them,” says Menkin. “Then we reached out to them on the off chance that they would be receptive and they were! Facebook and Oodle both were great.”
That was just three months ago — and a system has already been implemented that specifically restricts puppy mill ads, as opposed to rehoming or adoption posts.
While the technical aspects of the filtering system can't be disclosed to prevent people from maneuvering around it, the ASPCA is thrilled that already more than 10,000 ads have come down.
This latest action is part of a larger initiative launched by the ASPCA in the summer of 2011 called No Pet Store Puppies, which asks people to pledge not to shop at any stores that sell puppies instead of offering adoption services. (Fast fact: There are about 5 to 7 million dogs and cats who enter shelters each year and need homes.)
If you have your heart set on a certain breed or puppy, the ASCPA offers some guidelines for differentiating responsible breeders from puppy mills. For instance, reputable breeders should screen breeding stock for diseases and aggression, as well as have a working knowledge of genetics.
As for how consumers can tell a humane breeder from a puppy mill, Menkin has some tips.
“You have to do your homework, and also ask any breeder a lot of questions," she says. "Go to the home, observe the mother, make sure they’ve done genetic testing and speak to references. A waiting list is a good indicator that they’re not churning out puppies. And a good breeder isn’t going to ship a puppy without ever meeting you because they want their dogs to have good homes."
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
The singer rescued the pup from Animal
Rescue Foundation Tulsa and paid the
adoption fees for 19 other canines.
We’re sharing five reasons why the
friendly, massively popular Golden
Retriever may be your perfect match.
What can felines teach us about
friendship? To forgive and forget, take
care of your people and so much more!
Did you know that the age at which your
puppy should start eating adult food
depends greatly on his size?
We’d be very impressed if you already
knew all these fascinating facts about the
top 10 most popular cat breeds!
Did you know that anemia itself is not a
disease but the sign of an underlying
problem? Dr. Ann Hohenhaus explains.
Get ready to cringe (and laugh). We
asked our readers to share their most
mortifying pet bathroom tales.
The Great Pyrenees, who was bred to protect livestock from predators such as wolves, is an excellent watchdog.
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.