ASPCA “What Not to Buy” Campaign and Pet Holiday Giveaway – CLOSED

ASPCA giveaway items
Written by Rachel Phelps

The ASPCA has a very important message this holiday season about puppy mills that we at want to help get the word out.

If you didn’t know, my dog brother Elvis is a puppy mill survivor who lived his first four years at a puppy mill as a breeding dog.  He lived in terrible conditions just so the mill owners could have an endless supply of puppies to sell at pet stores.  The mill he lived in supplied pet stores all over the St. Louis area.  So needless to say, we hate, hate, hate puppy mills and very much dislike the stores that sell puppy mill puppies.

Our pals at the ASPCA have a campaign to encourage shoppers not to buy ANYTHING at stores that sell puppies.  They made a video called “What Not to Buy” that we hope you will watch. The purpose of this video is to help educate us about the connection between stores that sell puppies and puppy mills.

So, to encourage you not to buy items from pet stores that support the puppy mills, we are giving away a holiday gift basket just for you and your pets.  It includes:

What are you waiting for?  Enter now!

How to win!

How: Comment below and tell us if you watched the video and what do you think about stores that sell puppies.

Prize: One lucky reader will win an ASPCA pet gift pack.

Dates: December 16th – December 30th

How to Enter: Follow the instructions on the widget below. To help get the prize out as quickly as possible, we’re asking for your address up front in case you win.  It will not be used unless you win, and it will not be shared. Good luck!

About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website


  • Puppy mills stink because they are cruel to animals. We have a mill rescue dog. She was kept under terrible conditions and spent her life there breeding litters.
    She is one of the lucky ones who now lives a pampered and safe life.

  • I have never managed to even adopt a pet from a shelter. So far all my pets have come to me from the streets when they have needed either a shelter or a family. The whole idea of puppy mills makes my heart sick. I’m glad you got Elvis out.

  • Puppy mills are horrible and should be shut down and only certified and looked over breeders should be allowed to breed animals

  • Our Chico is a puppy mill rescue. When he could no longer stud he was discarded like the trash and he now has issues from spending too much of his life locked in a kennel. Chico was 9 when he came to us and is now 12 and enjoys his retirement cage free.

  • Puppy mills are inhumane 🙁 We have always rescued our animals and will forever do so, encouraging others also!

  • Unfortunately before I knew better I purchased a puppy mill puppy. It was a Chihuahua all dressed up in a teacup. She nearly died after having her just 2 days I didnt have the heart to send her back. She is a healthy 12 year old now!

  • This video was very sad to watch. An eye-opener for sure. I never bought a pet store dog or puppy mill dog. Mine have been from shelters, or someone has decided they don’t want their dog any longer because of its “dog” habits or I have saved dogs off the streets. I have had quite a few dogs in my life time, and cats too, and I’ve always been there momma. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Puppy mills are disgusting and horrific. I do not understand how you could look at a living breathing thing and treat them so badly.

  • I purchased a Chow about 30 years ago from a pet store & he had both physically & mental problems. We finally found a farmer that we gave him to them so he could be cared for better than we were ever prepared for. I think Pet Stores should be not allowed to sell pets. If you were only allowed to purchase from a breeder or parents of the animals or shelters then you would have more knowledge of bloodlines as well as care.

  • Our last dog was a rescue. he had been founds wandering the woods of Wisconsin. A little quirky, but we love, love love him.

  • I could not watch the video as it breaks my heart. My 2 pups were adopted from the humane society and are a true blessing to our family. It sickens me what puppy mills do to these beautiful animals

  • Yes I watch the Video, Puppy Mills
    are terrible I wish they would all shut
    down. Our dog and cat are from

  • We have a local owned pet store that sells puppies. While the kids love to go see them, I feel horrible for the little doggies in the glass windows. I don’t even like to go there. My two doggies are wonderful (and someone else’s cast-offs).

  • I watched the video, and really like they way they did it. Puppy mills are horrible and the people running them should be caged for the rest of their lives

  • Sadly, no store will ever voluntarily stop selling a product they are making profit on (Yes, heartbreakingly, stores view animals as a product). As long as there is a demand, they will supply. We have to get more people that are pet shopping, to ADOPT!

  • I watched the video and I think it will have a lasting effect on people. Not only is it a great ad against puppy mills and stores that support puppy mills, it is also a reminder not to get a pet for Christmas if you aren’t prepared for all that they required.

  • Puppy mills should be illegal and banned. With so many animals waiting for a forever home, everyone should contact a local shelter to adopt.

  • i hate puppy mills. i do like the way you up it in the video. it would make a good comercial on tv. my dog didn’t come from the store. she came from some ppl down the road who had pups they didn’t know what to do with. i look at her and see the horrible things these other dogs go through and want to cry. she is the first dog i have had and i love her as much as my kids. i don’t understand how ppl can be mean to them

  • I could barely watch the video (my heart, head and stomach all went into simultantous convulsions and revolt!)

    But long before viewing – I have known too well about Puppy Mills and to say that I loathe them would be so much more than an understatement! I consider them to be a criminal enterprise!

    There is a “Pet Store” a few blocks away from us that I usually have to walk by a couple of times a day and I can feel my heart breaking everytime,

    Thank you for making/keeping this terrible atrocity out there and visible – such criminal and naked cruelty in plain sight is an abomination that must be ended.

  • Yes, I watched the video. I agree with Mallory above, people that run puppy mills should be caged for a week or so and see how that feels. You can tell the character of a person by the way that they treat their animals and someone who would own or run a puppy mill has no integrity at all IMO. I have so much respect for the ASPCA staff and organization. It takes a strong and courageous person to be able to see abused and neglected animals day after day and stay strong enough to carry on with what needs to be done to help them. It would break my heart. Anyhow, keep up the good work and me and Daisy, my 14 yr old brindle mix curr dog say a big thank you for the giveaway!

  • Watched the video. Stores that sell puppies and the puppy mills they come from, are horrible and need to be stopped. I won’t step foot into a store that sells puppies and tell others to avoid as well.

  • I am suspicious of them and don’t trust how the puppies came about and how they are treated. Puppy mills are terrible and they all should be shut down.

  • These puppy mills are absolutely horrible and must be shut down. Thank God for places such as the ASPCA. We can’t keep taking them for granted. This is proof why we must always support and donate to them so they can continue to be available to us.

  • I cannot and will not set foot in a store that sells puppies. They beyond disgust me and I will forever educate others not to support them. Watching the video just affirms my feelings even more.

  • Wow! Well done, most of Us did not even know about puppy mills before the video. Quite thought provoking. Quite alarming, I’m still taking it ALL in. We have a pound puppy that was rescued by my sister, from an animal shelter, before He was to be put asleep. Still thinking about the video. Wow!

  • I watched the video. I really like the way they compared them to the stuffed toy. It is just so sad. I hope people quit buying from pet stores. Puppy mills are awful.

  • I did watch the video and it was a reminder of facts I already knew but haven’t been faced with in a while. We used to have a pet store that sold puppies in our mall but they moved closer to Chicago to make more money. It’s easy to forget these places still exist when you don’t see them all the time.

  • I don’t believe selling domesticated animals and would never support or endorse any store or company that doesn’t respect the dignity of animals . It’s very disturbing!

  • I have not purchased my dogs from stores. One of my dogs was being given on a street corner, and the other one was from a friend of mine. I love dogs so much and wish only the best for them!

  • Missouri is one of the largest puppy mill states in the nation. Even when the people vote, the law is overturned.

  • There are so many dogs and cats in local shelters I cannot understand why people would buy dohs or cats at stores.

  • One of my two dogs is a puppy mill rescue. She is an eight year old boxer and she has all sorts of physical and psychological issues. I would never buy a dog at a store. The work of puppy mills is awful.

  • I watched the video. I agree that animals should not be sold as holiday gifts and I also support only getting pets from reputable breeders and rescue organizations.

  • I viewed your video and believe that the Pet Stores who sell dogs from “puppy mills” to “make money” should be closed down. Dogs and cats are not toys. People need to realize when getting a pet you are “adopting” a new family member that will be with you many years.

  • I don’t support stores that sell pup’s because I know the type of breeders they buy from, breeders that need to be put out of business period!! We have 3 dogs, all adopted to give them the best life possible!

  • I hate puppy mills. Also, the best dogs I have ever had were not pure breeds. Thank you for the giveaway.

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