The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced in a press release Wednesday that it is working with Facebook and Oodle, the online classifieds service that powers Marketplace, to stop selling puppy mill dogs on the popular social media site.
Puppy mill dogs are typically kept in filthy, overcrowded cages. They rarely see the light of day and often suffer from malnutrition, disease and neglect.
“Removing an online platform for the cruel puppy mill industry sets a positive example of corporate citizenship and will help improve the lives of countless dogs,” ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres stated. “Most consumers are unaware they are perpetuating animal cruelty by purchasing a puppy online, and given the visibility of Marketplace on Facebook, this move has the potential to raise critical awareness about unscrupulous online breeders.”
The effort to remove puppy ads from Marketplace is part of the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies campaign. Its goal is to end the sale of puppy mill dogs by asking consumers to pledge not to buy anything from stores or websites that offer them for sale.
While breeding facilities that sell puppies to pet stores must be licensed and inspected per the federal Animal Welfare Act, facilities that sell puppies via the Internet are exempt from these requirements.
“Consumers who purchase a puppy from a website run the risk of acquiring an unhealthy animal and often end up with expensive vet bills and broken hearts,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “We hope additional online retailers and classifieds will follow this example and stop providing a platform for puppy mill sales.”
Facebook has already begun removing the ads, according to the ASPCA.