UPDATE: When I originally wrote this post, the owner of We Love Pets seemed to have changed, no longer selling puppies from puppy mills. He was actively pulling needy pets from open admission shelters and promoting them in the store. But over time, we learned that he had resumed getting puppies from puppy mills. He claimed that he was “rescuing” them. The facts came out that he was again supporting puppy mills and selling them. The store has now closed. I apologize if I ever gave the impression of supporting this store while they were selling puppy mill dogs. I would never do such a thing. He fooled a lot of people and it’s good that he is out of business.

On December 31 2012, I attended and wrote a blog post on a protest held outside of the We Love Pets pet store in Media, PA. The protesters had been standing on the street outside of this store each weekend for a very long time, holding posters to passersby that this pet store sold puppies from puppy mills. Indeed they did and charged a lot of money for them. People who knew no better spent that money and bought these puppies.

But over the course of time when the protests were occurring, the owner of We Love Pets was beginning to learn the facts of the puppy mill business. The turning point was the day that a puppy died in his arms. From this incident and through the education he was receiving from one very kind and compassionate puppy mill rescuer, the owners of We Love Pets made the very brave decision to convert their store into a 501(c)3 rescue organization this year.

I took the opportunity to visit the store right before Christmas to see for myself what was now going on at We Love Pets. I am very pleased to say that they truly have made the change from selling puppy mill puppies to adopting out dogs and cats who had been in shelters, surrendered by their owners, and from hoarding situations. The pens and cages that housed the animals were remarkably clean and the pets all looked so happy and healthy. I could tell that they were getting good care.

The store was exceptionally crowded with adoptions happening regularly. While I was there, I was so impressed to hear the owners talking with a potential adopter of a German Shepherd. The potential adopter already had a shepherd but he wasn’t neutered. The owners of We Love Pets were steadfast in refusing to adopt the dog to this person unless their dog was neutered. They really understand that irresponsible breeding must be stopped by having pets spayed and neutered.

I have seen the owner of We Love Pets going into an animal shelter many times, pulling out animals of all ages and breeds. I’ve seen many Pit Bulls who had been sitting at the shelter for months with no prospects finally find a home when We Love Pets took them. I recently saw a pair of cats, one of them blind, who came from a shelter and found their forever home through We Love Pets. The list is long of animals that they have helped and I am very impressed to see this happening.

Every pet store that sells puppies from puppy mills needs to take a good, hard look at their ethics and consider following the path that We Love Pets has taken. If all or most pet stores follow suit, maybe we can have a chance at shutting down the large-scale puppy mill operations in this country.