Breeders have it pretty easy when it comes to deceiving people about the origins of their dogs, but an interactive website shows the stark contrast between the sweet images we see online and the cute puppies we see in pet stores and the harsh reality these dogs face behind the scenes in puppy mills.
Pawfect Pets was created through a collaboration of eight animal welfare groups and the Singapore-based digital agency Yolk, and offers a perfect example of the kinds of ads we see from breeders …it even comes complete with multiple dog listings, advice on care and an offer for free grooming and delivery within 48 hours.
The site also features an adorable little three-month-old miniature schnauzer who wants us to play with him.
Visitors to the site can ask the puppy to sit, or give him a drink, a toy or a treat and he happily obliges, but then he asks us to do something for him: He wants to show us where he came from.
Note: You have to enable pop-ups on your browser to use the interactive features.
We’re asked to hold our noses and things go from aww to ugh in a matter of seconds as unexpected video footage and images from inside puppy mill operations show unsanitary conditions, overcrowding and a multitude of horribly sick dogs as the puppy guides us on a tour of his origins and explains some of the problems dogs face.
“Different videos for each of the options of what users can watch the puppy do shows a different aspect of the cruelty of mill facilities. The dogs there appear to have to stand on the wire at the bottom of cages all day long, are given little food and water, and have insufficient access to veterinary care,” according to a Co.Create review.
Along with the graphic images, facts are offered about dogs from different sources, including one from CNN that states “98% of the puppies in Singapore’s pet shops are from pet farms.” While the information is based on Singapore, the problems dogs face in large-scale breeding facilities are found around the world.
At the end, the puppy asks us to do something if we’re horrified by what we saw: Make a “pinky paw” promise and pledge to adopt and help spread the word about puppy mills. The site also offers resources for teachers, along with banners and ads that look like something you would find from a breeder to share that will lead people to the site with the promise of cute puppies for sale, and ultimately lead them to the truth about where pet store puppies come from.
Photo credit: Thinkstock