Consumer Awareness

No one wants to support puppy mills. The issue is that most consumers are not aware that when they purchase a puppy in a pet store or over the Internet, they are perpetuating a cycle of cruelty. 

Consumer awareness and community outreach is central to our mission. Our educational efforts extend beyond the schools. Our outreach never stops. We are constantly working to educate the public.

It's not Cool to be Cruel Billboard

Our billboard near North and Clybourn, one of the busiest intersections in Chicago.

Large-Scale Educational Outreach

  • We educate the public on a large scale through billboards, and ads on CTA buses and theaters. In December 2012, we placed a large billboard on the Kennedy Expressway just in time for the holiday puppy buying season. In December 2013, we had a large billboard launching our “It’s not Cool to be Cruel” campaign near the busy intersection of North and Clybourn in downtown Chicago.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day

  • Each September, in honor of national Puppy Mill Awareness Month, we hold a large march of animal advocates on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on the Magnificent Mile. We come together with the rescue community to raise awareness of puppy mills and promote pet adoption. We have hundreds of supporters in attendance, and send a powerful message that the public does not support puppy mills.
Girl Scouts at Booth

Local Girl Scouts supporting our mission.

Community Events

  • We attend numerous events in a range of venues, including pet expos, neighborhood festivals, and other community events.
  • Community events allow us to have one-on-one conversations with the public educating them about puppy mills and expanding our network.
  • For the last several years, we have proudly had a float in the Chicago Pride Parade.
  • We are thrilled to work with students of a variety of ages on school and community service projects.

Peaceful Protests

  • We stage peaceful protests at pet stores because pet stores are the primary sales outlet for puppy mills. Our protests are non-confrontational and educational.
  • Our goal is to educate the consumer. Consumers deserve to make an informed choice when adding a pet to their family. Pet stores often mislead consumers about the origin of their puppies; we believe that the consumer deserves to know the truth.
  • Protesting works. We have successfully transitioned three pet stores in the Chicago area away from selling commercially-bred puppies to a humane model, where the store sources its puppies from rescues and shelters. In other cases, when a store has refused to meet the community’s demand for a more humane business model, the stores have closed.
Dog Patch Photo

Greg Gordon and TPMP volunteers at The Dog Patch in Naperville.

Leading by Example: The Dog Patch

The Dog Patch in Naperville, Illinois, is an outstanding model for pet stores that wish to transition to a humane model. We worked with The Dog Patch and its owner, Greg Gordon, to transition to selling dogs sourced from rescues and shelters instead of commercial breeders. The Dog Patch’s adoption model has been extremely successful – Mr. Gordon adopted out nearly 400 dogs and 100 cats in 2013. Greg Gordon has become a leader in this industry and we are so proud to work with the Dog Patch.