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Consumer outreach and education are both crucial aspects of CAPS effectiveness. Only through awareness and information can consumers make informed decisions.
The cornerstone of outreach and education is a new consumer awareness advertising campaign entitled “Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills” that combines glamorous fashion models with cute rescue dogs, including a puppy mill survivor.
To raise awareness about the horrors of the pet shops and puppy mills, CAPS has generated stories with leading media including CNN, "Dateline," "20/20," "Hard Copy," Reader's Digest, LIFE, People, Detroit Free Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe, and more.
Our presence on Facebook, twitter, YouTube and other social media engages people in an ongoing dialogue that inspires actions like peaceful protests.
Take a look through the various drop-down items in our Outreach section to learn more.
Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy MillsWhat do you get when you combine glamorous professional models with cute rescue dogs, including a puppy mill survivor? The feel-good grass-roots (socially conscious) cause campaign of 2012!
Based on a collaboration between The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) and professional model Kiley Wirtz Jennings, the campaign is titled “Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills.” The integrated media campaign seeks to inform and educate the public about the atrocities in puppy mills and the risks to consumers associated with buying dogs at pet shops supplied by these commercial breeding facilities. It also encourages the public to save a life by adopting rescue and shelter animals. Campaign elements include a Public Service Announcement (PSA), print advertisements, public relations, and a huge social media push spearheaded by CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a sassy Basset Hound puppy mill survivor rescued by CAPS, who is also an enthusiastic vegan advocate.
Kiley first learned about CAPS after seeing a shocking video documentary, “CAPS vs. Bauck, How a Small Nonprofit Brought Down a Large Nonprofit,” on Vimeo (from a link on Facebook). The documentary follows the undercover employment of a CAPS investigator, who compiled the evidence necessary for Kathy Bauck, one of the largest and most notorious USDA-licensed dog brokers, to be convicted of animal cruelty, the prosecution and conviction, and the termination of Bauck’s USDA license.
Kiley, who has two rescue dogs, was so moved by the Bauck documentary that she reached out to CAPS Founder and President Deborah Howard, offering to donate her time and those of professional models, photographers, videographer, make-up artists and clothes stylists. The project was shot in Fort Worth, Texas.
We believe this campaign has the power to sensitize consumers to the cruel connection between pet shop puppies and puppy mills while moving them to affect change and encourage pet stores to adopt a new model… a more humane model that offers only shelter and rescue animals for adoption.
But we need your help in reaching a larger audience of dog lovers.
Be a social media champion!Help us go viral by sharing this page on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn by clicking the Orange share button above. Or, after watching the Models PSA video below, roll your mouse over the right side of the screen and click on the blue share button.
Help us target the media.If you know of any media contacts, please contact us. To extend the campaign, we are currently pitching TV talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Today, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, and Anderson, among others. In addition, we are sending press kits to Lifestyle and Fashion magazines including Cosmopolitan, Martha Stewart Living, ELLE, Allure, InStyle and many more.
Subscribe to our eNewsletter.You’ll receive thoughtful and meaningful content through The CAPS Communicator and CAPS Action Alerts. And, we NEVER share your email.
Donate online.Click on the Red DONATE NOW button. With options starting as low as $20, your online donations, for 2012, will go directly to help us buy media space for our Public Service Announcements and print advertisements.
Regardless of how you help, we hope you enjoy this multi-media campaign and thank you for visiting our website and supporting the CAPS mission. We'd also like to thank everybody who made this exciting project happen including our Hopes Angels models and everyone listed below:
Photo and Video credits: Hopes Angels Models: Hasmik Shaw, Nina Shaw, Maggie Parks, Kiley Wirtz Jennings, Brooke Tobolka, Anna Theunissen, Emily Williams, Natalie Quintanilla. Simon Lopez, Photographer and Retouch Artist; Zack McDowell, Videographer; Kimber Yanks, Head Clothing Stylist; Leah Peev, Clothing Stylist; Candace Henry, Clothing Stylist; Yvonne Coan, Makeup Artist; Nicole Webber, Makeup Artist; Lana Adams, Makeup Artist; Aaron Reeves, Dog Handler; Bryn Durham, Dog Handler; Ann Lopez, Set Crew Member; Levi Jennings, Kiley's Husband and Chief Caterer.
Rescue dogs courtesy of CAPS, Moka's Dog Rescue, and City Pet Rescue.
This is the Face of a Puppy Mill Dog Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Campaign Ads and Billboards
Start School Group
Start with a Statement
Before everything else, before recruiting members or raising money, you need to have a definitive vision. With a clear mission statement, everyone who is involved will know what the group will be trying to achieve.
Find a Facilitator
Because every school has different procedures for student groups, it’s really important to let at least one staff member know that you are interested in starting this group. A staff member will likely be able to lead you through the administrative steps to officially starting the group.
Get Students Involved
There are many ways to get other students involved, from posting flyers around school, writing in the school paper or newsletter, speaking to students during breaks, or speaking during the morning announcements. Stay in contact with your group outside of meetings. Instead of sending an email, pick up the phone and make more of a personal connection with your supporters.
It’s easy to lose steam with something "extra" like an advocacy group. The most important thing when starting up a student group is to keep the fire burning. Keep variety in your events and meetings. If you feel yourself burning out, take some time to reevaluate why you wanted to get involved in the first place.
Pet shop/puppy mill subcommittee for existing group
If your school already has an animal rights group, consider starting a pet shop/puppy mill committee.
Tabling is a great way to inform others about the abuses of animals in pet stores and puppy mills. With so many opportunities to table, here are just a few examples:
- Student Activity Fairs
- Festivals and Street Fairs
- Social Awareness Conferences
Start a Street Team
The best places to leaflet are public areas with high foot traffic. Our favorite locations are:
- Outside of subway, train, or bus stations.
- On college campuses
- Near high schools around lunchtime or just before or after school
- Outside of major events like concerts, exhibitions and sports games (preferably as people are leaving)
Postering and Flyering
Fliers are often seen on bulletin boards and kiosks. But you can post them in the hallway, at the library or around campus. Don’t forget about cafés or clubs that you frequent, music stores, gyms, rec centers, supermarkets and even bathroom stalls at the mall.
Protest pet shops
Ask a few friends/supporters to help you organize the protest. This will help you delegate responsibly and get more people involved. Once you are organized decide on which type of protest you are having (a silent vigil or chanting).
Pick A Date & Time
Find a time and date that you feel people would be able to attend. We found that noon on Saturday or after 6pm on a weekday work well. Also decide on the duration of the protest. One hour is typical but two hours allows more scheduling flexibility for protesters and media.
Location, Location, Location
To make things go as smoothly as possible, choose a location that has a public sidewalk and good foot/vehicle traffic. If the pet store is in a mall or shopping strip, stay on a public sidewalk so you won’t be accused of trespass.
Spread The Word
By having a team of people helping working on the protest, it’s even easier to get the word out. Make and post flyers, call friends, write letters to newspapers, post bulletins on MySpace, contact the media by sending a press release and then following up with a phone call.
In case the local media arrives it’s important to know what to say. Ask a friend to help you practice what you would say to the media. The media is especially interested in consumer complaints. Try to find consumers who purchased sick pet shop puppies. Then ask them to attend the protest and speak to the media.
What’s a protest without signs? Take time making signs with photos. Use legible writing. Be sure to distribute fact sheets and brochures.
The Day Of
We recommend arriving 15 -20 minutes early on the day of the protest. Being early has perks: you can get the signs out and be prepared to greet the first comers. Designate one person to shoot photos and video during the protest. Share your photos and footage with CAPS. If there are people you don’t recognize, introduce your self to them and thank them for coming.
And Don’t Forget
Organizing your own protest on behalf of the animals is making a difference. The animals need your voice. It’s important to stay in contact with the people who came to the protest; tell them how important their voice is for the animals when you make follow up calls to thank everyone who came.
More than 90 percent of pet shop puppies come from puppy mills. Most pet shops deal directly with USDA licensed “B” dealers (brokers), who obtain their puppies from breeders who typically run substandard facilities (puppy mills). Many of these breeders have USDA “A” licenses. Some breeders are exempt from licensing because they don’t have more than three breeding females and derive more than $500 in gross income from the resale of dogs.
Things to look for
- over crowding
- insufficient food/water
- accumulation of feces
Record information on a notepad or send a text message to a friend. Take photos with a small camera or cell phone.
Obtain the source of the puppies. Some brokers provide pedigrees to pet shops. Pedigrees, which are lineage charts for purebred dogs, usually have a broker’s seal in the bottom left corner and the breeder’s name on top. Look at several puppies and have your friends do the same. If the puppy has a pedigree, ask to see it. Some pet shops, such as Petland, have puppy folders, which contain pedigrees and other records, such as breeder names. Some states, such as California require pet shops to provide breeder and broker names, both verbally and in writing. Make sure you get the town and state for all breeders and brokers.
Listen to Deborah Howard's Radio PSA
- Deborah Howard Biography (PDF)
- Beatrice's Biography (PDF)
- CAPS Brochure (PDF)
- Why You Shouldn't Buy that Puppy in the Window (PDF)
- Why You Shouldn't Buy that Puppy on the Internet (PDF)
- Deborah Howard (web-friendly pictures)
- Deborah Howard (fullsize, stock pictures for hardcopy, slow loading page)
- CAPS Logo
Models and CAPS Unite
- Visit the Kathy Bauck section for more information.
- CAPS Goes Viral with “CAPS vs Bauck, How a Small Nonprofit Brought Down a Large Puppy Mill”
- Bauck Photo Sheet (PDF)
- Kathy Bauck Videos
To raise awareness about the horrors of the pet shops and puppy mills, CAPS has generated stories with the following media: CNN, "Dateline," "20/20," "Hard Copy," Reader's Digest, Life, People, Detroit Free Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer (two front page articles) and numerous local television news stations and newspapers
CAPS worked for more than a year with Dateline to prepare "A Dog's Life," the in-depth report on pet shops and puppy mills that aired on April 26 and May 10 of 2000. This well-researched piece focused not only on Petland, the largest chain in the country, and the puppy mills that deal with Petland and other pet shops, but also on the American Kennel Club's and USDA's roles in this tragic problem. "A Dog's Life" won a Genesis award in the network newsmagazine category.
Public Relations Director
CAPS, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills.
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CAPS believes that parents own their childrens' personal data. Although we do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13 it is possible that this occurs. If we informed of a situation where this occurs we will take reasonable efforts to delete the information from our database.
How to find a USDA licensed breeding or brokering facilityThere are thousands commercial breeding facilities in the U.S. The U.S. Government's APHIS website can be used to get information, inspection reports (not CAPS' reports) and other information about these facilities. It's a little complicated to navigate and understand at first, so here we provide some basic instructions:
- Visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/index.shtml
- Scroll down and select: Inspection Reports and License and Registration List
- Click on "I AGREE" to get to the search page.
- To narrow your search enter the breeder's name in the name field if you know it.
- Change Customer Type to Breeder (or Broker)
- Click on the State dropdown if you know it.
- Click Search near the bottom of the form.
- The results are in PDF format.
Interpreting the results:
- Breeders are puppy mills, catteries, and similar.
- Dealers are brokers who may also breed, such as Kathy Bauck, Steve Kruse, etc. Brokers typically sell to pet shops.
Where to Adopt your Companion Animal
Adopt a companion animal. Every year, animal shelters destroy millions of dogs - including purebreds and puppies - and cats. PLEASE adopt a companion animal from your local shelter, humane society, rescue organization (some specialize in a particular breed) or veterinarian. In addition, many pet supply stores, such as Petsmart or Petco, sponsor adoption days.
You can also find animals to adopt at these websites:
- Where to Adopt in New York City (pdf)
- Where to Adopt in Chicago (pdf)
- Illinois Purebred Rescues (pdf)
Follow this link: Google: Animal Adoption
In the results you'll see one called a Cattery. There are those for boarding and those for breeding. Avoid commercial breeding catteries! Ask smart questions. Don't support commercial breeding facilities, puppy mills or catteries.
Not convinced about the horrors of puppy mills? Please read:
PayPal Donations Help / FAQQ: How are donations processed?
A: CAPS uses PayPal to process donations. After you fill out and select to have your donation processed on our site the donation information is sent to the official PayPal site to be processed.
Q: Do you store our credit card info?
A: We, CAPS, do not store or even see your credit card information. That all transpires on www.paypal.com.
Q: Do I have to have a PayPal account to donate?
A: No, if you don't, after you are redirected to the PayPal website, please select the small "Continue" link in the left column to pay by credit card. However, if you attempt to use a credit card already on file with your email address, PayPal will recognize it and stop you. You will get a response like:
"You cannot use an e-mail address or card number that belongs to an existing PayPal account. If you have a PayPal account, please log in. If you don't, please change the e-mail address or card number and try again."
You either have to log into your PayPal account and do it that way or use an alternate credit card if you have one that is not linked to a PayPal account.
Q: I tried to pay using PayPal but it does not recognize my password, and of course I cannot use the "Continue" link because I only have one credit card and it is linked to my email address. What do I do?
A: This is tough because the problem is on their system, not CAPS. The real solution is to follow the PayPal process to get your password reset. Whether you do it now or later, this is something you might want to get fixed. Try this number for PayPal, 1-888-221-1161, and prepared to persist with accuracy until desired results.
However if that does not work you can send in a donation by postal mail or we can submit your donation through Network for Good.