Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama Family Dog Web Site Rockets Past 20,000 Signatures Just 24 Hours after Launch

Animal lovers from across the United States are jumping on the Barack Obama adopt-a-dog bandwagon.

Since it was launched less than 24 hours ago by Best Friends Animal Society, the ObamaFamilyDog.com web site has surpassed 20,000 signatures on a petition to urge the Democratic presidential candidate to adopt a dog rather than purchasing from a commercial breeder or pet store.

Utah-based Best Friends, which operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for adoptable companion animals, hopes the web site will help convince the Obamas to join thousands of other Americans who believe that adoption from a shelter or breed rescue organization is the way to add a companion animal to the family.

When Michelle Obama, wife of the senator, mentioned weeks ago that the Obamas had promised their kids a dog following the presidential campaign, the American Kennel Club was quick to offer suggestions for purebred dogs. But Best Friends, which launched “A Puppy-Store-Free LA” campaign in Los Angeles last week, countered with the adoption option.

“Our members are casting their votes at the rate of about 1,000 per hour,” said Julie Castle, director of community programs and services for Best Friends. “The speed at which the signatures have multiplied is testimony to the fact that the ethical message of adoption, embraced by Best Friends and many other animal welfare organizations, is getting through to the masses.”

Across the country, in both red and blue states, millions of dogs are killed each year in shelters in large part because there aren’t enough families for them, Castle pointed out. “Best Friends believes that adopting a homeless pet is the right choice. Win or lose, this is an opportunity for Sen. Obama to effect change on this very important issue.”

Best Friends urges families to consider adopting from a shelter or breed rescue organization, rather than purchasing from a commercial breeder or pet store. Adoption helps save lives of dogs that ultimately would be euthanized and is a more socially responsible choice for new pet owners. It also helps decrease the demand for dogs from puppy mills, the large commercial breeding enterprises that supply pet shops across the United States.

Last week at a Los Angeles news conference, Best Friends Animal Society and Last Chance for Animals jointly announced the launch of “A Puppy-Store-Free LA” campaign to shine the light on tens of thousands of dogs across the United States that are trapped in puppy mills, which serve as suppliers for pet shops around the country.

“We’re hoping “A Puppy-Store-Free LA” campaign will help us stop the flow of puppies from puppy mills to pet stores and at the same time make it more difficult to sell puppies from puppy mills,” Castle said. “Obviously, if Sen. Obama chooses to adopt, it will set an example for all Americans—that adopting a homeless pet is the right thing to do.”

For more information about adopting a dog, Best Friends suggests a visit to a local shelter or looking online at any of the following web sites:


Potential adopters can also find a purebred dog from a breed rescue organization by searching www.google.com. Enter a city or state, the breed you are looking for, and the word “rescue.”

“Kindness to Animals Builds a Better World for All of Us”

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