San Francisco SPCA Launches Second Phase of Anti-Puppy Mill Campaign

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SF SPCA creates one-of-a-kind “Puppy Bin” designed to shock and educate San Francisco residents in the second phase of its anti-puppy mill campaign.

San Francisco animal rescue SPCA puppy mills: Photo Credit: Kathy Milani/The HSUS

We wanted to do something completely unique in order to grab people’s attention and really drive home the deplorable conditions puppy mill dogs are forced to endure

The San Francisco SPCA has launched the second phase of its highly creative public education campaign which aims to raise awareness of the cycle of puppy mills and its impact on society. As part of its guerilla marketing campaign, the organization has installed a “puppy bin” in the highly trafficked plaza at the intersection of Sacramento Street and Drumm Street, near the Embarcadero center in downtown San Francisco.

The bin, similar in size to puppy mill cages, looks like a typical newspaper stand and features sound and video portraying puppies. Within the bin is a newspaper, The Canine Tribune, featuring articles and stories designed to educate readers about the realities of puppy mills as well as alternative options available to those who want a dog. The campaign has provoked significant reaction from passersby (

“We wanted to do something completely unique in order to grab people’s attention and really drive home the deplorable conditions puppy mill dogs are forced to endure,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, veterinarian and SF SPCA co-president. “This bin is a powerful reminder that we are often duped by false advertising. When San Franciscans buy puppies online, they unwittingly purchase from puppy mills, perpetuating a cycle of misery that benefits only the mill owners and puppy wholesalers.”

A recent SF SPCA survey of San Francisco dog owners showed the internet is the number-one source of puppy sales. “We are inundated with traditional advertising on a daily basis so we needed to find a way to break through the clutter in order to demonstrate the well-documented abuses dogs suffer in puppy mills every day, including lack of access to veterinary care, hunger, forced over-breeding, lack of shelter and rampant disease,” said Jason Walthall, SF SPCA co-president. “By raising awareness in this creative way, we aim to educate current and potential dog owners in the hope that they will make the right decisions about where to get their dog.”

The bins were designed and built in conjunction with BBDO San Francisco, an advertising agency that provided the creative pro bono. BBDO San Francisco also helped to develop the first phase of the public awareness campaign which launched on April 18 and featured a microsite that illustrates the deceptive nature of puppy mill advertising (

For more information, visit

About the San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is a community-supported, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions.

Support the San Francisco SPCA by adopting, donating, volunteering and becoming a client of the state-of-the-art SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital at the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center. SF SPCA has San Francisco volunteer opportunities to care for shelter dogs and cats, conduct adoption counseling, assist clients and veterinary staff at the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, provide foster care, help with the Community Cats Program, and enrich the lives of people in the community through animal-assisted therapy.

For more information about San Francisco pet adoption and veterinary services, call the San Francisco SPCA at 415-912-1742 or visit

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Krista Maloney
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