A pet store chain wants to set up shop in Boston. Boston isn't having it.

There are up to 10,000 puppy mills across the U.S.

That's more than enough to keep an animal lover awake at night.

Have you heard about these places? They're overcrowded and operate largely under the radar. Careless breeding practices means generations of dogs with health defects are born into unsanitary conditions, and female dogs are overbred and often killed once they are no longer of use, according to the ASPCA.


Poppy, an adorable contestant in the 2007 "World's Ugliest Dog" competition, had been rescued from a puppy mill and adopted, like many of her competitors. We love you, Poppy! Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images.

These places are sickening, to say the least.

The City of Boston has had enough — enough to take legal action, that is.

Currently, no pet stores in Boston sell animals from commercial breeders (go Boston!), but a pet store chain had plans to make its way into the city limits.

On March 2, 2016, Boston's city council unanimously approved the "puppy mill bill," which bans commercial breeders from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits in the city. Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed it into law last week, The Boston Globe reported.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that goes after the inhumane factories known as puppy mills,” explained Councilor Matt O’Malley, who proposed the ban. “It will also prohibit the sale of dogs on the street corner or in parking lots.”

The law was a preemptive one. And the good news is, it appears the new measure may complicate the pet store chain's plans to set up shop in Beantown.

I'd guess this pudgy pup — who wears its Red Sox pride for all to see — would approve of the city's "puppy mill bill." Photo by Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images.

This month is really shaping up to be big one for animal welfare advocates (and a lousy one for puppy mills).

Just a few states away, a smaller city dealt commercial breeders yet another blow.

The city council of Grove City, Ohio, just passed a similar law to Boston's — one that bans pet stores from selling animals obtained from puppy mills.

The ban means all animals sold in Grove City need to be from shelters or rescues, 10TV News in Columbus reported.

It may be a smaller market than Bah-sten, but still — pretty damn cool.


Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

“If people really did their research and really knew what they were buying and how those animals were treated, I think that most people would not buy those dogs," Kristen Ebsen, who supported the ban, told 10TV News. "So I just want to let people know if they're considering buying a dog from a pet store, really do your research."

Can I get a hell yeah for Boston and Grove City?

The best part about all of this is that you don't need to live in Boston or Grove City to fight back against puppy mills.

Like Ebsen noted, the more people realize where their pets come from, the more likely they are to adopt a rescue than contribute to the puppy mill economy.

If you're in the market to welcome a new (furry) family member, you can find a shelter near you. Our four-legged friends thank you for it.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less