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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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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