When choosing a new puppy, there's 1 factor more important than how cute he or she is.

March 23 marks National Puppy Day.

Not that anyone needs extra reason to share pictures of adorable dogs, National Puppy Day devotes a day to do that and focus efforts on one of the big issues facing dog lovers: puppy mills.


A puppy mill is a commercially run dog-breeding facility that supplies pet stores with dogs, which are then sold to consumers.

Puppy mills often emphasize selling as many dogs as possible without caring much about the actual health and safety of the animals they sell. Groups like the ASPCA and Humane Society have been working to put an end to puppy mills.



Adopting from a shelter is a much more humane, affordable approach to pet ownership.

By adopting from a shelter instead of shopping at a store, animal lovers aren't supporting puppy mills. And on top of that, adoption saves a life.

Dog trainer Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog" used her Twitter account to voice support for shelter adoption.


As did Melissa Knowles of HLN's "The Daily Share."


If you're planning on adding a furry new friend to your life, save a shelter dog!

The Humane Society, Maddie's Fund, and the Ad Council have joined together to create a national adoption database.

Check out this heartwarming video by the Shelter Pet Project featuring "Scandal" actress Bellamy Young.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."