Takin’ It to the Streets

A dozen volunteers spent half their Mother's Day weekend rallying on a street corner outside a Las Vegas shopping center. But that"s okay, says Stacie Cornbleth. "I"m here because animals matter. I can"t think of a better cause."

Indeed. The get-together marked the first Roving Rally in Las Vegas, where volunteers rally on public property outside puppy stores, moving from one shop to the other.

It"s all about letting the public know where many of the puppies for sale really come from.

So, during the kick-off rally on May 8, a dozen people carrying signs that read "Choose Adoption," "Save a Life, Adopt a Shelter Puppy" and "Pet Store Puppies are a Gamble" gathered to let people know.

Roving Rally in Las VegasThey stood on a sidewalk near the Meadows Mall, on the western edge of the Las Vegas Valley, where the Frisky Pet Emporium is located. Many pet stores buy their puppies from commercial breeders in factory-like settings where dogs are bred too frequently, and often inhumanely cared for. The rally, which is part of Best Friends" Puppies Aren"t Products campaign, also encourages shop owners to adopt out shelter or rescue group dogs and cats instead of animals from puppy mills.

The second stop in the day"s Roving Rally was the Puppy Boutique in northwest Las Vegas, where the volunteers spent about an hour on a sidewalk near a heavily trafficked strip mall. They also passed out informational flyers to help get out the word.

As a driver tapped his horn while driving past the group and their signs, Tami Simon, a Best Friends" campaign coordinator who organized the rally, said it was encouraging. "It"s nice when they honk, knowing that they understand and are aware of what"s going on in many pet stores," she said.

Roving Rally in Las VegasOlivia Wrote, who"s been volunteering with Best Friends for just over a year, said she"s found that most people simply are unaware of where many puppies sold in stores are born. "They just don"t know," she says. "The more people who know, the more dogs who will be helped."

After all, Cornbleth pointed out, "These dogs can"t speak for themselves. They need us."

To read more about the closing of Chi-Chi Couture in Las Vegas, click here.

How you can help:

  • Adopt your next companion animal. Many purebred dogs are available for adoption. Search by breed near you for your next family member.
  • Help support Best Friends efforts to educate the public about puppy mills and rescue dogs by learning about Best Friends' puppy mill initiatives!
  • Click here for resources on puppy mill education and pet store awareness.
  • Volunteer! For more information on becoming a volunteer, click here.

Images by Clay Myers and Cathy Scott