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Open Your Heart, Say ‘J'adore' to an Adoptable Pet

THIS SATURDAY: Ooh là là! Pets, People Participate in a Promenade d'Amour

A French-themed "Promenade d'Amour" Saturday in Glendale will spotlight all the amorous adoptable animals looking for love this Valentine's Weekend (and every other day). In addition to promoting the adoption option, organizers seek to discourage potential pet parents from purchasing from pet stores supplied by puppy mills.

This "Walk of Love" will feature people in très romantique red berets and red or pink shirts with red balloons, escorted by dozens of devoted, adoptable and rescued dogs. They'll gather at noon and walk away from Pets R Us, 839 W. Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale and make their way toward Pet Rush, Glendale's only rescue- only business model pet store, at 1420 W. Kenneth Road.

Pet Rush will host an adoption soirée until 4 p.m. where participants will enjoy sweets and treats, and meet a variety of chic adoptable dogs known for their special joie de vivre.

"This event is designed to draw attention to the emerging national trend of pet stores converting to a rescue-only business model," said Jennifer Krause, marketing specialist for Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles.

"Progressive stores like Pet Rush represent the nouveau genre of pet shops, running a business sans selling puppy mill dogs, and instead saving lives by offering local shelter and rescue dogs for adoption. Walking away from Pets R Us and moving towards Pet Rush symbolizes leaving behind the old-style, breeder-supplied pet stores and the misery associated with the puppy mill industry."

Because community support is crucial to the success of rescue-only pet stores, Pet Rush owner extraordinaire Rene Karapedian wishes to say "merci beaucoup" to his clients by offering five dollars off grooming, two dollars off baths and 10 percent off anything in the store if they mention "Walk of Love." He encourages pet parents in the area to frequent Pet Rush for supplies and services and to avoid traditional pet shops that often are just a façade for the puppy mill industry.

Since more than half of his profits came from puppy sales before he converted his business to a rescue-only model, Karapedian had to look at other ways to bring in revenue. He specializes in crème de la crème grooming services, boarding, daycare, low-cost vaccinations, dental cleaning and sells pet supplies for dogs, cats, fish, birds and reptiles.

The 10-year veteran of the business is dedicated to making this work in order to show other pet stores that it's possible to be successful without selling puppy mill puppies. "I just want to do the right thing," he said.

Best Friends' puppy mill initiatives educate consumers about where many pet stores get their pet inventory - factory-like commercial breeding operations where puppies and breeding parents are forced to live in squalid conditions, with little or no medical care. Although puppy mills are legal in the United States, many breeders are not licensed and do not follow even minimum standards of care for the dogs, who often are confined in tiny wire cages for life.

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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