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Kids dream up where puppies come from in heartbreaking puppy mill PSA

Another day, another made-up holiday – August 26 has been dubbed National Dog Day, and there’s no doubt that social media will be filled with heartwarming tributes to our canine friends.

But it’s not all warm and fuzzy. The Humane Society is using the opportunity to remind people that puppy mills are still a huge problem in the US, and is asking people to sign a “puppy pledge” to help put a stop to the practice. According to The Humane Society, there are roughly 10,000 puppy mills in the US.

In a campaign created by Rokkan called ‘Don’t Buy Into Puppy Mills,’ kids are asked to explain where they believe puppies come from. The kids offer up some adorable answers, with one little girl confidently stating that all puppies come from New York City. Another says that they come from a magical place where they get to wear rainbow outfits and lip gloss. Their answers are accompanied by whimsical illustrations of dogs as they act out what the children are describing.

While the ad starts out innocently enough, it takes a dark turn about halfway through when the children explain where many puppies who are bought online and in pet stores actually come from – dirty, crowded puppy mills where mother dogs are not treated well. The video ends with the simple message, “Change the story for more dogs.”

“Consumers have become hyper-aware of where their food and clothes come from, but what about their pets? It’s pretty hard to believe that most dog purchasers don’t know that they’re buying from puppy mills. Puppy love blinds us from the truth. By asking this one question, we hope to spur people to think more critically about where puppies really come from,” said Rokkan’s chief strategy officer Sean Miller in a statement.

Additional elements of the campaign include social, banner content, and a site redesign of the Don't Buy Into Puppy Mills website.