Word of mouth may eliminate puppy mills

A paradigm shift has occurred, offering an alternative to a former way of doing business. Many current retailers in the pet industry are embracing the opportunity to help animals in need by working with rescue groups, shelters or holding adoption events at their store rather than selling pets from high-volume breeders (aka puppy mills).

Small business owners are opening pet boutiques that offer adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits, etc., while offering great services. As more people are aware of the connection between puppy mills and pet stores, it seems irresponsible for consumers and retailers to support a cruel and inhumane breeding industry when so many healthy, adoptable pets die at local shelters for no reason other than space.

Retailers and customers are smarter and more connected than ever before. The current marketplace is extremely transparent. With the increased usage of social media, consumers are able to speak directly with businesses, not to mention fellow consumers. More than ever, customers review and rate their experiences and share them online with others — hundreds if not thousands of others. It is said that the most successful marketing is “word of mouth.”

Customers notice when retailers demonstrate best business practices. Those businesses are trusted, appreciated and continuously patronized by the community.

Ida Noack

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