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Why 'The Dog Lover' is Very Important for the Pet Industry

A new movie has recently been released which asked the question: Can we really trust the agenda of every animal welfare activist group out there?

The Dog Lover is a unique film which presents animal activism from the other side of the coin. In the past, media has always sided with the activists, who are often portrayed as the "good guys" in an always-uphill battle against all of the puppy mills. However, this particular film goes about the topic in a very different approach which makes viewers question the truth behind every claim the activist groups announce. 

Related Article: Does Buying Pet Store Puppies Support Overcrowding in Shelters?

The film opens up in a way one might expect a movie based on puppy mills would. From the point of view of an undercover camera operated by a young couple, you are lead through a run-down property owned by a suspicious-looking older couple who are lacking as much maintenance as their land. The camera leads you down a hall of barking dogs and a comment on how taking care of so many dogs might be difficult. Then, you are lead into a dark and musty room (you can tell, even through the tv screen) where a group of puppies are gathered in the corner within a poorly setup puppy pen.

The male of the young couple (played by Michael King), posed as dog lovers in search of a new addition to their household, looks at the puppies as the camera is "subtly" looking in the dark corners. The camera happens upon something shocking enough to take down the puppy mill: a dead puppy lying in the corner.

Related Article: The Difference Between Professional and Backyard Breeders

Immediately, you are filled with remorse and disgust as the young couple race to get away from this place. Suddenly, you're on their side. You want them to take down every puppy mill in the world. You want to support their every claim and fund them every extra dollar you have, and understandably. We are all used to hearing the many messages from HSUS and PETA and seeing the sad photos and videos which seemingly prove that all breeders need to be taken down. 


However, as the film progresses, and you go more in-depth to the character's stories (based on a true story), your feelings start to change. You pause, and think, "wait - I thought these were the good guys?" You're suspicious of the dog breeder, Daniel Holloway (played by James Remar), and then you're not. In the beginning of the movie, you're on the UAPA's (HSUS's impersonation) side, and suddenly you're questioning every sad dog commercial you've ever seen. And then, it hits. You become angry and defensive, and you can't believe what is happening.

Without giving any plot spoilers, this is the best way I can describe the experience of watching The Dog Lover. The movie begs the ever-important question that many of us seem to forget when we get emotional, especially when it comes to the animals we love: Learn the truth. Investigate before you donate. 

If you are involved with the pet industry in any way, this is a movie that needs to be seen. You may not necessarily agree with it, but just know: not everything is as it appears. There is no doubt that puppy mills are bad. But not every breeder is a bad breeder. 

To learn more, take a look at how we can Change the Way We Are Selling Live Animals in Pet Stores and find out how the pet industry is Weathering the Storm. You can also keep an eye out for our next series of blog posts where we address the myths and facts around selling pets versus adopting (AKA the #AdoptDontShop trend).

Most importantly, educate yourself, and find out the truth. 

Movie Rating: 4.5

While a very emotional movie, it presents the facts of a true story (that was somewhat elevated for theatrical purposes, of course) that professional breeders and backyard breeders are often lumped together as the same category as "puppy mills." The producers have done a fantastic job pointing out the differences between a good breeder and a bad one by showing the two extremes literally side-by-side as neighbors. The most important to lesson that can be learned from this movie is that "nothing is that black and white" (even a line from the movie). Not all breeders are torn-down puppy mills which ignore animal welfare, and not all animal activist groups really have animal welfare in mind. Additionally, rules and regulations are not going to stop the bad ones, but only keep the good ones from doing their best to maintain their and their dogs' lifestyle.

Note: This review is the opinion of the author, Ashley Hoffman, and may vary from opinion of those within All Points Marketing. 



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Ashley Hoffman – E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager joined the All Points family in April of 2015. Ashley brings a fresh outlook to the marketing industry as well as a constant desire for learning something new. She is dedicated to consistently improving her skills and efficiency in the marketing industry and using those skills to promote APM and all brands we represent. Ashley has grown up with many animals throughout her life and is currently the loving owner of two cats.

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