Public Education Corner


PE Corner
Publish a Letter Encouraging Responsible Puppy Buying this Holiday Season

We are publishing sample text that you may choose to submit, as other PECs have in the past with much success, to the editors of your local newspapers and other community publications. Feel free to use the following model text, substituting your specific contact information where appropriate. Or change the text as you see fit to best suit your club’s style.

Attn: Letter to the Editor
Newspaper Name
Newspaper address

Dear Editor:
You may want to think twice before giving your friend or family a puppy over the holidays. While holiday cards are filled with images of irresistible puppies peeking their heads out of stockings, the reality of introducing a puppy to your household over the holidays can be quite different.

A puppy is not a stuffed toy. It will not take kindly to being ignored once a newer, brighter toy is discovered. Puppies need attention, training and a lifetime supply of love and care. Overexcited children may scare a puppy or neglect it, especially after it chews up their holiday toys or has an accident on the rug.

Cute puppies soon become full-size dogs. Remember, an impulse gift over the holidays can last for 10 years or more. A dog will need training, food, shelter, medical care and exercise.

A dog is a treasure. If you want to give someone a puppy, don’t have it be a surprise. Consider a gift that signifies the puppy to come or will help someone choose the right dog for his or her lifestyle. Visit the American Kennel Club website and online store. You’ll find complete descriptions and photos of more than 150 breeds as well as sound advice for finding a responsible breeder who will become an invaluable resource throughout the life of your dog. The AKC publishes The Complete Dog Book and The Complete Dog Book for Kids. Both make great gifts (and are easier to wrap than a wiggly puppy!) And the AKC has a huge selection of fantastic gifts including everything from breed-specific socks to AKC/Steiff plush toy dogs and puppies. Check out www.akc.org/shop for more gift ideas.

It’s always best to allow the actual owners to pick out their own puppies. The person taking care of the dog for years to come needs to carefully consider adult dog size, disposition, appetite and grooming.

Attending local dog shows and finding and talking with reputable breeders will help decide what breed is best for you. The AKC publishes several free brochures on being a responsible dog owner. All are available through the AKC website at www.akc.org.

For more information on breeds, upcoming dog shows, and choosing a puppy, please contact the (Your Club’s Name) Dog Club at (your contact number and/or e-mail).

Finally, please keep in mind: A dog is for life — not just for Christmas!

Your name
Your Dog Club
Public Education Coordinator