In 1989, Deborah Howard walked into an Atlanta pet shop and was shocked by the conditions. The place was dirty, and there were lots of sick puppies, including a small yellow Labrador retriever who pressed against the small cage with an oozing cut on his leg.
Howard, a public relations professional with a law degree, began researching. What she learned shocked and angered her, and set her on a mission that has become her life’s work. In 1992, she founded the Companion Animal Protection Society, or CAPS, a national nonprofit dedicated to closing down puppy mills where dogs are repeatedly bred and kept in squalid conditions, and the pet shops that sell the dogs.