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The Boston Globe

South

Bella English

Taking bark out of puppy mills

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.

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