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Update: Puppy Love is Putting an End to Puppy Mills with 3rd Annual Friends of the Humane Society International Fundraising Event

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 6, 2017) - Puppy Love, the 3rd Annual Friends of the Humane Society International (HSI) Fundraising Event, is back and taking over Maison Mercer on Thursday, June 22nd, with the support of Canadian dog harness manufacturer Buddy Belts and Tito's Handmade Vodka from Texas as Gold Sponsors. The funds raised to help put an end to puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of animals across Canada will go towards rescue efforts, investigation, and lobbying for strong provincial and federal laws.

A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit with little overhead cost; the health and welfare of the animals is not a priority. The puppy mill industry has grown exponentially in Canada and is now a multimillion dollar industry in the country.

"What many people don't know is that many of the animals sold online and even from breeders come from puppy mills," said Nicole Marchand, Founder of Puppy Love. "As a dog owner myself, I knew I had to do something when I learned about the inhumane ways in which these animals are treated."

Roxanne Pettipas, Founder and CEO of Buddy Belts, agrees: "I am a big advocate for animal compassion, so this cause is a perfect fit for Buddy Belts. I founded my company with the belief that I could help dogs breathe in a safer and less invasive manner, and this commitment to animal well-being drives everything that my brand represents. I believe that it is possible to stop the gross and negligent use of puppy mills through initiatives like Puppy Love, and that it's something we should all be a part of."

Puppy mills are legal in Canada and laws do not adequately protect animals. Puppies found in these mills are often badly infected, dehydrated, and covered in lesions. HSI is fighting these mills on several fronts, from rescuing dogs, conducting investigations, to lobbying for stronger provincial and federal law.

"It's shocking to learn how few people are familiar with puppy mills, yet how equally passionate and committed everyone becomes once they learn about the reality of these facilities. To me, that's what's so amazing about this type of organization. People instantly become emotionally invested," said Scarlett Rounthwaite, Puppy Love Committee Member.

Notable appearances at this year's event will include avid animal rights supporter and vegan chef extraordinaire Candice Hutchings, Co-Founder of The Edgy Veg. Toronto designer Ellie Mae Studio has also partnered with the event, creating dog collars, bow ties, leashes, and a dog jacket for purchase at the event.

The event has raised more than $50,000 to date and has impacted the lives of countless dogs and puppies.

About Puppy Love

Founded in 2015, Puppy Love is an annual fundraiser event organized in support of the Humane Society International Canada to stop the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills. The funds raised will go towards rescue efforts, investigation and lobbying for stronger provincial and federal law. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:

About Buddy Belts

Made in Toronto, Canada, the original Buddy Belt dog harness was designed and prototyped in 1997 by company founder and CEO, Roxanne Pettipas. Inspired by and named after Pettipas' miniature dachshund, Buddy, the Buddy Belt officially launched in 2001 at Toronto's annual PET Expo. This comfortable harness fits around the front legs and fastens over the back with just one buckle; the unique design safely hugs yours dog's chest. Available in a rainbow of colours, Buddy Belts come in a variety of sizes to fit all dogs, from teacup and toy to standard. Other Buddy Belt products include: ID collars, leashes, couplers and liners. For more information about, and to shop visit: It is Buddy Belts' mission to produce a best-in-class dog harness that achieves optimal fashion, function and ease-of-use, all in one.

About Tito's Handmade Vodka

Tito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' oldest legal distillery. It is distilled six times in a copper pot still - more than any other vodka in the world - and every small batch is personally taste-tested by Tito Beveridge himself. Tito's Handmade Vodka is also the Vodka for Dog People, and for 20 years has been committed to rescuing and protecting our canine counterparts, many of whom now thrive alongside us at our distillery and our office. For more information on Tito's Handmade Vodka, Vodka for Dog People, and delicious Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktail recipes, please visit

Nicole Marchand

Tanya Mantchenko
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