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Are Puppy Parties Cruel?

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These doggie theme parties are a hot trend in children's event planning -- but hosting one may put your guests at risk.

kid with puppies

More companies are starting to offer puppy parties. They bring around ten small breed dogs to your event and set up a petting zoo for guests. Sometimes dog treats, costumes and toys are included. It sounds like harmless fun, but are there risks?

The Humane Society of the United States Director of Outreach Stephanie Shain says these parties could be unsafe. Stephanie tells us, "We have real concerns about using animals as props for children's parties not only for the welfare of the dogs and puppies, but also for the safety of the children. It seems particularly dangerous to be pairing young children with puppies of small, more delicate breeds. What a horrible message to send to a child, that dogs are items to be rolled in and out of parties. Pets are part of the family, not part of a party display."

Would you host a puppy party or let your child attend one of these events?

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mom of five angels November 18, 2008, 1:04 PM

No way! This is disgusting!

Anna November 18, 2008, 1:46 PM

why not, instead, have an open invitation for party guests to bring their kid-freindly sociable dogs to the party. It would be cheaper and a good chance for dog owners to show off their pets.

birdsfly November 18, 2008, 2:42 PM

If companies are not reputable (which many of them won’t be due to the prevalence of puppy mills) then this will serve to spread diseases like PARVO. It takes one dog with this disease to make you house uninhabitable to puppies in the foreseeable future. Since the point of these parties seems to be to pick that perfect pet this is a major issue. Even clothing worn by the kids can be permanently contaminated. If you are unaware of the sick animal you could get a perfectly healthy puppy and have it contract the disease and die or the other children can go home and infect their own animals. Happy Birthday kiddo!

Take the kid to see puppies at a shelter if you want a dog, or better yet see if any of the local shelters could use a volunteer to play with some of the animals for a day. Reguardless,stop treating animals like party favors and fashion accessories.

ame i. November 18, 2008, 5:21 PM

A better idea: call the local Humane Society and ask if you can have a “party” to where you take children to the shelter to walk dogs the staff knows are child friendly.

Sara Elizabeth Bonds @ The OmniCouple November 10, 2009, 1:06 AM

I agree that pets are part of the family, and not party props.

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