Oprah visits PAWS Chicago.

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In early April 2008, Lisa Ling brought viewers into the horrific world of puppy mills —bad breeders who subject their animals to inhumane conditions. She also showed what happens when dogs have no one to adopt them and reported that tens of thousands of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.

The response was inspiring. Shelters reported being inundated with prospective owners eager to adopt and donate. The Oprah Show also heard from pet store owners who say they do not go to puppy mills for their puppies. One said he'd even experienced some violence at his store. Do your research and ask your local pet store owners where their puppies come from. Responsible owners should be happy to address your concerns. "And, as always, violence is never a solution," Oprah says.

After that show, Oprah drops in on a no-kill shelter near Harpo Studios. At PAWS Chicago, homeless animals are not kept in cages. Instead, they have their own rooms and even have a rooftop deck where they can frolic. If they require veterinary care or even surgery, PAWS Chicago provides it. "We want the animals to feel comfortable, and we want the animals to stay healthy," says Paula Fasseas, founder of PAWS Chicago. "We will do whatever it takes to save these animals."