CHICAGO (CBS) — A Naperville pet store owner is getting an award for making the transition from selling puppies–to finding homes for rescues.

The award comes from the Puppy Mill Project–for fighting what puppy mills are all about.

Dog Patch Pet and Feed owner Greg Gordon says it’s not as if his store ever got puppies from puppy mills. He says when he sold puppies, he was always so careful.

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But last fall he decided to deal with nothing but rescues.

“And these animals just seem to have this palpable sense of gratitude,” Gordon said. “And it’s hard to miss.”

Gordon says it was hard to walk away from the revenue stream that selling puppies brought in. But he says he really has not taken a hit financially.

“It’s not without its pitfalls, but it’s certainly very rewarding,” he said.

And Gordon says he sleeps better at night.