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Pet Stores and Puppy Mills
Pet stores have been accused of getting their puppies from puppy mills and if you’re wondering what all the fuss it about, please click on the link at the bottom of this page. You will then be taken to a page of pictures which need no words to express the horror and the extreme degradation inflicted on man’s best friend – and all for the sake of money.
This is a comparatively mild picture compared to others we have. But to see these noble, loving creatures in these horrible conditions just breaks my heart.
The Source of Pet Store Puppies
Reputable independent or chain stores usually treat Puppy Mills with the abhorrence they deserve, but they quite often do get their stock of puppies from commercial breeders.
Though strict laws govern the breeding of dogs for commercial purposes, a shortage of inspectors and the difficulties of prosecuting offenders make these laws almost impossible to enforce. Thus, commercial breeders who adhere to the law do so only through their own ethics, and not through any fear of falling foul of the law.
Furthermore, commercial breeders are usually interested in breeding dogs for one purpose and one purpose only – and that is to sell on as a commodity for monetary gain.
There is very little thought, if any, given to the gene pool from which the puppies come – temperament, health and breed standards or characteristics are often neglected. They are kept in unnatural, over-crowed, stressful situations (though nowhere near as bad as in the case of Puppy Mills) and there is no way of you knowing the authenticity of any certification or guarantees you may get with your puppy.
You cannot visit the facility, see your puppy’s parents and talk with the breeder. You get no background, on-going contact, help or advice.
Getting puppies from Pet Stores and Shops is usually an impulse purchase – and you know how you always regret those.
Therefore, even though we know reputable Pet Stores do not get their puppies from Puppy Mills, taking into consideration the fact that they do still use commercial breeders, we strongly recommend you do not get your puppy from a Pet Store or Shop.
Just In Case You Didn’t Hear Us The First Time ……!
We cannot emphasize it enough, PLEASE do not buy your puppy from a store or pet shop – they look as cute as all puppies do, but these poor little mites usually originate from fairly poor conditions with commercial breeders or, worse still “back-yard breeders”.
Not only do you not have any background on your puppy – but you will also be encouraging this unscrupulous trade where dogs are kept is disgusting conditions, underfed and uncared for, simply to generate puppies for purely commercial reasons.
There is often a lot of inbreeding associated with this trade, which means your beautiful puppy could be a ticking time bomb of genetic problems waiting to blow up in your face.
Picking your puppy or dog from these places could mean that you face problems which could range from frequent poor health to progressive bone deformities to bad temperament problems resulting in aggression or extreme timidity.
If you must buy a puppy from this kind of source, do be prepared to pay the price, both financially and emotionally.
Do at least first check that your puppy has:-
- No discharge from any orifice
- Clean ears
- No distended belly
- No signs of timidity or aggression
- No signs of a cough
- No fleas or ticks
Do also be aware that you could be taking home a little incubator waiting to infect your children with ringworm or worse. If you have other dogs, they will be exposed to kennel cough, fleas and ticks, worms or worse.
A Cautionary Tale
Being a dog lover, I know how difficult it is to not be swayed by your heart – but you need to make this decision, fully aware of the problems you will be taking on.
We know – we have a little rescue terrier. We love her to bits and are quite happy to accommodate her weird and wonderful ways!
BUT – she cost us the earth in vet bills to get her cured of a bad case of worm infestation and she needs constant treatment for poor legs and a weak tummy.
We will never be able to allow her to play with other dogs freely – she is just too aggressive and doesn’t think twice of picking a fight with dogs 10 times her size! We can’t take her out with our other dogs as she wont let them socialize freely with other dogs they meet in the park.
She barks AND she robs food – she eats things she should stay away from and – to make bad matters worse – she then brings them up all over our carpet. Believe me, the list goes on and on and on ……!
Worst of all, she has been a bad example to pups that we have taken on after her (you will be surprised how much dogs learn from one another!).
But we love her. We knew all of this could happen – and she was in just such a sorry state when we first saw her that we couldn’t do anything else but offer her a good home.
Just as long as you know and are prepared to live with the consequences!
Questions To Ask At The Store
If you have seen your perfect puppy in a Pet Store, first check them out with a local Animal Welfare Organisation or Veterinary Surgery or Practice. Also, do not hesitate to grill the staff with a million questions. After all, this is the next 10 to 15 years of your life you’re discussing! You could start off with …..
- Where did these puppies come from?
- Is that a licensed dealer?
- Does the kennel or broker insist on genetic clearances for breeding stock?
- Can I get a copy of the eye and hip certifications?
- What health problems are common to this breed?
- Which Veterinary Surgery or Practice are you registered with?
- What type temperament does this breed have?
- Does the breed have a tendency to bark a lot?
- How much socialization do they need?
- How much exercise does this breed need?
- How much grooming?
- How badly do they shed?
- What happens to the puppies you don’t sell? Are they sent to rescue groups? Euthanized? Returned to the breeder?If the shop assistants are not well informed, and seem more interested in making a sale than ensuring their puppy goes to a good home – walk away. It may be heartbreaking to leave that lovely little puppy back in its grotty cage – but just do it.