The first step on the road to pet ownership is to ask yourself some tough questions: Why do you want a puppy? Can you afford one? Are you prepared to take care of a dog every day for his entire life?
If you’ve decided you’re ready for a dog, follow The HSUS’ top tips and you’ll be far more likely to secure a healthy, well-socialized dog that doesn’t drain your emotions or your pocketbook. In other words, one that doesn’t come from a puppy mill.
1. Consider adoption. Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue instead of buying a puppy is one of the surest ways to ensure you aren’t dealing with a puppy mill. Read more about adopting a puppy through a shelter or breed rescue group.
If you still want to buy a puppy….
2. Find a responsible breeder and visit their premises. Never buy a puppy without seeing where it was raised and where its parents are housed; at least the mother of the puppy. DO NOT ACCEPT ANY EXCUSE FOR NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DO SO. Read more on how to find a responsible dog breeder.
3. Don’t be fooled by common claims made by pet stores when pushing their puppies. Despite what they may tell you, pet stores do sell puppy mill puppies.
4. Don’t be swayed by a great website or ad. Many puppy mills pose as small family breeders.
5. Avoid the temptation to “rescue” a puppy mill puppy by buying him. If you see someone keeping puppies in poor conditions, alert your local animal control authorities instead of buying.
6. Do your part: Pledge to help stop puppy mills! Choose not to buy your next pet from a pet store or Internet site, and refuse to buy supplies from any pet store or Internet site that sells puppies.