Thousands of puppies are bought and sold every year during the holiday season, which means thousands of consumers end up unknowingly supporting puppy mills.
Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities that place an emphasis on profits over the health of the dogs. The breeding dogs live their entire lives in cages, typically in deplorable conditions and are killed when they can no longer breed. The puppies often have severe medical problems.
Before you purchase a dog, check Spokanimal, Scraps or the Humane Society. If you feel you must buy from a breeder, then at the very least, visit the breeder in person and see the home where the puppy was raised. Reputable breeders do not sell to pet stores or over the Internet.
Fortunately, many pet shops are transitioning to the “Puppy Friendly” business model whereby they use their storefront to showcase shelter pets from local shelters. Petco and Petsmart are the industry leaders in adopting this compassionate model.
For more information about puppy mills, pet stores and how to find a responsible breeder, please see humanesociety.org/stoppuppymills.