Pet Stores, Puppy Mills and Responsible Dog Adoption

ASPCA, a puppy mill is any “large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.” Click here for more puppy mill information and a list of health problems common to puppy mill dogs.]

The problems associated with Puppy Mills are hardly new, and many states have already forced pet stores to cease purchasing dogs from these multi-breed, large scale breeding farms. The reality is, as many of us believe, that one of the best ways to put these puppy mills out of business is to force the pet stores to stop buying dogs from them. It’s been working! In fact, as more cities and states join in to stop these pet stores from selling these dogs, the puppy mills will be forced to close their doors.

So, where can you go to adopt the perfect family dog?
Don’t stress! There are many options — all far superior to the traditional pet store alternative. Consider the following resources:

  • Breed-specific rescue groups
  • General rescues
  • Your local shelter

You’d be amazed at how many pure breed dogs and cats can be found at your local shelter or pet rescue facility. The truth is, purebred dogs or cats can “not work out” just as easily as mixed breeds. They too can, and are, relinquished to local shelters and rescues. I work with a rescue group here in Los Angeles that pulls Chow Chows from the “death row” of local shelters, and most of them are absolutely amazing dogs! Not surprisingly, most of the dogs I see adopted from shelters or rescue groups are so phenomenal that I often wonder who could possibly have turned them to the shelter in the first place, and why! One of my 8 adopted cats, a purebred, magnificent Snow Shoe Marble Bengal, was according to his first owner, “the worst cat I’ve ever had!”  Well, guess what — he is an awesome cat, actually one of the best cats I’ve ever had!

Of course, if you are really heart-set on that pure bred, papered dog, then do your research: get on the internet, check out breed registries and breed clubs, and make sure you’re serious! We don’t want your newly-purchased, expensive pedigreed pet to end up in a shelter.

Next time you see those cute little faces in the pet shop window, unless it’s a pet shop only selling shelter pets, walk on by. Do your part to help shut down the Puppy Mills! Instead, adopt a homeless shelter or rescue pet, and save a life.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies. 

Reviewed on: 
Thursday, November 13, 2014