Thinking of getting a dog this year? We've all been tempted by the cute puppy in the pet store window. But before you give in to the temptation and buy that furry bundle of joy, there are some things you should know.
For one, that puppy most likely came from a large-scale, substandard commercial breeding operation, commonly known as a puppy mill. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. The breeding stocks at puppy mills (possibly your new puppy's mom and dad) are bred as often as possible in order to increase profits. In fact, the living conditions and treatment of these dogs can be downright horrific.
But you can help. Pledge to stop puppy mills by being a responsible consumer and pet parent.THE PLEDGE I pledge to do what I can to stop puppy mills by being a responsible consumer and pet parent. I will be mindful of the following guidelines: 1. Not to Buy From a Pet Store That puppy who charmed you through the pet shop window has most likely come from a large-scale, substandard commercial breeding facility, commonly known as a puppy mill. In these facilities, parent dogs are caged and bred as often as possible, and give birth to puppies who could have costly medical problems you might not become aware of until after you bring your new pet home. 2. To Make Adoption My First Option If you're looking to make a puppy part of your family, check your local shelters first. Not only will you be saving a life, but you will ensure that your money is not going to support a puppy mill. There are many dogs waiting for homes in shelters all across the country--and an estimated one in four is a purebred! 3. To Know How to Recognize a Responsible Breeder If you've exhausted your options for adopting and are choosing to buy from a breeder, remember that responsible breeders have their dogs' interests in mind. They are not simply interested in making a sale, but in placing their pups in good homes. A responsible breeder should screen you as thoroughly as you screen them!