12 Reasons Why NOT to Buy the Holiday Puppy in a Store or Online

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Written by Becky Monroe

The 12 Days Reasons of Christmas: Why NOT to Buy a Puppy at a Pet Store or Online

ALL of the animals pictured below were ADOPTED!

1) There are hundreds of dogs in shelters and rescues in need of homes. Dogs who would love a snuggly Christmas morning with a new family to love. You can search on sites like petfinder.com or adoptapet.com and look specifically for the breed or breeds of dogs you would like to adopt. There really are purebred dogs in shelters and rescues. In fact, there are actual breed rescues for nearly every breed of dog out there. You can search for a breed rescue by typing in the desired breed, the word rescue and your state. 

2) Purchasing anything in a store that sells mass bred puppies, kittens, bunnies means you are supporting inhumane business practices. These stores put profit above the well-being of the animals they sell. 

3) Registries like AKC (American Kennel Club), APR (America’s Pet Registry), etc that are supposed to guarantee the lineage (and the health) of your puppy MEAN NOTHING. The AKC and others have no idea the conditions the puppy is born into or do anything to verify the information the breeder submits is accurate. They are only looking to collect the registration fee. 

4) Pet stores and on-line brokerages like to boast that their puppies come from USDA licensed facilities as if that means these kennels are kept to high standards and your puppy will be healthy and well-adjusted. The truth is the majority of breeders who sell their puppies and are USDA licensed also have multiple violations and some have even made the HSUS Horrible Hundred list with violations such as dead dogs on site, emaciated dogs, open wounds, eye infections, etc. Unfortunately, the inspections are too few and the repeated violations are too many and almost all these USDA licensed facilities would be considered inhumane to the typical dog owner. 

5) The prices pet stores and on-line brokers charge for mixed breed puppies is insane. There is no reason to pay that kind of money for a dog. You can adopt one for a fraction of the cost AND your pet will come spayed or neutered and have all its vaccines. Adoption is a win-win. 

6) Pet stores, the AKC, and on-line brokers all fight against animal advocates on most legislation created to improve the lives of dogs including breeding dogs. These organizations and businesses continue to put their profits ahead of the well-being of dogs. 

7) There have been contagious diseases spread from mass breeding facilities to pet stores and then to the consumers who bought the puppies. The lack of veterinary care in these breeding facilities can lead directly to human illness. 

8) It has been proven that the stress and anxiety of the puppy’s mother who is suffering for years in the mill can affect the puppy in the womb. This can mean that the puppy bought in the pet store can exhibit traits of anxiety, fear, aggression, etc. A pet store puppy is not always an emotionally well-balanced puppy. 

9) Beyond the prices of the puppies are the financing options the pet stores offer for consumers to afford the over-priced dog. Charging exorbitant interest while making monthly payments seem affordable, pet stores often create financial bankruptcy situations for families who were only hoping to add a furry pet to their family. 

10) There are endless stories of pet store puppies who are so sick after coming home with their new owner. These stories are made more tragic when consumers realize that they are forced to only go to the pet store’s chosen vet if they want the medical treatment covered by the pet store. Often, these vets protect the pet stores and offer minimal solutions to improve the pet’s health and, instead, offer a replacement puppy instead of taking the time and spending the resources on caring for the puppy the family bought and fell in love with. Too many times, these puppies pass away and not only are the families dealing with the death of a puppy they loved, they now still have to pay for the puppy and all of the medical expenses incurred. 

11) Puppies sold in pet stores and on-line are taken from their mother far too early, so that they can get to the store or the new family when they are still small and cute. Puppies should stay with their mothers well into their 12th week so they learn proper socialization from her and their siblings and at that age, they are more likely to be a healthy weight for travel and better able to fight off illness. 

12) Buying puppies on-line and in pet stores contributes to the perpetual cycle of mass breeding which is 100% inhumane. Five states have passed laws that will now prevent pet stores from selling mass-bred puppies and hopefully, more states will follow, but until then, consumers making better choices and adopting or researching to find a good breeder will help end the cruelty.


Puppy mills exist because the public is funding them — as we change that — we change everything 


**Just a reminder – if you would like to share your Mill Survivor’s story, I would love to publish in on Tails and Truths! Just email me at bmonroe@bailingoutbenji.com.** 


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