Help Us Stop Pet Stores Selling Puppy Mill Dogs

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If you buy a puppy from a pet store or from many online sources, you are almost certainly helping to support abusive puppy mills. The puppies you will see at PetSmart and Petco, however, come from local shelters and rescue organizations. Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare commends the efforts of these retail corporations and non-profits that are working together to find good homes for dogs.

Other pet stores’ puppies are almost always from puppy mills. By purchasing a puppy at a pet store, you are supporting an irresponsible breeder who does not follow the life of his puppy, breed for health or temperament, and who does not insist on taking his dog back if the buyer becomes unable to keep it at any time.

What is a Puppy Mill?

Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities where puppies are produced solely as a money-making endeavor. There is little concern for the health or welfare of the breeding male and female dogs. Many of them live in cages their entire lives. They sometimes receive no veterinary care, grooming, socialization—or even decent water, food, and shelter from the weather. The female dogs are bred over and over until they can no longer produce. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the puppies are often born with congenital problems or catch diseases at the mill. Unsuspecting families pay lots of money to bring sick puppies into their home. The cost of treating a sick puppy can be very high. Returning the puppy to the store often means it’s death.

Those who opt to not return a sick puppy to the store must assume whatever bills are necessary to bring the dog back to good health. Sometimes even extraordinary measures are not enough to save the puppy’s life, however. Outside of any warranty or signed contract from the store, the buyer is left with both the cost of the puppy and the vet bills.

Beware of any pet store employee who tells you that a puppy comes from “a good breeder.” No good breeder will sell his puppies through a third party, especially a pet store. As a result, 99% of the puppies sold in stores come from puppy mills.

To learn more about the horrors of puppy mills, see our blog.