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The high price of that doggie in the window

Take the puppy mill pledge

Kind News magazine, December 2016/January 2017

    Adopting a dog from an animal shelter or rescue helps to put puppy mills out of business. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

For many people, getting a new puppy is a joy, and a cinch! A quick trip to a pet store and in minutes you have your dream dog. Or do you? For thousands of people, getting a puppy at a pet store or online becomes a nightmare for them and for dogs. That's because many pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills. Puppy mills are places where female dogs spend their lives in cages, having litter after litter of puppies. The puppies are sold in pet stores or through newspaper and online ads.

Hundreds of thousands of puppies are born in puppy mills each year. Because the main purpose of the puppy mill is to make money, puppy mill owners often skimp on the care they provide to the dogs. To save money, they keep dogs in crowded cages. The animals seldom get exercise, attention or veterinary care. Their cages are often dirty, with little protection from sun, wind or cold.

Many puppies born in puppy mills are taken away from their mothers before they are ready and shipped cross-country to be sold in pet shops. The moms left behind are then bred again to produce more puppies.

In addition, many of the dogs born in puppy mills have serious health problems. Although the puppies may seem healthy, these problems can show up when they're fully grown, or even sooner. Some of the puppies die within days or weeks of purchase.

Kind kids and their families can help. In the future, don't buy puppies from pet stores. Even if a pet store claims that they don't sell dogs from puppy mills, chances are they really do. And don't trust people from newspaper or website ads who sell puppies but don't let you see where the puppy and his parents were raised and live.

If your family is ready for a dog, your best bet is to adopt one from an animal shelter. Animal shelters have a variety of dogs, including mixed-breed and purebred dogs, waiting for homes. By adopting, you're in the business of helping pets!

There is good news!

Some, but not all, pet stores are helping to solve the puppy mill problem. Instead of selling puppy mill dogs, they offer dogs for adoption from local animal shelters. You can meet the dogs and adopt one! To find a puppy-friendly pet store near you, click here »


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