Breeder • Puppy Mill • Pet Store
Not everyone wants to adopt through a rescue. The wait may be too long, the right fit may not come, or one may want a puppy.
That's OK !! Knowing how to look for a dog is the best thing!
Prospective buyers should keep these definitions in mind when seeking a puppy
to add to their lives.
Pet Store Puppies come from Puppy Mills!!!
Responsible / Hobby breeder:
Responsible Breeders are breeders who care what genetics they are
breeding down the line. They know exactly who the sire and dam are and
their genetic make up for numerous previous generations.
The dogs they
have bred have been tested and certified for their eyes and hips. Not
just looked at by a vet to say "he or she is healthy and looks good, go
ahead and breed". X-rays have been done for their hips and knees,
testing has been done on their eyes to guarantee a healthy dog from
genetic problems for the rest of it's life.
This type of breeder should be able to show you ALL medical records.
A puppy will be more
expensive from a responsible breeder as they put more money into the
puppies with the testing, lineage tracing etc.
They follow a breeding plan intended to preserve each breed; produce a limited number of litters each year; breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with plenty of environmental stimulation and human contact; has a contract that protects breeder, puppy, and buyer; raises dog in the house or runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible.
Learn how to read websites or ads that sell puppies or animals: What is in a website? by Karen Peak
Then there are these people..........
If you run into an irresponsible breeder, please take down as much information as you can and see our section below to report your findings and concerns.
A breeder who produces puppies with no breeding program,
little attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization practices.
Conditions in puppy mills are generally substandard and may be deplorable, and
puppies and adult dogs used for breeding are malnourished, sickly, and of poor temperament. And their lives are miserable. When their breeding
usefulness is over, they may be killed or dumped.
Large-scale mills do
not take their older dogs to shelters, as a rule, because they don’t
want to draw attention to themselves.
Puppies in PET STORES & online pet stores are from PUPPY MILLS.
NO reputable breeder, ANYWHERE, would give their puppies to a PET STORE.
Tends to be the average pet owner that breeds their dog(s). The dog owner's pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons.
This "breeder" may not know of the breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices. Kitchen Breeders tend to think, 'Hey, why not breed my dogs? My dog is simply adorable! or 'There are so many people out there who want them.' or 'Maybe I can make a little money too?'
These are well meaning people who may not know any better.
The dogs bred have NOT been tested and certified for their eyes and hips. They ARE just looked at by a vet to say "he or she is healthy and looks good, go ahead and breed". X-rays have NOT been done for their hips and knees, testing has been done on their eyes to guarantee a healthy dog from genetic problems for the rest of it's life.
They may have gotten their first dog from a pet store/"breeder" or as a gift
- hence a puppy mill. They think they are perfect in every way but who knows what really may be wrong with him/her.
Genetic problems don't show up until the dog is at least a year old if
not 2 years old....sometimes other issues arise later in life. By this time, the kitchen breeder has already bred his
or her dog most likely a few times and the problems continue.
You will see these "breeders" advertised in the paper, eBay Ads, craigslist or kijiji or social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace for approx $400 - $1200.
Backyard Breeders are typically people who have more than one breed of dog whom they breed litter after litter, sell the puppies at 6 - 7 weeks or younger....and don't care who they sell to as long as they have the cash to pay for the dog.
They may give a 24 hour health guarantee, which is a HUGE red flag. They don't care if two weeks from now your dog has health problems - they have their money and you have your unhealthy dog. They give no consideration which adults they are breeding or where they come from. If one has a genetic problem, so be it, 'not all the puppies will have it'. They are only in the dog business to make a quick buck.
You will see these "breeders" advertised in the paper, eBay Ads, craigslist or kijiji or social networking sites such as Facebook for approx $200 - $600.
One who usually has several breeds of dogs with
profit as the primary motive for existence. Commercial breeders are supposed to be inspected
by USDA, state agencies, or the American Kennel Club & have "adequate conditions".
Commercial breeders that sell directly to the public often fall through the regulatory cracks unless they do business in a state that licenses commercial kennels.
Dogs in these kennels may be healthy or not and their conditions may be acceptable
or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic diseases, and the breeding
stock may or may not be selected for resemblance to the breed standard or for
These dogs come from PUPPY MILLS. A responsible breeder would never hand over their puppies to an establishment like this...EVER.
Broker: One who buys puppies from commercial kennels and sells to retail
outlets or other kennels.
Brokers ship puppies on airlines or by truckload throughout the country. Brokers must be licensed by USDA and must abide by the shipping regulations in the Animal Welfare Act. You often see these puppies in silly costumes and baskets on various website with "Available for Immediate Shipment" and things like that.
One who collects dogs of unknown origin for sale to laboratories or other bunchers or brokers.
Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale than puppy mill operators, for there is much suspicion that they buy stolen pets, collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home," and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for sale to research laboratories.
The bottom line is that responsible breeders do not sell dogs through pet stores, because they want to personally meet and interview the person who will be caring for their puppy.
What you can do if you suspect that there is a puppy mill in your area or a breeding facility with unacceptable conditions:
The Animal Welfare Act
The Animal Welfare Act is administered by the US Department of Agriculture. The act lists several categories of businesses that "handle" dogs: