- Puppy mills and pet shops do not properly socialize
their puppies. They raise their puppies in cramped, often
dirty cages -- not home-enriched environments.
- Pet shop puppies lack fresh air, exercise, play, and
lots of positive human contact -- all of the ingredients
necessary for a puppy to become a well-adjusted adult dog.
- Unsound breeding practices predispose puppy mill dogs to
hereditary afflictions like hip dysplasia, luxating patellas
(dislocating kneecaps), eye maladies, and aggressive
behavior. Life-threatening genetic conditions such as liver
and heart diseases, autoimmune disorders, and seizures can
also result from careless breeding. Many genetic defects may
not show up for months or even years.
- Pet shops do not usually provide information on genetic
disorders prevalent in certain breeds -- such as hip
dysplasia in German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers.
- Pet shops do not provide copies of these important
certificates: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) on the
hips of both parents; the Canine Eye Registration Foundation
(CERF) on the eyes of both parents.
- Pet shop puppies come into contact with numerous animals
at puppy mills and brokers' holding facilities, during
transportation by truck, van, or airplane, and ultimately at
pet shops. Therefore, these puppies are commonly exposed to
a variety of illnesses. Moreover, transportation stress
makes them even more susceptible to disease.
- Pet shop puppies commonly have worms, upper respiratory
infections, ear and eye infections, mange, coccidia or
giardia. Some of these maladies can be transmitted to
- Pet shop puppies are prone to parvovirus and distemper.
These diseases are highly contagious and usually fatal.
Parvovirus symptoms are not immediately detectable, so a
puppy with parvo may share a cage with a healthy puppy.
- Pet shops normally place very sick or deformed puppies
in an isolation area -- in most cases, a depressing back
room. Due to improper circulation, the germs of puppies in
the back room are spread throughout the store.
- While some puppies seem healthy at the pet shop, disease
symptoms sometimes do not appear for several weeks -- a
puppy can already be in a new home.
- Puppies frequently die or require euthanasia at puppy
mills, brokers' facilities, and pet shops.
- The American Kennel Club registration papers that
ordinarily come with purebred pet shop puppies often impress
buyers and provide a false sense of security. AKC
registration, however, does not guarantee proper breeding
conditions, health, quality or claims to lineage. In fact,
California requires pet shops to notify consumers orally and
in writing of these limitations.
- The AKC derives a significant portion of its revenues
from the registration of puppy mill litters. The
organization registers thousands of puppy mill puppies each
year without questioning why so many puppies are born to
- Pet shops do not screen their buyers. Their business
depends on impulse buyers -- many pet shops are in malls --
who know very little about dogs. Impulse buyers may not have
the proper environment for raising a puppy. Pet shops rarely
ask any of the following necessary questions:
- Will someone be at home during the day?
- Do you live in a house or an apartment?
- Will a dog be allowed indoors, especially at night?
- Do you have a fenced yard?
- Do you have the time required to exercise a dog?
- Do you have children or other animals?
- Do you understand that a dog will be a member of your family for ten years or more?
- Have you had dogs before, and if so, what were your experiences with these dogs?
- Do you have a veterinarian, or do you need a referral?
- Are you prepared to pay for professional grooming if
you adopt a dog that needs these services?
- Pet shops charge exorbitant prices for puppies --
financing is usually available -- and earn huge profits
because of substantial markups. For example, an
eight-week-old Labrador Retriever from a pet shop may cost
around $600. If you see a pet shop dog selling for $300 or
less, chances are it is more than three months old and has
been sitting in a cage for a least a month.
- Pet shops treat puppies as merchandise that can easily
be returned for an exchange or credit toward another dog.
Most customers, though, become attached to their puppies and
will not return them.
- New owners can incur large veterinary bills. Most pet
shop warranties, however, preclude reimbursement for
- Pet shops are anxious to sell animals because they want
to sell pertinent supplies. As a rule, they do not provide
the following essential information:
the significance of spaying or neutering animals, the benefits of obedience training,
and the correct ways to deal with puppy teething.
Every year, animal shelters destroy millions of dogs -- including purebreds and puppies -- and cats. PLEASE adopt a companion animal from your local shelter, humane society, rescue organization or veterinarian. In addition, many pet supply stores, sponsor adoption days from local shelters. You can also find animals to adopt at www.petfinder.com and www.pet-ark.com.
The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals. CAPS' foremost concern is the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs.