Q: Our 11-year-old wants a dog. We’ve had Golden Retrievers before, and this time stopped at a pet store. What’s your opinion about buying from the pet store? — B. J., Cyberspace
A: Don’t do it! Responsible breeders never, ever sell to a pet store. Responsible breeders want to know who is purchasing their pets, which would be impossible if they sold to pet stores.
Dr. Nancy Soares of Macungie, Pa., incoming president of the American Animal Hospital Association agrees. “In my experience, pet stores are middle-men between puppy mills and the end user.”
And even if the puppy is perfectly healthy, and socialized, what about the mothers of these dogs?
“These poor dogs are breeding machines, living in terrible conditions, and without veterinary care. They don’t care about producing healthy pets. They care about producing. And by purchasing a dog from a pet store, you’re supporting puppy mill profits,” Soares says.
Another problem with dogs purchased at pet stores is they’re often not accurate examples of the breed or mix they’re sold as. So, consumers aren’t purchasing what they think they are, which is fraud.
If you want a pure bred dog, great they’re available from reputable breeders and rescues, as well as shelters.
Anyone can join the Facebook page Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills.
©Steve Dale Pet World, LLC; Tribune Content Agency