Where did you first lay eyes on your Labrador?
When you pass by pet stores, you can’t help but stop at the sight of an adorable puppy waiting for a home. With that much cuteness and bouncy personality, it can be tempting to go inside. Don’t! You could be inviting heartache and inadvertently supporting a horrible industry!
Sadly, many pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills where they – and especially their parents– are often abused and treated like baby-producing machines rather than pets and members of the family.
If the pet store is selling puppies rather than hosting adoptable ones from shelters, you can bet they’re getting them from puppy mills.
So, the next time you find yourself adoring that puppy in the window of a pet store, you may want to consider the following warning signs.
Be wary if the puppies are for sale, not for adoption.
Responsible pet store owners sell pet products, not pets. Larger pet stores like PetSmart partner with adoption centers to give exposure to adoptable dogs and cats. The good news is smaller pet stores are starting to do this, too.
As a dog lover, you want to make sure that the owners of a pet store are run by pet lovers, too. If you see a high price tag on a pet, that pup is most likely from a mill or other dubious source.
If the dogs in the store are all young, it’s probably because they come from a mill.
Are all the animals in the store puppies?When you’ve been walking by the same establishment for months, you may wonder why the puppies they display never grow up. That’s because unsold puppies go back to the mills in exchange for younger ones. We shudder to think about what happens to the “rejected” ones.
If you notice this, it’s likely that this pet store isn’t partnering up with a shelter to find homes, but is instead collecting young animals from a mill. Research indicates that 90 percent of puppies found in pet stores come from a puppy mill rather than from a shelter.
Beware Of The Sign: “USDA Licensed”
A pet store may brag with the tagline: “USDA licensed breeder” but the truth is it doesn’t hold much weight. U.S. federal law under the Animal Welfare Act allows breeders to keep animals in cages with wire flooring that are stacked on top of each other.
That law also lets them breed female animals continuously with little to no break between litters. This means bearing the sign: “USDA licensed breeder” doesn’t ensure you how the dogs are being treated.
Are the puppies clean?
Do the puppies look clean and well groomed? If the pet store owner isn’t worried about keeping a puppy’s coat clean, he probably doesn’t care where the pups came from.
One or more of the puppies are sick.
Is the puppy sniffling or sneezing? That could mean the pup has kennel cough and it’s a sign she shouldn’t be out in the store with other puppies or interacting with humans.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that could turn serious. That poor pup should be receiving medical treatment and proper care, instead of being on display for sales.
The dogs are kept in small cages.
Does the pet store keep the animals in roomy cages? Puppies need a lot of space to roam and romp. They should never sleep or walk around their own fluids.If the scent of animal excrement is strong in the store, this means the dogs are kept in poor and unsanitary conditions.
If you’re considering to get a puppy, rather consider adopting from shelters. Purchasing from a pet store only helps to further the profits of people who clearly do not care about the animals we love so much. Check out Adopt-a-Pet.com or Petfinder.com to find available shelter dogs in your area.
Source: The Dodo