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‘Puppies For Sale?’ Consider Adoption Instead

Written by aslmad.yaz


“Puppies for sale” is one of the top web-search phrases used by those looking to share their life with a furry companion or expand their existing menagerie. Sometimes people on social media, other websites, or even people down the street will offer “puppies for free.”

You may wonder what the harm is in buying puppies or taking them from someone giving them away for free. Puppies look so cute, after all. It shouldn’t matter where they come from.

But before you fall in love with those puppy dog eyes, you should know what happens when you buy a puppy or take a dog for free. And, you should know why you should ultimately adopt a dog instead.

What’s wrong with buying puppies for sale

Puppies for sale in pet stores are often supplied by puppy mills. In fact, over 2 million puppies are bred in mills each year. Moreover, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that nearly 10,000 puppy mills are currently operating in the country.

Puppy mills are often overcrowded facilities where dogs live in horrendous conditions. Dogs also forced to breed and give birth until they’re of no use anymore. These animals are not loved and well cared for. In truth, they only exist for the profit of the people who run the facilities.

So, when you see a dog in a puppy store, imagine what that dog’s parents went through. As such, cruel breeding practices perpetuated by puppy mills are a business practice many pet stores support. Unless you know local shelters supply your pet store, think about who benefits from your purchase and who suffers.

Moreover, in recent years, many online puppy sales from been scams used to target unsuspecting buyers. Unfortunately, these purchasers often end up without a puppy while also having to navigate a myriad of financial issues after having their credit card and bank account information stolen. This is especially true around holidays like Christmas when people consider purchasing a puppy for a gift, often as they gloss over how a pet is a long-term commitment. What’s more, in some countries like Scotland, online sales of holiday puppies are being used to fund criminal enterprises.

Why you shouldn’t buy from a cheap breeder

Two Shih Tzus puppies for sale in a crate.
(Photo Credit: Colin McConnell | Toronto Star via Getty Images)

You might consider buying from a cheap breeder, instead, or someone who’s irresponsible and didn’t have their fixed. There are problems with these purchases, too.

Backyard breeders often don’t care about inbreeding or avoiding health concerns for their puppies. In turn, this can result in horrible birth defects. Moreover, cheap breeders perpetuate the pet overpopulation crisis by producing unwanted, unhealthy dogs. Purchasing one of these pups can also cost you serious cash when it comes to seeking proper veterinary treatment. Even worse, you may go through an emotional rollercoaster watching your dog get sick and be unaware of how to best treat them. This will be especially true once the unscrupulous breeder starts dodging your phone calls.

People whose dogs had puppies by mistake usually don’t bother with vaccinations or spaying and neutering. Also, they typically don’t do background checks, so anyone can buy the dogs. Some people rely on that fact to take these puppies for use as bait dogs in dog fighting rings. As a result, the puppies suffer horrible fates.

Buying puppies for sale from a responsible breeder

Reputable breeders provide more care for their dogs and make sure that puppies are healthy. We can all agree that’s a good thing. In fact, they’ll often make sure that the dogs go to good homes, too. Some even guarantee that they will care for the dogs you purchase from them for life. So, if any dog is returned to them, they’ll find that dog a good, new home or take care of them until the end of their days.

There may be some situations where buying from a breeder is the best choice for you. That may be more true if you are in need of a certified service dog. Albeit, many breeds can be trained to serve as medically-necessary companion animals. You may also opt to contact a breeder if you’re looking for a specific working or herding dog breed — like a Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherd, or Border Collie. As part of running a farm or agricultural business, it may make sense to purchase a dog who was born to protect a flock or herd cattle.

Downsides to purchasing from reputable breeders

As an alternative choice to adoption, seeking a responsible breeder isn’t nearly as bad as getting a dog from a puppy mill or backyard breeder. However, the problem with buying from breeders is that 1.2 million unwanted dogs are euthanized in shelters every year. Why not save one of those dogs instead of encouraging more breeding? Also, buying from a breeder often comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

If you buy a dog from a breeder, it means a dog in a shelter didn’t get a home with you. Undoubtedly, responsible breeders are a major step up from backyard breeders and puppy mills. That said, just remember there are already dogs in shelters who deserve a better life and who would be a perfect fit for you.

What’s wrong with free puppies

Smiling girl holding bucket full with little stray puppies for sale for free ready to be adopted.
(Photo Credit: MelkiNimages | Getty Images)

If you see an offer for “free puppies,” don’t ignore the red flags. Usually, these puppies are found by concerned people who don’t know any better. They may not have done their due diligence to see if the mother — if she was also found — is microchipped or if someone in the area has reported that they are looking for their missing pup. The person who found the puppy or even an entire litter may just want to offload them quickly so they don’t feel responsible for incurring the cost of proper vetting. Sometimes, these puppies are the result of a pet getting pregnant unexpectedly. Either way, these dogs are often advertised as being “free to a good home.”

But who makes sure that they’re going to a good home? Is the person offering them doing background checks or holding meetings for prospective pet parents to interact with the puppies? Probably not. Sometimes they do, and that’s an important distinction.

It’s possible that the person offering these puppies hasn’t considered that they might be taken by people who want cheap bait dogs to train their dogs to fight. If you see someone giving away dogs for free, inform them that the dogs’ safety is at risk. Suggest that they surrender the puppies to a shelter or local rescue, instead.

Other health considerations of free puppies

Additionally, these puppies are usually not vaccinated and are often separated from their mothers too early. It takes at least eight weeks for a puppy to mature to the point where they don’t need to be with their mother or litter mates, sometimes even longer. Skipping crucial developmental steps can result in the dog growing up to have behavioral and socialization issues.

Ask yourself if these puppies have been nursed so they get the valuable antibodies in their mother’s milk. Consider if these puppies had health checks by a veterinarian. Both are unlikely.

Why you should adopt a dog instead

Happy family spending a spring day with their adopted golden retriever in nature, instead of one purchased from a place with puppies for sale. Parents are looking at camera while man is holding adopt sign.
(Photo Credit: skynesher | Getty Images)

There are countless reasons why adopting a shelter puppy or dog is a better choice than searching for “puppies for sale” or “puppies free to a good home.” The same is true of bringing home a pet from a reputable rescue organization. Some of the best reasons are:

  • You save a life: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates 6.2 million dogs and cats are surrendered to shelters annually in the United States. Of those, 3.1 million are dogs. Annually, 920,000 of the surrendered animals are euthanized.
  • You get a healthy pet: Shelter and rescue dogs have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and tested for heartworms.
  • You’ll save money: The fee for adopting a shelter dog covers the medical expenses for the services listed above. What’s more, it is almost always a drop in the bucket compared to what you would pay to a breeder. It’s surely less than the cost charged by a pet store that hasn’t taken care of the dog’s medical necessities and that, quite possibly, acquires their puppies for sale from puppy mills.
  • You gain a lifetime of loyalty: Rescued dogs who have had less-than-ideal lives before making it to the shelter tend to be more loyal and affectionate when given a second chance by a kind, loving person or family.
  • You’ll set a good example: You’ll teach your children, family members, and friends the value of offering second chances. Your actions will illustrate how one person can make a difference by showing compassion toward an animal in need.

Adopt, don’t shop for puppies

Don’t buy into the myths that, because an animal ended up in a shelter, they’re unhealthy or must have some sort of behavioral problem. Most shelter dogs are as healthy and “normal” as any other dog.

So before you type, “puppies for sale” into your next Google search browser, pause to consider the points above and take the first step in making a real difference in a dog’s life. Instead, research local rescue shelters that are ready and willing to place a loving canine with someone who can demonstrate a commitment to responsible pet ownership.


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