VIDEO Did you see our story about the AKC? Make sure not to commit a foul when buying a puppy!
Purebred “papers” don’t tell you anything about where a puppy was raised or how her parents were treated. Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and puppy millers pose as small, local breeders online. Even if they advertise dogs with AKC papers, they may still be puppy mills—inhumane, commercial dog-breeding facilities where dogs are typically kept in small wire cages for their entire lives, are given very little food and water and often do not receive veterinary care. They are usually bred continuously and are discarded or killed when they can no longer breed anymore. You can help by adopting from a shelter or rescue, or by buying a dog only from a responsible breeder who will let you meet the parents of the puppy in person.
Here's how to find the right dog for you: 1. Adopt
Find your perfect companion at a local shelter or rescue group. Shelters have purebreds in addition to loveable mutts, and rescue groups exist for just about any breed you can think of.
2. Do Your Homework
If you get your dog from a breeder, visit the puppy's parents at home to see what the living conditions are like. Reputable breeders will welcome your visit; the sleazy ones will make excuses.
3. Sign The Pledge