Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tips To Avoid Inadvertently Doing Business With Puppy MIlls

Good breeders have nothing to hide. Don’t let one talk you into meeting at some halfway point to sell you a puppy. Breeders should be happy to show you their kennel, where both the adults and the puppies are kept. Ask to stand in the doorway if the kennel operator doesn’t want you inside the building. All of the dogs should be clean and healthy looking and protected from the elements.

Good breeders will test the parent dogs for hereditary diseases before breeding them. They will advise you on the health issues particular to the breed.
Good breeders will have a dog’s registration papers ready when you pick up the dog. Their records will be complete and well organized.

Good breeders will provide documents outlining the vaccinations and any deworming the puppy has been given and what further shots or medicine the puppy needs.

Make sure you understand the health guarantee and return policy. Breeders should offer a two or three week guarantee on contagious diseases, longer for congenital or other defects. Breeders whose guarantees expire after a few days are bad news. Be sure to have your puppy checked out by a veterinarian within forty-eight hours after you take the dog home.

Good breeders know a great deal about the breed, are willing to share that information, and encourage you to ask questions.

Good breeders will want to check you out before selling you a puppy. They will ask how long you’re home during the day, whether you have a fenced-in yard for the puppy to play in, and what if any experience you’ve had with dogs. They’ll insist that if for any reason you have to give up the dog, you’ll bring it back to them.

Good breeders don’t work with a multitude of different breeds, nor do they advertise puppies for Christmas or other holidays.

If you buy a puppy, charge the purchase to a credit card. If problems surface later, you can ask your credit card company to withhold payment.

Avoid buying dogs at pet stores! Rest assured that all puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills, regardless of what the pet store employees tell you. The parent dogs of pet store puppies are kept in crates with only one purpose and that is to breed. They are given almost no socialization and sometimes very little veterinary care, exercise, decent food and clean water.

Beware of wonderful-looking websites filled with photos of adorable puppies. Some of the worst puppy mills have professional-looking sites full of false reassurances about their dogs. Breeders who sell animals on the Internet do not have to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act and don’t have to be inspected by the U.S. Department f Agriculture. Check the breeder’s name on the Internet to see if any complaints pop up.
Consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter or a breed rescue group. One in four dogs in shelters is a purebred. Regardless of whether they are purebred or mixed, many dogs housed in shelters are healthy, loving animals just waiting for the right family to take them home.

Check online to see whether the breeder is licensed with the federal government and if so, get a report of the latest inspection. At www.aphis.usda.gov, click on FOIA Reading Room, inspection reports, inspection reports again, and finally breeder to find a state by state list of licensed kennel operators.

The USDA website can also provide you with a list of federally licensed breeders in each state but be aware that many breeders are not licensed.

Information obtained from “Saving Gracie,” author Carol Bradley

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