A sad reality about one of the sources of pets here in the U.S.: a survey by the ASPCA found one in four people knew someone who bought a puppy from a pet store that got very sick soon after.
Nearly half of those sick puppies ended up dying.
The ASPCA says it’s risky buying from pet stores because they get their animals from commercial breeders.
“Commercial breeders breed puppies at every heat cycle,” says Gina Moraz, the senior manager of the Puppy Mills Campaign at the ASPCA. “They keep their dogs in horrific conditions. They don’t have regular vet care. They often don’t have regular food and water.”
Pet store puppies that survive their illness can mean hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in vet bills — treatments for everything from kennel cough to lifelong, painful disorders that can come from not being bred properly.
Buying a puppy online is equally risky for the same reasons, plus online sales are a hotbed for scams.
The ASPCA says there are responsible breeders, but you should visit them in person.
They prefer going to local animal shelters or rescue groups if you're looking for a dog.
“The adoption counselor will really try to point you in the right direction and they often know so much more about the dogs than you might know after walking through the shelter itself,” Moraz says.
There's a movement of cities and states banning the sale of commercially bred animals at pet stores.
About 300 cities and towns, along with two states, have laws .
New York state could be next.