The Real Cost of The Dog You Just Bought!

Jan 29, 2016 | Advocacy & Education |

So you want a puppy – that is GREAT! There is nothing like a puppy to bring a new sense of excitement, love and happiness to a home. You run to a local or online pet store to pick out just the perfect pooch. In the pet store you see cages filled with the cutest happiest puppies ever —- online you see pictures of adorable pups frolicking in the grass or enjoying a nap in a beautiful home.

You pick out your puppy, pay hundreds or thousands of dollars – and then get home and begin to live your life together…..

…….but what is the real cost of purchasing that puppy from a pet store?

[bctt tweet=”Roughly 90% of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills! #dontshopadopt”]

First – we have the costs.

Pet stores can pay as little as $75 per puppy from a puppy mill – and they then turn around and charge you sometimes thousands of dollars.

Second – the parents of these puppies are living lives of misery and suffering.

Stop Buying Dogs So We Can Stop Puppy MillsThink about this for a life:

  • Never seeing the outside of a cage or crate
  • Being kept with several other dogs every moment of your life in a 2’x2′ box – often fighting because of the stress and suffering
  • If you are a female you are bred EVERY cycle until you can no longer reproduce and then you are murdered – sometimes in horrific ways
  • No healthcare ever, if you get hurt – you suffer, you are just a product
  • Love? What is that?
  • Never enjoying a roll in the grass or a glimpse of the sun
  • Some of you will never experience fresh air – you will live in feces filled cages and boxes until you die

This is the reality for puppy mill dogs and their puppies!

So, what does this mean to you – the purchaser of a puppy?

  1. Because of the significant filth and horrific conditions they are born in – puppies often arrive to pet stores very sick.
  2. Congenital issues are greatly increased in puppy mill puppies because of improper breeding practices. Sisters and brothers can be reproducing, dogs that are sick can be reproducing – breeders do not care, it is all about the money.
  3. Puppies are often removed from the parents way before it is recommended which can result in major behavioral issues.
  4. Diseases such as Parvo, Epilepsy, Respiratory issues and so many more are often associated with puppy mill puppies. They are costly to treat and can often lead to death.

We hope you have seen enough to reconsider ever purchasing a dog — but if you need more, then consider the below news reports.

Here is a partial list of 2015 puppy mill rescues so you can see the tremendous work involved and how rampant this issue is. These are the same places that pet stores and many “breeders” get their puppies from. If you visit a breeder who shows you a clean house and a beautiful puppy — you still do not know if they have another facility where these dogs are actually kept, you really need to do your due diligence!

When you buy a puppy this is what you are supporting:

Tonopah, AZ – 129 dogs saved, November 2015

Licensed breeder – 74 dogs saved, Macon GA – September 2015

Kankakee, IL – 80 dogs saved, April 2015

Clewiston, FL – 100 dogs saved, November 2015

Manhattan, NY – 10 dogs saved, February 2015  ( yes, this is a big city issue as well)

Choctaw, AL – 130 dogs saved, March 2015

Los Angeles area, CA – almost 200 dogs saved, February 2015

Oscoda County, MI – 50 dogs saved, December 2015

Warm Springs, AR – 46 dogs and 11 other animals saved, February 2015

Want proof of where these puppies wind up? Yep, we have sources for that too.

Furry Babies Pet Store Faces Lawsuit For Selling Sick Puppy Mill Puppies – Chicago, IL

Fancy Pups Owner Charged With Animal Abuse & Neglect – Avenel, NJ

Petland – reviews and stories of sick puppies

Elite Puppies in MA closed – read the complaints of sick animals they sold


The Vice president of the ASPCA Field Investigation and Response, Tim Rickey, released the following statement during the Clewiston, FL rescue.

“… Many people are unaware that most puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills, and that buying pet store puppies indirectly supports these facilities,” Rickey said. “While the puppies are sold for profit, their parents are kept at these mills for years, subjected to incessant breeding and a very poor quality of life. Our goal is to remove these dogs from a life of neglect, help them become healthy and eventually find them safe and loving homes.”

Here is a video from a 2011 puppy mill bust – it is important to be aware of how these dogs are kept and treated. This is just a typical example of a puppy mill — many are even much worse than this one. But to really understand the level of abuse in puppy mills – not only to the parents, but to the puppies they will be selling, everyone should watch this video.

And if local pet stores are not bad enough – now we have “internet puppy stores”.

This is even worse because you are buying without seeing or knowing anything about where your dog will be coming from. Read the consumer affairs reports on some of the online brokers and you can see the many issues that often occur when buying a puppy online. – 2 star rating

Internet Puppies – 1 star rating (seems like this is a catch all for a lot of online websites)

Where Do I Get A Puppy Then?

Great question! We will follow up with a future post on more in depth options for finding purebred puppies if that is really what you want. (Personally we love mutts!) – but we understand that some do want specific breeds.

But here are a few quick resources:
  1. Breed specific rescues – very often they can find or may even have puppies for adoption. If you can be patient, ask them to contact you as soon as some puppies become available. Just search “the breed you want rescue” to find rescues local to you.
  2. Shelters – yes, shelters can often find you and may even have puppies! All you need to do is ask.
  3. Veterinarians – ask veterinarians for referrals for breeders. If a breeder is taking their dogs to the vet, it is a great sign they care more about the dogs than the profit!
[bctt tweet=”Puppies are not products! #puppymill”]

I Am Crying and Want To Help – What Can I Do?

Puppies Are Not Product TankYAY! Well, we are sorry we made you cry of course but are thrilled you care enough to help. We sincerely believe a majority of people who are still buying dogs do not know about puppy mills. (Even the owner of CharityPaws has bought animals in the past – until she learned about the horrible practices).

Only through education can we make change – the laws are not as strict as most animals would like and it can take years to even take down a puppy mill legally. So it is up to US to educate everyone we know — if we can each change 1 mind – we can take down the puppy mills by removing the need for them to reproduce!

Contact your federal legislators and let them know how you feel about puppy mills! Attend local events and share information and talk to people – let them know this is a big issue!

Eventually, we hope every puppy mill will be removed and we can have licensed and inspected breeders so dogs can be safe, happy and healthy!


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