You have decided to get a puppy. You would love to get a rescue dog, but you have serious allergies and need a hypoallergenic breed. You Google designer breed puppies. Up pops a litany of websites with the cutest puppy pictures you have ever seen.
OMG! You can’t wait to get your new little family member. Click. Click. Click. For a mere $1,500-3,500 you can get the “perfect” puppy. The website looks legit with pictures of the farm where the puppies are raised, the mommy and daddy dogs and even testimonials. That was easy, and your new family member will arrive at a nearby airport within 24-48 hours.
A recent survey revealed that 30% of San Franciscans purchase their pets online. Sadly, the vast majority of those puppies are purchased from puppy mills. Jennifer Lu of the San Francisco SPCA warns, “Nine times out of ten, if you are buying a puppy online, it’s from a puppy mill.”
The SF SPCA is in the midst of its anti-puppy mill campaign, which the organization developed to educate people on puppy mills. These dog breeding facilities, which put profit ahead of the animal welfare, are often filthy and overcrowded, and put puppies at risk of disease and behavioral issues. Breeding female dogs are often overbred or inbred.
Lu asserts that the prospective pet buyers should put as much effort and homework into adopting or buying a pet as they would selecting a preschool for their child. The SF SPCA’s puppy mill campaign provides step-by-step instructions for buyers so they can thoroughly assess the quality and integrity of the breeders.