Don't Get Scammed by Online, Pet Store Purchases

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Have had many cats and dogs and still have two dogs and eight cats. I rescued a dog off the highway who came from a puppy mill-horrible! As for the AKC, all they care about is the registration money they get-they do not care about the animals. If everyone would get their animals fixed, we would not have a problem. Shelter pets make the best animals, but sometimes you have to have patience until they overcome their horrible upbringing-you must have patience. I could write a book about all the animals that I have had and the problems-but they needed my help and I gave it to them. This is what life is all about, helping our helpless animal friends-the best kind. Adopt the older animals-they are wonderful and deserve a nice life. I still do not understand why someone would want to raise and sell animals-need the money???? The first thing that I do when I get a new animal is have it fixed, shots, chipped, etc. We do not need breeders-use the shelters and selling animals in stores is deplorable. I think it should be outlawed. Our legislators are bought off by money and do not pass the laws that they should-money does talk you know. Sick!! let's hope that the organizations keep doing a good job and get help for all animals! Keep working on our people who make the laws! Pray for all the animals!!!



I hope a lot of people read this article & learn something. Do NOT buy dogs from pet stores or backyard breeders! I've gotten most of my dogs from rescue organizations (or direct rescue). They have been mainly full bred (if you care about that...I don't), and have been WONDERFUL, healthy, happy dogs. They've given me years of happiness, and I think they've rec'd the same from me. That's the BEST resource! Rescue dogs know they've been rescued, IMO...and they seem to value their new environment.



Please, please ADOPT. With the military deployment & stinky economy, shelters are overrun. But every animal you see there is deserving of love and a home, and all will return the love 10 times over. Please.



My sister adopted a sheltie from a sheltie rescue. She is a wonderful dog that had been surrendered because of family financial reasons. The dog was fostered and my sister knew what the dog was like with children and cats and her house manners. The rescue group interviewed the family, checked their home, and provided support for going on eight years now, keeping track of the dog. That is what I would look for if I wanted another dog.

Barbara Johnson


No one should purchase a dog from a breeder (aka puppy mills). I work with a group that rescues the dogs that aren't born perfect and are usually killed by the breeders.

Given the thousands of unwanted pets who are killed in shelters every day in this country, I ask that anyone who wants to expand their family can find the perfect companion at a shelter. If you are determined to get a certain breed, there are rescue groups for every breed out there.

Please save a life; adopt a shelter pet. And spay/neuter your pets.



Hmmm. Shelter pets are always healthy, never a problem and you always know what they are going to grow up to be. Bet some people would disagree with that. Now with no breeders of purebred puppies where do you think the rescues will be getting their dogs. You should not force people to have to adopt a pup of unknown ancestry. I agree mutts can make excellent pets but the commercial breeders are not raising these, irresponsible breeders are and that is truly where the problem is.

kathi patrick

Subject: Shelter pets

I agree that adoption is best to save a life, however shelter animal's are not REPEAT NOT all healthy and should always be kept in quarantine from other animals for a minimum of 2 weeks! Unfortunately they can catch all sorts of contagious illnesses in the shelter and they need to be seen by the vet as soon as you adopt them.

Clinton Ramsey


Wouldn't it be nice to read an unbiased article about pets and pet ownership. There is a place for purbred dogs, There is a place for shelters. Both fall short and have risks. Lets hear about the risks of getting a dog from a shelter. Most purbred claims in shelters are actually mixed breeds. Between the 2 extremes is where you normally find the truth. Wouldn't it be nice if you could take everything and put it in a box with a great big bow? The world isn't like that folks.

Jack DeSoto


My wife and I bought two Chinese Crested dogs several years ago from what we thought were reputable breeders. The first breeder was reputable and sold us a healthy dog. the second breeder in Sherman, TX sold us a sick dog with phony AKC papers that was supposed to be hairless. The dog was part powderpuff and is near totally furred.
the breeder on the surface looked totally legitimate but her actions were not. Even if you try to do your homework, you can still be conned.



With all the dogs that are homeless and need rescuing, why not just get a rescue dog? I think it's a shame that people continue to breed dogs just for profit. Let's find homes for the poor animals that need homes before bringing more into the world.



Thank you for this excellent article! Another big watchout, though, is backyard breeders - the folks who advertise on Craig's List and local newspapers. They don't have the knowledge or care to breed for health or temperament - and those problems may take a year or more to surface. We learned the hard way when we purchased our first dog 15 years ago. She was a sweet dog, a friendly Brittany that we selected from a happy, bouncy litter of glossy, fat, 10-week-old puppies. The momma was there and she too looked healthy and had a wonderful personality. A year later, serious hip & joint issues began to appear in our dog (she was active & at proper weight). We spent thousands of dollars over her lifetime in supplements & treatments to alleviate her pain & help her mobility. These same issues had to have been present in one or both of the parents; a reputable breeder would never have mated an adult who failed such screenings. We since learned our lesson, and have adopted our other dogs from a wonderful breed rescue, who carefully screens for health & temperament. Yes, we did adopt one dog who had some minor joint problems - but at least we KNEW what we were in for, and we happily accepted the opportunity to give him a home for life.

Robin Stark


I've been showing, breeding, judging dogs since 1961. I also now manage a large boarding kennel in Houston.

#1 - NEVER, EVER buy from ANY pet store--most notably chains.
#2 - There are REASONS why/how purebred dogs evolved. Originally, it was "to do a job." That's why/how breeds evolved. The job can be everything from herding, hunting, lap-sitting, guard dogs, etc.
#3 - I absolutely agree it's a good idea to "save a life" and adopt from a shelter and/or purebred dog rescue group.
#4 - OK. I've also been rescuing MY breed since the 70's. I've probably assisted in placing over 200 Keeshonden - get them out of shelters, provide shelter, food and humane treatment and then find the RIGHT home for each dog. The problem with "shelter" rescues is that virtually 98% end up in the shelter because the original owners are stupid, clueless, don't understand the temperament and requirements for any purebred dog. Put a Keeshond in the backyard and not have him be a member of the family and you will end up with a neurotic mess.
#5 - The GOOD news and reward of finding the right home for any dog--purebred or not--is that if you DO provide training, love, attention and patience ... within a matter of less than hours to a week or two, you have a VERY GRATEFUL animal.
#6 - Mutts? Fine! I love mutts. Not so hot about so-called "designer dogs" such as Labradoodles and Puggles. The folks putting some of these purebred to purebred creatures together to produce puppies is something called "hybrid vigor." If you have hip dysplasia in the pedigree of the lab AND in the pedigree of the Poodle, you'll be fixing the gene code to be much more apt to get a double whammy of it in the resultant pups.
#6 - Here's how you buy a purebred dog: (a) Research the HISTORY of the breed; (b) go to a few dog shows and TALK to the exhibitors showing those dogs ... get cards or most especially get REFERENCES from a purebred breeder to another. When a breeder's name keeps coming up from numerous sources, that means the person has a good reputation (i.e., "reputable breeder") in the dog community. (b) Go to and patiently go through their website to find the National Breed Club for whatever breed(s) you're interested in. You will often find a great website with pros and cons on the breed. You will also find the national breed club's Secretary who can put you in touch with breeders in your area. (c) Because somebody has a flashy website means they're either passionate and/or con artists. Therefore, (C) Do NOT buy from a website without several UNBIASED referrals from the breed and/or overall dog community. (d) Reputable breeders do health screening to ELIMINATE health issues in the breed. Ask to see PROOF of that.
7. Spay/neuter any dog (or cat!) you get unless you're SERIOUS about breeding animals the RIGHT way - which costs way more money than the wrong way. The issues we see in purebred dogs regarding health problems are ALSO in all mutts - but no one keeps track of how many mutts have progressive retinal atrophy and don't realize that's why their mutt is blind.
8. I've won several Bests in Show with my dogs but the proudest moment I've had with my dogs was to see a Keeshond with a fireman in the aftermath of 9/11. It was just a blip on the TV and I did a doubletake to see a Keeshond wearing rescue backpacks and doing the job MY breed has been bred to do: Being a happy, charming clown to cheer up a very depressed man. The owner of the Kees also had a Search & Rescue Golden Retriever trained to be a cadaver dog. I later found out that my personal breeding program was 2 generations behind the Kees.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen is why/how purebred dogs evolved and why they should remain - but ONLY if properly, responsibly bred and the puppies placed in the RIGHT homes to begin with.

A "pet" is NEVER a disposable thing - it is a lifelong commitment.



I applaud this article and hope that prospective puppy buyers will heed it's advice. Having been a dog owner all my life, I have to agree that NO REPUTABLE BREEDER WILL SELL TO A PET STORE OR A PET BROKER. Reading through the comments I see a lot being made of Pet Store owners knowing their breeders. That begs the question, are they as particular in knowing their buyers? I purchased a beagle from a pet store, years ago. I had nothing but vet bills and behavioral problems with this pet. He remained with me for his entire life, which turned out to be a very expensive proposition. Since that experience, I have only taken dogs from a reputable breeder who I found after doing my homework which involved several months of information gathering. Through this wonderful breeder I have learned that a good breeder is in the buisness to improve the breed and will accept losses as part of the territory. A reputable breeder does not sell puppies as much as he/she places puppies in good homes. My breeder knows where her dogs are and requires an annual veterinary report for every dog she has placed. Shelter pets are wonderful dogs and deserve good homes. However, if you have your heart set on a particular breed, do your homework and work through the breed clubs to find that responsible breeder. AKC registration is an after thought and means virtually nothing with my chosen breed. The most important certification is that of the breed club who impose much stricter codes of ethics on their breeders and will sanction those who do not comply.

Pat Day


adopt from the shelters and rescue groups, but DON'T forget the older "senior" pets. We have just adopted our second senior golden. our first was 12 and lived for another 2 1/2 years and we just adopted another who is 10 and hope to have him for another 3-4 years. The senior rescues need homes because they seem to be over looked by those looking for cute puppies. Zeus and Luke have been wonderful additions to our famly and we would not trade them for anything. Age, problems and all!

Zaron Van Metet


The reputable breeders know the puppy mills, the abuse neglect and disengenious breeding practices, yet when we rescuers try to get legislation to STOP or regulate the puppy mills, you are the first to cry
NO NO NO! We are trying to protect the reputables breeders, how about supporting us????



Puppy Mills and the illegal distribution networks that support them should be shut down. There is an animal "skin trade" in this country that is illegal, abusive and hidden. I've done animal rescue for over ten years, and wrote to NYS legislators about how to begin to address this. No. 1 is to shut down mall pet stores, for they are the biggest supporters of puppy mills. Furthermore, animals are not "merchandise" and don't belong in a shopping mall on display alongside rugs, jewelry and dishes. People who purchase animals ahould be "vetted" themselves (you don't want abusers easily acquiring animals) as well as receive qualified and professional advice about how to care for their new pets. The dog they want may not be appropriate for their situation. IE, the Border Collie so cute as a puppy, may have too much energy for their small apartment. And there should be a legal paper trail for every animal sold. That is, paper work tracing the breeder (effectively elimnating those with arrest records), the buyer, and if that animal is transferred to a new owner, a copy of that paperwork should travel with the animal. This paperwork should be kept on file by the breeder for at least two years. You have no idea how big the "skin trade" is in this country. Truckloads of animals are being transported all over the US as I write this, with no controls on their safety--ie in overheated or icy vans and trucks, insufficient water and food. These animals are nothing but bodies with pricetags. And genetic defects are yet another discussion. The "skin trade" needs to be shut down once and for all, and legitimate breeders regulated. Veterinarians are partly to blame because they get a lot of business from breeders, and don't want to alienate them.

Pat Shipley


Forget about AKC registration proving anything! Please note that even doing your research, visiting and purchasing from a reputable, long term breader does not assure you a purebred dog. That's the process I used to get my 2 beagle pups 3 years ago. DNA testing later showed that my AKC registered dogs were in fact less than half beagle. Love them just the same and would never give them up. I work with a rescue and do fostering now. It's the way to go.



Good article but I wouldn't trust the AKC to recommend a breeder. These are the same people think a dog has to remain intact (can't be neutered) to be shown. They are a money making (not so much these days though) organization who does little for dogs. They only want money from registration fees. Adopt your dog from a rescue or shelter - save a life.



Don't buy at all, adopt! This article should go farther to encourage people to rescue an animal from a shelter, not buy one from a breeder.

Jessica Stovall


Shelter animals are dying every second in this country. Please don't buy while shelter animals die. Breeders are contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. There is a rescue for every breed out there. SAVE A LIFE, ADOPT!



All thie no need to breed talk! Then there is no need to procreate yourself. Lots of kids in orphanages! Trouble is those kids may grow up to have big problems based on their mommies and daddies who tossed them away - just like the dogs in the shelter.

Dog Diva


I'm a trainer. The dogs I see from pet stores and backyard breeders tend to have the most behavior problems. One reason is indiscriminate breeding practices, but the other is that often the puppies have coccidia, giardia, or other parasitic or infectious disease when they are still within the optimal socialization period. That means that their owners cannot properly socialize them during that time! So, they don't get what they need to become healthy adults behaviorally.



No one should ever, ever, ever, ever, buy a dog from a store or broker. Even "reputable" stores - whatever that means - cannot know the conditions at all of their suppliers, and a USDA report doesn't guarantee that dogs are kept under good conditions. If you buy a dog from a store or broker, YOU are responsible for the horrifying, heartbreaking conditions found by numerous puppy mill raids and rescues.

If you simply must have a purebred dog (after you ask yourself why you really need a purebred dog in the first place), look first at the breed-specific rescue groups. Then look at other shelters and rescues; sometimes they have purebreeds. Go to and enter your desired breed; chances are you'll find an adult dog that is already housebroken and needs a good home. Do not buy from a breeder unless you actually visit the breeding facility!!!

Less than a week ago, I adopted a 3-yr old purebred Belgian Malinois from a rescue group close to my home: Saving Grace Animals for Adoption in Wake Forest, NC. I didn't set out to get a purebreed, but I ended up with one. This dog is healthy, beautiful, well-tempered, intelligent, housebroken, affectionate, and amazing on so many levels. As a puppy, she might have cost thousands of dollars from a breeder. But I got her, for a $300 adoption fee, from a rescue group that saved her from a county shelter one day before she was to be euthanized.



When we were ready to purchase our first dog, a boston terrier, we went through a rigorus breeder search process to find the right person. We ended up selecting a local woman who was not a commercial breeder but rather a boster terrier lover that was well educated in breeding. She interviewed us prior to allowing us to put a down paymnet on the dog. She requested that we meet the puppy's Mom and Dad and she also had a us sign a contract which required us to return the dog to her if we decided we could not keep him for any reason. She also had a one year refund policy and required that we take the dog to our personal vet within three days of bringing him home to ensure health. It was a great process and made us feel secure. I would highly recommend to anyone to VISIT THE BREEDER'S FACILITIES AND MEET THE DOG'S PARENTS BEFORE PURCHASE. You'll know right away if you headed for trouble or not. The facility should be clean and organized and the breeder should be able to talk to you at length about the socialization processes he or she is using for the puppies before they reach their 8 week milestone. Please do not support puppy mills or pet stores. There are also a great deal of adoptable dogs available that are just as fabulous if not more than dogs from breeders. Visit for more info.



I respect reputable breeders for show dogs. But I strong encourage the average buyer to go through a reputable rescue operation which screens pets for health and some behavioral issues. Our most recent dog we took a chance when the owner was dying and the dog has been woderful.

Valerie Torcia


PETFINDER.COM is the way to go. There are too many homeless dogs looking for the love of their life.

Jenifer Parker


This article should have started with shelters and rescues being the FIRST place to look for a pet, not at the bottom of the article as "alternative options" - thousands of adoptable dogs are waiting for homes there. I am disappointed that Angie's List hasn't taken a stand for those animals and the millions that are euthanized because people continue to buy from breeders when they want a pet. Shame on this mentality! Shame on Angie's List!

Diane Luck


Thank you for educating people about puppy mills and online pet purchases. I encourage a follow up article that would address the issue of pet overpopulation and highlight rescue organizations as the best source of acquiring pets.

Kirk Moberley


This is a very sound discussion about buying a dog form anywhere. Never ever go to a pet store that sells dogs. Avoid such places. And although the article gives good advice about breeders. It does not give adequate space to rescue organization, especially all-breed and mixed-breed groups, which are located in everyone's own neighborhood. The best place to find a local group (and pictures of available dogs) is



Thousands of amazing animals are waiting to be adopted in shelters. Why would anyone buy from a pet store or breeder. Adopt a shelter pet!

Susannah Maynard


I think you should leave the "store" out of the title. I initially thought this was about something totally different. And, of course, no one should buy a pet from a pet store or even a breeder when there are so many animals in shelters and rescues. Many shelteters and rescues have their adoptable animals listed on and All of my pets are rescues and they are fabulous!

Christal Gyziec


Thanks so much for publishing this article! I agree with many of the other readers' comments: a shelter or breed-specific rescue is always a fantastic option! Animals are screened to match them with the best homes for their individual personalities - this saves so much heartache down the line. :)



Who lobbies against the protective bills in Congress? Here's a guess, using the old 'follow the money' rule:

The AKC makes registry fee money on every dog a mill claims is from a registered dam and sire. Once a mill owner has papers on a few animals it just keeps filing for papers on all pups. The original 'regisered'animals have birth dates many decades old. The mill claims the new pups are direct descendents. The AKC does nothing to authenticate these claims.

It's a rubber stamp deal. Breeder sends in registration claim and money; AKC sends back papers.

Mills know that only dogs with papers are profitable.

Ask AKC how many registrations they approve every year. Ask how many field checks they make. The registration fees are small, but think how many there are. It's so profitable for all who are in the business!



As hard as it is to walk away, you cannot purchase pet store puppies then complain, the only way to make the difference is to NOT purchase; effect their pocket book. I don't agree with puppymills, far from it, but there is nothing wrong with raising animals and animal husbandry or raising more than one breed. To have a dog DO something, allot of time you need a specialized breed, like a working dog, herding dog, guardian dog. The instincts you can’t guarantee to get from a rescue.
As far as regulations, we have enough regulations, what we need is more enforcement. As with anything, you can regulate, regulate, but without enforcement, it's worthless. There are codes on the books to put puppy mills out of business, if only they would hire people to enforce and ENFORCE it on those breaking the laws. More regulations only makes it harder on the ones trying to do it right, by adding more laws, you are driving the lawful out, the ones that do it right; which opens the door to MORE black market and puppy mills.
There is nothing wrong with getting a pup through classified ads, online ads, or anywhere else. The problem is the wanting it now attitude, and not doing your research or asking questions. If you talk to and ask questions, and follow your instinct, not your “I want it now mindset”, you will find the right trustworthy breeder.
If you want to be informed, add information about the HSUS policies, and their agenda, read here:



30%, at least, of all dogs in shelters in this country are purebreds. There is no reason anyone would need to go through a breeder--shady or not. We have 5 pets--2 dogs and 3 cats--all rescues and they are perfect. The love and the way they look at us, they know they got a second chance and they appreciate living with us even more!!



Shelters are not fool proof either. I adopted a cat [Tibet] in 2007 from my local shelter and they gave her the wrong distemper vaccine and it killed her 10 days later. they would not refund my money but instead insisted I pick another from the litter [Mardi Gras]. I would not allow them to give her any vaccines and took her to my own Vet for care.



This is a great article - very well researched.

One quibble, my brother has what the family jokingly calls free range Chihuahas and Yorkies at his 7 acre home and occasionally, yes, he does breed them. His puppies go to a local pet shop owner; when and if the puppy sells, she takes a commission of the sale. She has photos of a puppy's momma and daddy, their pedigree and everyon's papers; dogs are always sold with non-breeding AKC licenses and she makes the final call on whether or not to sell a puppy to a family. If she judges the potential buyers are okay folks, she will give them my brother's info, but not before. My brother originally tried to sell his dogs himself, but there were simply too many crazy people out there for him. Essentially, he is paying someone to interface with the public on behalf of his dogs. So don't say that all pet stores who sell dogs are selling dogs from horribly run puppy mills when it just isn't so, and I know it isn't so because I see how my brother has worked out a relationship with the only pet store owner in his county that works to the benefit of all (including the dogs, because this woman is happy to say NO if she thinks the people shouldn't have a dog, whereas my brother can be bullied.) My brother offers a month to return a dog, and has complete vet records for every puppy he sells, and has taken back adult dogs when asked.

Ellen Brown


Thank you, Angie's List, for featuring this issue. You are protecting both the consumer and the animals!



I have always gotten my dogs from shelters and rescue organizations and they are the BEST! Why do puppy mills still exist? Part of the reason is because our legislators will not enact laws to put them out of busisness. I saw that the the poor, sick animals in your story came from Missouri. We have the dubious title of "puppy mill capital" of the nation. The voters recently passed legislation, Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Act, requiring dog breeders to meet certain minimal standards in order to be licensed. The law was immediately gutted by the legislature. A toothless "compromise" bill was then passed and signed by the governor. If you really care,adopt a homeless snimal, and pressure your elected officials to support laws to put an end to irresponsible breeders.

Liz Palmer


The AKC has many backyard breeders who are irresponsible listed.

Brandi Glaske


Thank you for this article and for bringing awareness to a HUGE problem. I cant understand why people would breed or buy a dog when SO many meet their ends in animal shelters where they run out of time and are killed. Thank you again Angies List for this great article!



There is NO need to BREED!!! There are enough dogs who already need homes in rescues and shelters. Remember - when you adopt, you save 2 animals...the one you take home, and the one you leave room for at the shelter who can then be removed from their abusive situation!



Not only puppy mills, but you also have to watch Pet Rescue(?) org. I gave to one and found out they are not listed as a charity with the Secretary of State's office. They claim to be a 501(c)(3) which the SOC acknowledges. When I questioned them on other issues, they stopped answering my e-mails and refused to refund my $100. donation.



Thanks for this article; I work with a couple rescues. Do you know what the puppy millers do when they're done with a dog that has cranked out litter after litter for them; they euthanize the dog. One of the rescues I work with just took 3 dogs that were puppy mill surrenders; if we hadn't, they would have gotten a bullet to the head. And one of the dogs doesn't even fit the breed standard but this little guy will make a great pet once he gets over been so frightened. Puppy millers are not reputable and are not producing to the breed standard.



We got ours from DC Dog Finders we found online and they were fantastic!! They were very cautious about us, making sure the pup would be well cared for in our home. They had all the shot records for us and required us to provide the name and number of our vet here and provide lifetime telephone support. I would recommend them to anyone!

Deb S


My daughter has only sold one litter of pups, but, this article is RIGHT ON TARGET regarding the sale of puppies. I had to laugh, when I heard the scrutiny my daughter put potential owners through. As she has said, "These are my babies, Mom. I have to make sure they're going to a good home." Part of her "deal" is that she be able to contact them later, to make sure her "babies" are doing okay. So, in my opinion, if you are in the market for a special breed, and you feel you have been "scrutinized" by the seller, there's a good possibility that seller is NOT a puppy mill owner. lol

Colleen Broomfield


I have been breeding Golden Retrievers for over 9 years now. So many of my puppy people have had the "poor quality" Golden with major health issues. Clearances & references should always be checked.

Wendy Y.


I volunteer full time for a pure bred non~profit rescue for coc ker spaniels. Rescue & shelter adoption IS the ONLY WAY TO GO, even if you want a "pure bred" dog, or any type of dog in general. A little patience, a little leg work, and a good fit is out there. You are not only saving a life, you are decreasing the demand for pet store/puppy mill & backyard 'breeder' dogs that are out there being bred to death, & doing so in horrible conditions. The adoption experience is heart warming and rewarding, and once you go the adoption route, you'll never go back to a "breeder" or a pet store again.



Multiple family members and friends have had nothing but nightmares trying to deal with rescues.

I know they aren't all like this but out of the 4 people I know only one was able to get a dog from a rescue. (They are all very responsible people and treat there dogs like they are family members. 1 ended up buying from a breeder, 1 was able to get a dog from a shelter and 1 is still trying to find a rescue to work with where the people are crazy.)

They seem to look for any excuse to deny the person looking to adopt. Trying to get the dog directly from the shelter seems to be the best way to go except you have to get to the dog before the rescue people do and horde them.

I do wish the rescues were regulated themselves.

E. Moore


Reputable breeders DO NOT sell their pups to Pet Stores!!!! Let me repeat that. REPUTABLE BREEDER DO NOT SELL THEIR PUPS TO PET STORES. Go thru the AKC or breed club to find a reputable breeder.

Debbie Rinaldo


I work with rescues and breaks my heart to see the pups they are saved from these mills. God Bless all the rescues out there saving this animals and helping them find forever homes. These puppy mill's won't stop until it is made a tough law. Write your congress and tell them. We need tough laws for these puppy mills. My rescue was afraid to take a treat from me, afraid to be petted or hugged. His legs bowed out due to being caged where his legs could not grow straight! Horror! Like I said. God Bless the rescue's out there. Thank you Angie's list for printing this article. We need to stop these Mills!

Bonnie Dalzell


There is one instance where a breeder may not have AKC papers at the time of sale for pups under 4 months of age. That is if the breeder is providing DNA certification of the litter's parentage. It can take the AKC genetics lab up to 2 months to get the DNA reports back to the breeder and the DNA reports need to be completed before applying for the registration papers on a litter. I do these routinely before registering even a single sire litter and they must be done when registering a multi sired litter.

In rare breeds which are hard to find pet homes for it is often desireable to have mutli-sired litters to try and preserve genetic diversity.

Some breeds are rare because relatively few people want them due to size, behaviors or need for high fences. These breeds are almost never sold by puppy mills of course as puppy mill breeders concentrate on breeds that people are eager to buy.

Rick Ostler


Among the comments should be a big thank you to Mark Stettner for his tenacious pursuit of justice and skill in spotting crud. He did us all a great service.



I am a pet store owner who takes pride in the breeders that I work with and am proud of the puppies I sell. I know the breeders personally and have researched their history and puppies. Let's not classify "ALL" as bad.



Folks, do not buy puppies from pet stores or breeeders to rescue them. Yes-you have saved that dog-but your purchase has just enabled to breeder to bring 10 more sick puppies into the world. If you can't say no, don't go!



Shelters and Rescues...the only way to go!!!
You can still pick your preferred breed and put the word rescue with it in your search engine! You will find MANY locally! Lastly, research the rescue (some use the term loosely). One more comment. If you can't pay a Vet, don't get a pet.

Concerned about puppies


This article is well researched and excellent. If people would only read it before clicking "Buy Now!".
Vineet (Vincent) Chhabra has also recently started a website Looks like he may be getting out of the puppy broker business. It is important for people to understand the difference between a broker, puppy mill, backyard breeder and reputable breeder. It takes only 15 minutes or so on the internet.
It is wonderful to hear something may be done to better regulate the business. There are good reasons to use a shelter or a reputable breeder, but only ignorance if you choose a pet store, broker or classifed ad in the paper.

Cecilia Hoyle


Why are puppy mills still in business? Why are these places that abuse animals allowed in our so-called civilized society. Thank you for the article and bringing this to the attention of the public. Many people are just simply not aware that there are others out there making animals at the expense of these defenseless animals and the innocent people who buy them. I myself have two Yorkies, both rescues from a puppy mill, where they were kept for years to produce one litter after another. I love them with all my heart and I am so glad they are now safe. But how many more are out there, right now, suffering. How can this be allowed? And how can we bring them down. I will never stop searching for the answer.
Thanks again for the article, Angie's List!



99 percent of the population should get their animals from the local shelter. period, end of story.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.