Pet Shopping? Here’s what you should know before you buy (accidentally or intentionally) your next pet from a “puppy mill”.

Where do you go when you are looking to add a four-legged friend to your family? There are thousands of unwanted, stray animals that deserve a chance at a loving, forever home.

Your local Humane Society, County and rescue groups are bombarded with abandoned or unwanted pets daily! Even your local Petsmart or Petco work with shelters and groups to match rescued furry friends with compatible owners.

helping animals through adoption

“But,why not buy that cute puppy in the pet store window?” you ask.

Pet shops buy their puppies from brokers and the brokers get their puppies from puppy mills.

What are Puppy Mills?

A puppy mill is a commercial breeding kennel that mass produces dogs in horrifically unsanitary conditions, with inadequate vet care and little or no human contact or socialization.

These animals live sad, desolate lives and never receive the love and care they deserve. They are bred to the point of exhaustion where sickness and infection require them to be put down via whatever means seen fit by the mill (i.e., gunshot, overdose of drugs, etc.)

Puppy mills exist solely for profit and in purchasing a pet from a mill-supplied pet store, you are reinforcing this terrible cycle.

There are also kitten mills, ferret mills, and mills that process or specialize in just about every species. Be prepared.

To gain a better understanding of puppy mills and view heart-wrenching undercover videos, visit:

What about Breeders?

There are two types of breeders – ethical and unethical. Know the differences!  If you are focused on getting a dog from a breeder, please do your homework before you meet anyone.

These websites will guide you through the process of recognizing and avoiding puppy mills:

Visit the following websites to learn about rescue groups that will happily adopt out an animal to an appropriate forever home. There are even small critter rescues, and you can find these by doing a google search for the type of animal you are looking for followed by “rescue” or “shelter”.

To check out some rescue groups, go to:

or visit our own list of personally vetted animal rescues in Phoenix and surrounding locations.

Please spay and neuter your four-legged friend or do not plan on having one. Be part of the solution, not the problem.