AWARE recognizes that adopting a companion animal from a rescue or shelter (see a list of available pets at our available pets page) may not be for everyone. We support reputable breeders and encourage those considering purchasing a puppy from a breeder to be informed. The information below is brought to you courtesy of:
Use these “Warning Signs When Dealing With a Breeder” to help you identify disreputable sources for purchasing pets. If the breeder you are considering exhibits even one of these traits…EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION! You may be getting yourself into an expensive, heartbreaking problem.
Advertising – Does the Breeder:
- Advertise in classified newspaper ads, flyers in stores and on classified sites on the Internet?
- Use hand-painted roadside signs to advertise puppies or other pets for sale?
- Advertise “Puppies Always Available” or “Puppies Ready for Christmas or for Easter, etc.
- Advertise many different breeds for sale?
- Advertise oddball or specialized varieties or “rare” breeds?
Sales Venue – Does the Breeder:
- Offer to meet you at a parking lot or public place to sell you the pup?
- Sell puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car, or van?
Sales Pitch – Does the Breeder:
- Tell you the “whole deal” can be completed with one phone call or email?
- Make excuses why you can’t meet the parents of the pups?
- Tell you that the parents of the pups are a different location and he’s just acting as an “agent” to sell the puppies?
- Offer stud service to the general public or sells “breeding pair?”
- Tell you that he doesn’t require spaying/neutering of “pet quality” puppies?
- Try to sell you a puppy that is under eight weeks old?
Breeding Site – Do the Adult Animals Onsite:
- Appear dirty, poorly groomed or have poor coat quality?
- Act aggressive, vicious, anti-social or overly fearful?
- Spend their lives in stacked cages or poorly lit outbuildings, garages or basements?
- Lack shelter protected from inclement weather or kept from getting too hot or too cold?
- Have no water available or water that is available is dirty or frozen?
- Appear either too thin or too heavy or just seem generally unhealthy?
- Seem to be more numerous than the breeder can properly care for, exercise and socialize?
Registration – Does the Breeder:
- Try to imply “quality” of the dog because he / she is “registered” or has “papers?” (See What Does Breed Registration Really Mean?)
- Have suspended AKC registration privileges? Check here: Bark Bytes
- Tell you that “Papers” are not available at time of delivery of the pup? Please see: AKC/American Kennel Club for the full American Kennel Club explanation of their Registry and why this is a “red flag.”
- Use registries like Continental Kennel Club Inc. or others you have never heard of? (For more on the topic of breed registries, and a list of questionable breed registries, please see the Choosing A Responsible Breeder section of the They’re All Keepers! website.)
- Does the breeder demand cash only payment and/or does not have a State of Wisconsin Seller’s Permit?
- Has the breeder been the subject of complaints registered with local humane societies or sheriff’s departments?
- Has the breeder been convicted of a crime against animals (In Wisconsin, see Wisconsin Court Systems.)?
Are There Reputable Breeders? Absolutely….YES!
Read our Twelve Points to Identifying a Quality Breeder for guidelines on becoming an informed buyer and finding a caring, quality breeder.