No one wants to buy from a puppy mill. But did you know that you could be even if you adopt?
That’s right! The Don’t Shop, Adopt campaign has been so successful that some puppy mills are getting sneaky and setting up their own “rescues.”
Oh, they look good.
They hold adoption events. They contract with a vet to provide care for the animals. Some even have 501(3)(c) status.
But all they’re really doing is “adopting” out the older puppies that weren’t sold. They’re not lying when they say the animals were removed from a puppy mill. They just don’t tell you THEY run the puppy mill.
Other so-called rescues are run by brokers who buy the puppies from the breeders, then turn around and “adopt” them out.
And they’re not just “adopting” out animals at the same rates they would have sold them for, they’re also soliciting donations from unwitting individuals!
So what should potential adopters do to make sure they aren’t unwittingly buying a puppy mill puppy?
See where the animal is kept. If they tell you the animal is being fostered, ask to see the foster home. If they refuse, ask why.
Don’t be fooled by cute photos. Cute doesn’t mean the animals are well cared for. Better yet, don’t adopt online.
Find out if the group is truly a non-profit. The status and policies of a 501(3)(c) are public record and must be presented if requested.
Ask who is on the Board of Directors. If there is none, or if the list consists of family members and friends, be suspicious.
Ask how may animals they’ve adopted out. A good rescue organization will know.
Ask which vet the group contracts with to provide care, and talk to him or her.
A good rescue will ask you questions as well. If they want the fee and will give you the animal right then, that’s a sign they may not be reputable.
Remember, there are no uniform guidelines for operating a rescue. There are all sorts of bad actors out there. You may be tempted to take an animal from them anyway to save him, but by doing so, you’re ensuring that many other animals will suffer the same fate.
If you truly want to help animals, support your local rescue. They have plenty of wonderful animals that deserve a great home.