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Partly Cloudy,59°
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Rockville Centre letters to the editor
(Page 2 of 3)

On a recent trip to a local mall, I was upset to see yet another puppy store.

It is very important that people stop buying puppies from pet stores. According to the ASPCA and the Humane Society, almost all puppies that are sold over the Internet or in pet stores come from puppy mills. This particular store claims that its puppies come from “certified USDA licensed dealers,” but I recently discovered that the USDA has about 70 inspectors to deal with thousands of breeding facilities, the regulations are lax and when fines are imposed, they’re often negotiated down and don’t make any impact.

A puppy from a USDA-licensed facility just gives the customer a false sense that the puppy is from a “good place,” when in reality, most of these places would break your heart. I also learned that the American Kennel Club emblem that pet stores display is meaningless. It simply shows that the AKC is aware that these dogs exist.

I encourage anyone looking for a dog to consider adopting from a local shelter, such as the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, Rescue Ink in Long Beach, the North Shore Animal League or one of the many others in our area. If you’re looking for a particular breed, check out www.petfinder.org.

Another option is to contact a breed-specific rescue organization. A relative of mine got a great wheaten terrier from a rescue group a few years ago. It was fully trained and turned into an amazing family pet.

For personal reasons, our family opted to deal with a breeder a few years ago. We got a beautiful, healthy, black cocker spaniel. We paid less than we would have at a pet store. We got to meet the breeder, our pup’s little siblings and, most important, her healthy, well-cared-for parents. The breeder wanted to meet us. We were interviewed by the breeder and were told that if we ever needed to give our pup up, she would take her back.

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