The Problem with Pet Store Purchases


Why shouldn’t you buy from most pet stores?

The puppies sold in pet stores are frequently from an inhumane breeder because those who use humane practices strongly prefer to sell directly to a consumer without an intermediary like a pet store. Humane breeders typically insist on an in-person meeting to ensure the individual/family is a good fit for the puppy, thereby ensuring the long-term welfare of the dog. They may also require a background check and a contract that requires the dog to be returned to them if the home does not work out.   

A variety of organizations are seeking to pass legislation at local and state levels banning the sale of puppies in pet stores. These bans direct consumers to humane sources of dogs, including responsible breeders, shelters, and reputable rescues.

Further, by eliminating the quick and easy route for acquiring a dog, they discourage impulse buys by people who (despite often being dog lovers) are not yet ready to take on the responsibility of a new pet.

Humane models do exist

All of this doesn’t mean you can’t acquire a dog from a pet store! A growing number of pet stores around the country are choosing to partner with local shelters and rescues to host adoption events instead of selling puppies. In addition to cutting their ties with inhumane breeders, these pet stores are winning the business of animal-loving consumers who prefer to buy their pet supplies from stores that promote adoption and humane practices.

Pet stores could also partner with local shelters and reputable animal protection groups to identify humane breeders.

Learn more about pet stores and puppies:

  • Data from Bailing out Benji linking pet stores to the inhumane breeding facilities from which they source the animals