Local News

Find Out What To Look For When Purchasing Pooches

Posted February 3, 2001

— The next time you see an ad in the newspaper for pure-bred dogs, there are a few things you should know before you leap. TheHumane Societysays conditions at many of the 3,200 dog-breeding facilities across the country are sub-par.

Some people call them puppy mills -- large kennels which breed hundreds of dogs a year and then sell them. Annette Howell who runs Puppy Paradise near Selma says what separates her kennel from a puppy mill is how she cares for her animals.

"I think it speaks for itself as far as the condition and the cleanliness and the upkeep of the dogs," she says.

However, not every breeder is as conscientious. Tammy Falkner runs an animal rescue in Franklin County. She says she gets the rejects when dogs from breeders do not work out.

"People go in and see cute little puppies in pet stores or at backyard breeders and just take one, and they get home and they have hip problems or eye problems. You name it, they've got it," she says.

One of the most important things to look for when you are buying a puppy is temperament. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does the puppy react when you pick her up?
  • Is she afraid or is she friendly?If the puppy has not been socialized, she probably will not make a good pet. Howell believes what really makes a good breeder is someone who loves animals.

    "The main thing is love them, because if you love them, they'll love you back. You can't find a better companion than a dog or an animal," she says.

    If you want to get a pure-bred dog, but you cannot find the right breeder, pet experts suggest you should try the local animal shelter. The Humane Society estimates that about 30 percent of dogs in shelter are pure-bred.

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