Buying or Rescuing a Puppy

Find out the best way to get a new puppy.

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Jan Klepinger, of Denver, wanted a huggable Pug for her and her young daughter, Kara. The breed met her temperament, health and size requirements. She was third on the Pug list when an 8-year-old Pug showed up at the shelter. She was second on the list when a 2-year-old male arrived.

But her patience paid off. The third Pug arrived, a 6-month-old male. After spending five days in the shelters lost-and-found kennel area (the states legal time requirement), Yoshi was adopted by Klepinger.

It was love at first sight, recalls Klepinger. When I picked him up for the first time, he snuggled in so tight I thought he would never let me put him down. He now snuggles with me on the couch during the evening news. I couldn't have picked a better dog for my lifestyle or ask for a more affectionate and loyal companion. 

Buying From Pet Stores
It is emotionally tough not to pass a pet store without fulfilling the urge to plunge inside and buy that soulful-eyed puppy in the display case.

Michelle Golden and Cheryl McQueary, of Portage, Indiana, walked into a local pet store and walked out with two 8-week-old Chihuahuas they dubbed Callie and Caramel. The price: $1,400.

We just went into the pet store to look and we didn't plan on buying one, let alone two puppies that day, says Golden, a technician for a neurologist.

Don't let this urge flood your reason. You should use the same care and do the same amount of research as you would in getting a pup from a breeder, rescue group or shelter. Look at the pups health, its environment and socialization and ask about its history.

We never got clear answers from the store employees about the health of these puppies, the name and contact information of the breeder or even if they were, in fact, from the same litter, Golden says.

Unfortunately, some pet stores may contain puppies from irresponsible and unethical commercial breeders who do not screen the dogs for genetic diseases. However, not all pet stores are like that, and many happy dog owners have made their purchases at pet stores.

Today, Callie and Caramel behave like a sister act, forever playing and flopping on one another for naps, but Golden and McQueary are uncomfortable with the fact that they do not have any details about the dogs birth or the parents. We love our puppies dearly, says Golden, but there is just too much missing information on our puppies.

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