Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

Florida #1 for Complaints of Sick Puppy Purchases: Buyer Beware

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Florida ranks number one in a new study for the number of complaints about purchases of puppies that are in poor health. The findings point to the need for buyers to be more careful about where their new pets come from, says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mills Campaign of the Humane Society of the United States. She says 91 percent of the complaints in the new study center on puppies that are ill or have congenital disorders that can shorten their lives. (Photo caption: Widow in black with dog.)

Read the 5 year study here.
 • American Kennel Club: About buying a dog

When Florida consumers made these purchases, Kahn says, most of them probably had no idea they were purchasing a dog that came from a puppy mill.

"If you purchase a dog in a pet store or online, you are running the risk of purchasing a sick puppy. That's what we have learned from all of the thousands of complaints that have come directly to the Humane Society of the United States, from people who have purchased dogs in this way."

Kahn says the best way to assure you are getting a healthy pet is to adopt one from a local animal shelter. The five-year study found Florida, Ohio and Illinois had the highest number of complaints involving puppies purchased from pet stores.

While there are responsible breeders, Kahn points out, she encourages people who want to buy direct from a breeder to first do some homework.

"Go to the breeder's home, see where the puppies are born and raised, and meet the parents of the puppy. Bottom line is, if the breeder won't let you do that, for whatever reason, that is a big red flag. That person is, more likely than not, a puppy-mill operator."

The survey involved 2,500 consumer complaints between 2007 and 2011, including 350 cases in which puppies died shortly after being purchased. 

Links and graphics added by the Observer| Photo: by adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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