I'm continually surprised at how pet stores keep surprising me. And not sure why I'm surprised...
A new sign in the window of the local puppy mill pet store in the mall now reads "Financing Available". WHAT??? Let's face it, if you can't afford to buy the puppy, you certainly can't afford to care for a puppy!
You finance a car, a house, appliances. Notice a trend here? Those are THINGS! You do not finance a living animal! You need to put time and thought into any purchase, especially something you will have for the next fifteen years. Do you know that most people put more thought and research into buying an IPod or a camera than they do into what breed or type of dog they will get? A dog should never, ever be an impulse purchase. Time and time again I have seen people buy a dog on impulse only to discover that their lifestyle does not remotely match what this dog was bred for and a terrible relationship ensues.
Please, please, please stay out of the pet stores. You may feel you are rescuing a puppy, but in reality you are paying people to continue to treat dogs in a deplorable manner. I worry so much for the puppies purchased by people simply because "He was so cute" or "He was on sale", or the one that makes me the most ill, "He looked sick". At no point in time is it okay for someone to sell a sick puppy. At no point in time is it okay for someone to make money by selling sick puppies. At no point in time is it okay for someone to end up with thousands of dollars of vet bills because someone made money by selling a sick puppy.
I also worry about the dogs kept at the puppy mills where these puppies are created. Puppy mills are just that, they churn puppies out as fast as the poor mothers can have them. By purchasing a puppy from a pet store you are paying someone to keep doing this. They are bred on their very first heat cycles, when they are still puppies themselves, and bred every single heat cycle until they are too old, too sick, too worn out or something goes wrong. By purchasing a puppy from a pet store you are paying someone to keep doing this. At that point they are killed, and not humanely. By purchasing a puppy from a pet store you are paying someone to keep doing this.
And don't ever listen to the people working in the stores claiming these dogs came from a breeder, because the sneaky term for a puppy mill is "commercial breeder". These dogs often come from the midwest and the south. Basically there is absolutely NO reputable breeder who would EVER sell their puppies to a pet store. EVER!
If you have already purchased a puppy from a pet store, what is done is done, but don't do it again!
If you take the time to research the breeds you might be interested in, seek out a reputable breeder, check references and health clearances and meet the parent dogs you will in the long run most likely end up with a healthier, happier dog, and you will also have a reliable person to turn to with questions on your dog. Try going back to a chain store with rotating teenaged staff who are paid minimum wage and try to get any reliable information!
Okay, off my soapbox for today!