Where Do Pet Stores Get Their Pets?
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Where Do Pet Stores Get Their Pets?

Where do pet stores get their pets? How to get pets for a pet store? Where do pet stores get puppies? Where do the animals come from that pet stores sell? Do pet stores support puppy mills? My pet store told me they do not buy from puppy mills, is this true? Will a pet store buy my puppies? Why should people not buy pets from pet stores?

If you are reading this it is either because you are interested in opening your own pet store business or are simply a curious person wondering where all the animals (literally millions sold every year) come from.

Many people wonder where pet stores get their pets. People have been told that stores get puppies from horrid places called “Puppy mills”, but when they ask the store always insists the pups did not come from mills, but came from good breeders. So who is right? Where do puppies, and other pets sold in pet stores, come from?

Do Stores get Pets from Good Breeders?

Although many stores will insist they get pets from good breeders, this is simply not true. A good breeder takes their animals to shows to prove they are worth breeding, have them tested for genetic conditions, they establish contacts of interested buyers before breeding, and screen buyers well; they would not trust a pet store will selling their pets, they would not need a pet store to sell their pets, and the pet store would not be able to pay the price that good breeders command because of the testing they do on their pets prior to breeding.

So Where do Pet Stores get Pets from?

Pet stores generally buy from one of three places: Mill breeders, pet brokers, or the public.

Mill breeders are exactly what you think, places that house many animals whose only purpose is to produce other animals for the purpose of sale. This is done as cheaply as possible so that a profit can be made. There are mills for most kinds of pets from fish, to lizards, to birds, and of course, puppies.

Above - a typical puppy mill cage where adult breeding dogs spend their entire life.

Pet Brokers buy from mills, so sometimes when stores say they are not buying from mills they are telling the truth (sort of); they buy from the broker. The broker buys up massive amounts of animals, having contacts with many mills, and sometimes working directly with one pet store chain, or working with many stores. This is how pet stores are often able to say they can get “almost any breed of small dog” or whatever. In some cases pet brokers buy from importers or even smugglers.

Occasionally a member of the public will have a litter of pets they cannot get rid of and will approach the store, and the store will buy the litter. Since most people (other than the mills) do not produce enough animals to meet the demand of the store this is not where the majority of animals come from. Usually this applies to a few hamsters, or rabbits.

What about Pet Stores that have Animal Shelter Pets?

Some stores are getting away from selling mill pets, in part because of public demand and in part because, although they do make profit, they are sometimes stuck paying for sick animals. As such some stores now have animal shelter animals for adoption. This can be confusing because some stores try to make people think the pets they are selling are “adoption” but to determine if this is true, the real adoption would involve a contract from the animal shelter that actually owns the pet.

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Comments (9)

I have wondered where pet stores get their animals. Thank you for sharing this helpful information.

I have a real soft spot in my heart for pets. Thank you for your article with considerable value for all to know.

very important article

Good Job - shared

Very informative and interesting. Thank you dear Brenda. Voted up.

Well done Brenda, now I know where they get their pets, thanks.

Very informative.Thanks.

Great information!

Great exposure, voted up.