Pet Stores


You should never buy a puppy from a pet store.

There are usually problems. Some are evident after a week or two in your home, some problems don’t show up for a couple years. Statistically, they live on average 1 year.

Where Do Puppy Store Puppies Come From?

The puppies in a pet store come from puppy mills, these are found in every state. These pet stores are selling AKC puppies. A puppy being AKC does NOT ensure a good puppy. Make sure you check out my AKC Page.

Even if they tell you at the pet store that the puppies come from local breeders, that doesn’t mean it is okay or even that it is true.

Puppies that come from pet stores are being taken away from their mamas at the age of 2 weeks, which is way too early! I leave mine with mama as long as I can.  And because I do this, I get half the amount of litters than other breeders do.

Any dog breeding book tells you to start weaning them at age 4 weeks. This doesn’t mean completely off the mamas by 2 weeks! This is just setting the stage for a sick puppy down the road.

Horror Stories

I have been breeding for over 25 years, and I have heard many horror stories about these puppies that come from pet stores.

Many people buy a puppy from a pet store and it ends up dying, sometimes the next day. This has been told to me by many customers. Many of these puppies incur huge vet/hospital bills for their new owners and end up dying. They never get reimbursed like they are guaranteed to.

I have had 2 calls from women who used to work in pet stores, and they both said the puppies NEVER got any exercise! They stayed in their cages! Where would they even exercise them? They can’t let them run around the store.

Many times the breed is not even what they say it is. Anything to make a sale.

Pet Stores Want to Buy my Puppies

I have been approached by pet stores many times, offering to buy my puppies! (I don’t think so!)

They start off the conversation like they are just an average person looking for a puppy. Then you get the inevitable question; would they get a discount if they bought in bulk! I get so mad when I get a call like this, don’t waste my time.
When I raise a litter, I care about them and love them. They get exposed to a lot of attention and affection. It makes a difference. Raise a child without any love or attention and see how he turns out.
Below is an email sent to me by a woman who read what I wrote about pet stores somewhere else. She added a lot to what I have to say. She gave me permission to reprint it.

I just read your web site about local pet stores. Boy you hit that on the head!
My daughter started rescuing puppies at age 14 and ran a huge equine rescue. She went to work at Family of Pets in the Macomb Mall to see for herself what goes on. She knew it was going to be a nightmare but was still left reeling in shock.
She has made notes daily to formulate a report but she quit after 2 months due to the – “Sell a puppy no matter what” policy. Sell to people who don’t want them-sell sell sell!!!
Behind the scenes, nebulizer treatments because the pups don’t get exercise. They allow puppies infested with parvo to be sold. Kennel cough runs rampid. But-SELL SELL SELL!!
The employees are treated no better. They, too, are merely a commodity. Their hours are cut if sales aren’t met. They must stuff the puppy into the customers arms before a price is mentioned, whether the customer wants to hold the pup or not. OUTRAGEOUS!

My daughter couldn’t handle the uninformed employees. The owners daughter, age 25, runs this public puppy torture store. She wants to keep dumb employees and my daughter didn’t fit the bill.
At one point she pointed out some of the non-shedding breeds had what appeared to be lice, not fleas, but lice. They did nothing. No surprise.
Don’t be fooled by so called, “up standing” vets who are parley to this. A couple times a week, if even that often, the vet comes to drop off drugs, and give the pups shots. Now you have noninformed novices with no knowledge, administering drugs. Yes, they are from local breeders.

A delivery van, unmarked, pulls up to the back door and a man hustles in a few pups, with a tag around their tiny necks. These puppies coats are full of straw, urine, feces and they are deprived of food and water. After this quick delivery, the man jumps back in the van to speed off in the night. A true back door delivery. The first couple weeks they hustled my daughter out of the back room during the delivery.

These puppies are also not given bowls of water to drink out of, but instead are given water bottles, the kind you use for hamsters. My daughter got “written up” for giving the puppies bowls of water while cleaning their cages! She knows what a sick puppy looks like, dehydrated,etc…

The stores managers are paranoid of the press and media, as well they should be. If all was right and fine, they would be glad to receive media attention.
It is said some puppies come from the Hillsdale area, from the amish. One breeder actually calls her business, “The Puppy Mill”. How unthinkable!

I have made a State level complaint…I think it is too much trouble to see to the pups. It sickens me. They are treated as a commodity, not the loving, innocent creatures they are. Too many die and no one cares, no one loves them, my heart bleeds for these innocent victims of ruthless money mongers.”

The information below was taken from the Detroit News. This is not just happening in Michigan, where I live, but everywhere.
“The state agency responsible for ensuring the safety of animals has never fined or shut down a single metro Detroit pet shop, even though inspectors for years have found inhumane conditions and neglect that have endangered dogs and cats, records show.”
“Nearly a quarter of the roughly 70 pet shops in south-east Michigan have been cited in the past four years for housing sickly animals, confining dogs and cats to dirty, cramped cages and selling pets that are unhealthy or below the legal age. None has been shut down or fined, the Department of Agriculture records show.”
“More than 30 people have complained to the state this year about Pollywood Pets, inside the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt Clemens. That’s more then any other pet store. Among the complaints, 20 kittens stuffed in a pen; sick puppies covered in feces, some injured by broken cages: guinea pigs bleeding and overcrowded, one without an eye.”

“The last inspection at Family of Pets in Waterford, for example, was five years ago, despite complaints as recently as 2 months ago about filthy, cramped cages. The state found similar problems in the past three years –plus outbreaks of a potentially potent virus and puppies sold too young –at the chain’s other four stores.”
“Violations are common in stores across Metro Detroit, the inspection records show.

*Water was tainted with feces, and pens were too small for dogs and cats to turn around or stand up in.

*At least eight stores sold puppies at the age of 5 weeks.

At least 3 were cited but were never fined or shut down.

*Animals with contagious diseases, some deadly, were not not separated from healthy ones at more than a dozen stores.”

“In an unusual move, the Riverview Fire Department — not the state –stepped in and closed All About Pets in late November because the shop hadn’t been using heat and was a fire hazard, records show.”


A Pet Store Owner Stole my Pictures

Last year, another breeder emailed me to inform me that a man who owns a pet store in Louisville Kentucky, stole pictures of my Maltipoos and was using them for advertising, claiming them as his own.

He has a website and had 2 facebook pages for his store, which is where he featured my puppies. Before I made him remove the pictures my daughter took screenshots of my puppies on his facebook and his conversations he had with people.

He flat out lied and told this one woman my puppy was their favorite and that she should come and see him. Of course when she got there I’m sure he would just claim it was sold and would try to sell her a different puppy.

In another conversation with someone else, he talked about my puppy and gave details about it.

How would people even know he didn’t even own the puppies!

The man was ridiculous when I spoke to him on the phone, claiming he couldn’t remove them because he didn’t have a computer at work. Uh huh, I really believed him. He also claimed he didn’t know it was stealing by taking my pictures. I didn’t even get a chance to remind him that he lied about my pictures in conversations with people.

He’s lucky he doesn’t live in MI because I would have sued him. It is just too much trouble to bother.

You have to be careful!


I recently went to a rather large pet store.
Well, the store wasn’t large but there were a lot of puppies there.
This was Petland at Mound and 59,
I believe they are closed down now.

The first thing I noticed upon entering , was the smell.
Trust me, puppies smell when they go potty and if you don’t clean it up,
it’s not going to be very pleasant to be around!
They also smell if they don’t get bathed.
They were behind plexi glass too, so the they must have smelled really bad on the other side!

There were 1-2 puppies per cage and only one puppy of each breed.
Most were mixes.
There was barely enough room to stand back and look at the puppies
because of the store products right behind you.
There were a lot of people there and children were roller blading and
running up and down in front of the cages and me.
You couldn’t just stand there and look because
there was a lot of shoving,
by children and adults.
If you stood still to look,
people got right in front of you so you couldn’t see.
Apparently I was invisible that day!

Plus it smelled so bad.
My eyes were burning from the smell, so
I got out of there as quickly as I could.
What a horrible way to pick out a puppy!

Most the puppies seemed happy and playful.
Some had that glazed sick look in their eyes.
They were probably sick.

I figured there were many more puppies behind the closed doors.
I doubt they had only one of each kind.
You couldn’t even hear the puppies barking because of the plexi glass,
so if there were other puppies you would never know it.

It was a very strange experience.
I honestly wanted to cry by the time I left there.
I felt bad for the foolish people who were there buying a puppy because
they had no idea what they were getting into.
I felt bad for the puppies, well, just because it was so sad.

I was wondering how they got almost every single puppy to play.
My puppies are either running around playing, or sleeping.
They do this together, at the same time.
That’s what puppies do.
They are on the same schedule.

Since I have been doing this for so long,
I have heard many stories from people.
Everyone has a “dog” story and I usually hear it.
Many of these stories are sad.
The puppies bought from puppy stores usually have health problems.
I was hearing these stories before I had even read anything about puppy stores.
Many of them end up in the hospital and the owners are never reimbursed.
Most of them die!