I have been an advocate of stronger laws to protect pets and continue to urge dog owners to adopt rather then buy. We can make a difference
Caution When Buying A Puppy At a Puppy Store
This video is of our little guy Georgie, the smartest and most loveable member of our family. We got Georgie 4 years ago in January 2008 as a gift from our son's who purchased him at a local puppy store. They were told Georgie was a pure bred Chihuahua and paid just over $1,000 for this little pooch.
Georgie's First Day In Our Home
The Best Little Puppy Ever
I am a photographer and took lots of photos of Georgie and you can see some at his Facebook Page, I Love Georgie. As Georgie started to grow, he looked even more beautiful and oh so smart. Fast to learn and fast to please us. We were able to train him to do his business on his Pee Pee Pads because he was too young to take out into the cold of our winter. When he would wake up we put him on the pad and said "Get Busy Georgie" and he would do his thing and of course get rewarded with a little treat. After awhile he understood the command, Get Busy, knew that he got a treat and in a short time he was house broken.
Quite often this smart little guy would attempt to fake us out and would go to the pad, stand there for a minute or so and come over to us with his tail wagging and wait for a treat. We told him he was a Faker Maker, but still gave him the treat he was so cute. Where ever we took Georgie people would question his breed because he was way too cute. We told them he was a Chihuahua, but most told us that he didn't look like one or he was too cute to be a Chi.
Georgie is 11 Pounds - 2 Years Old
Georgie Is Not A Chihuahua
As he got older he got bigger and hit his prime weight at one of 11 pounds. Now Chihuahuas are seldom over 6-7 pounds and they usually have a more pointed muzzle and larger ears, so I began to investigate about the breed and found out that the AKC won't recognize a Chihuahua for any of their shows if they are over 7 pounds. Being a photojournalist I began to investigate the store we purchased Georgie from and discovered they had a record of selling Puppy Mill pups and claimed they were pure bred. We even tried to verify his breed by contacting the breeder listed on the papers they gave us, but there was no breeder with that name or location.
New Jersey Pet Purchase Protection Act
One of the best things that our state government has done was finally put in place new regulations for Puppy stores and gave consumers rights they never had before. Hopefully this will put a stop to the immoral and illegal acts regarding the sale of dogs and cats.
Here is a Summary of this new act:
This New Jersey Act protects pet purchasers who receive "defective" companion animals. A purchaser of a defective pet must have his or her pet examined by a veterinarian within 14 days of purchase to receive a refund or exchange. Alternatively, a buyer may retain the pet and be reimbursed for veterinary bills up to two times the cost of the dog or cat.
What You Can Do Now - Get A Dog DNA Test
Take The Puppy Store To Court
This article was originally written some years ago before the new act was in force. So I have left it unchanged to share my story with you. For those that purchased a pet prior to the law, you will want to follow my advice and take the puppy store to court. It is not too late, even if the dog is a number of years old.
I realized I was duped and decided to purchase a dog DNA test on the internet for $50. We took some swabs from the inside of his cheeks sent the test back and in two weeks we got confirmation that he was indeed a mixed breed, or as we used to call them as kids a mutt. They identified his breed as up to 74% Chihuahua and the remainder possibly Jack Russel Terrier. I started to look at videos on YouTube for this mix and found many that looked a lot like Georgie.
Armed with this information I contacted the puppy store and demanded a refund on my purchase price because of their apparent misrepresentation and downright fraudulent way they sold the dog to us. At first they told me this has never happened before and they wanted me to bring him in so they could take photos and send it to the breeder they purchased him from.
After weeks, they offered me a different puppy, but of course after a year, there was no way. They then offered $200 dollars, no way would I accept that. I told them I would accept $500. Well this went on and on for 5 months and I could see they were simply playing a game and trying to wear me down.
In New Jersey it is a simple matter to take out a summons in Small Claims court and sue someone or a business for up to $3,000 for only $22 in court costs. So instead of playing the waiting game, I decided to sue them. I had my DNA test results, tons of photos of him in all stages of his development and had printed reports from the Better Business Bureau and the internet that they have been operating this way for many years.
Threaten If You Must - The Internet Is Powerful
Since I am president of the International Press Association, I also warned them that not only would I win in court and had sufficient proof of their fraud, but would be more then happy to publish the results of the suit with copies of all my documents so other customers could find my article on the net before purchasing a puppy from them.
I was tired of dealing with the young woman who manages and sells these puppies to people and demanded she have the owner contact me if he wanted to settle out of court. The suit was for the full purchase price of the dog, $1,000. He called me and agreed to make a full refund. I demanded it in cash and he said, "why you don't trust me and won't take my check?" I thought that was the funniest thing I had heard.
I told him to write the check out, I would endorse the back of the check and I would write up a release with a promise not to name him in any article I might write, but he would have to cash the check for me at the store. He agreed, I went to the store, signed the check and walked away with 10 one hundred dollar bills.
So Many Puppy Mill Dogs
Horror Stories About This Puppy Store
Over the past 4 years I have met so many people in my community that had dogs that just didn't seem to be pure bred dogs and when I asked where they got them, it was always at this puppy store. I also met people that have worked at this store, on gal I met in the hospital while I was in for some tests and she saw the photo I had of Georgie.
I had given the store a copy in an 8X10 size that they had hung up at the store. She said, "I remember Georgie" he was so cute. She then told me she would clean up at the puppy store and she would often be in tears seeing the way they treated the dogs. They kept them in little cages stacked three high behind a glass wall. In the morning she would come in and at times find a puppy that had gotten out of his cage and fell to the ground and at time became injured.
Instead of sending the puppy to the vet, they would kill the puppy by breaking their necks and getting a refund from the puppy mills they purchased the dogs from. She told me they never paid over $25-$50 for any dog, even purebreds from local breeders. Many of these puppies were then sold for up to $4,000 each. Greed has taken the place or human kindness and morality.
What bothers me most is that this store has been in business with two locations for many years. They have changed their names and always claim to be under new ownership but my search of corporate records showed it was the same owner. Recently they closed the one location, opened across the road and put the corporation under a new owners name. Same owner, but another way to skirt the law.
Puppy Mills and Pennsylvania Amish Breeders
Most of these puppies come from horrible, dirty puppy mills in the Amish country of Pennsylvania and they are sold in most cases for as little as $10 each. The parents of the puppies are made to breed as many as 6 times a year and many never get let out of their small cages.
So, I would caution anyone reading this hub to try to find a reputable local breeder when looking for a pure bred dog and check them out. Visit their homes or locations, see the pups parents and watch their disposition and see how healthy they are. See the conditions at the breeder to be sure they are clean and well maintained.
Ask for customers that have purchased pups from them and call them or visit them to see their pups and how they look as they grew up.
Never Purchase A Dog From A Pet Or Puppy Store
Never, ever, purchase a dog from a pet shop or puppy store, they all buy from puppy mills or large wholesalers and most of the dogs will have Kennel Cough which in many cases becomes a life and death disease if not treated immediately and properly. Check out your local SPCA or rescue centers for some wonderful, healthy pups or grown dogs, the usually make great pets and you know they are healthy and have their shots.
We love Georgie and now when people ask us where we got such a great little guy, we tell them we Rescued Him From a Puppy Store. I have been preparing my own special and healthy meatloaf for Georgie for the past three years and he has grown to be a healthy and happy dog. When we go for our yearly check up at the vet, he passes with flying colors and the vets have asked me to share my recipe for Georgie Meatloaf with them, so I prepared a video that is too long to post here but you can view it on YouTube now.
We Love Georgie
I learned years ago that any of the processed dog foods you purchased either dry or wet are made from the parts of animals that are not fit for human consumption. Dry food you are told helps to clean their teeth, not true, it is heated to 500-600 degrees to kill all the harmful bacteria in it and then extruded out of a machine. By the time your dog eats it all the nutrients are gone.
Watch my video now if you already have a dog or planning to get one and you can save money on your vet bills, on food costs. You will never need to give you dogs any vitamins because my meatloaf has everything they will need. The dogs love it and you can eat it yourself it is that good.
Now over 125, 000 views on YouTube. See the many testimonials from those that have made Georgie Meatloaf.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 01, 2016:
Hi Len, I had to read your story because of the picture of Georgie. He looks like Misha, our Jack Russell, we bought him from a breeder, at the time we did not know it was a puppy mill and we had never heard of a puppy mill.
I thank you for all the information here and I will link this article to my fb page as my town is puppy crazy and everyone knows every one else's dog's names, we even have dog parks.
Blessings to you.
Seraph from Canada on January 06, 2015:
I have to say, "Faker Maker" was super cute!
As for a pure bred, there is too much inbreeding to refine the breed down. In my opinion the "Pure Bred" game is abusive and I have seen it first hand with "Pure Breeds."
Injecting new diverse DNA ensures that your little fur baby will not have problems such as seizures, tremors, walking problems or any other weird mental-health conditions.
We had a Japaneses Chin, his name was "Mr. Wee-Wiggly Wonderful", we all loved him and spoiled him rotten. About 6 months after we got him he started to get seizures and they would last for about 10 min., after he would have one he was not able to walk and would lay there. Within a few weeks he went blind and then died, none of us ever recovered.
We brought the dog into the university for examination, and they explained due to the inbreeding program his skull had reached it's full development, but the brain was still growing and that was why he died.
I am against pure-breeds as I would not want my children to have children and have it continue.. in the wild, nature does not work that way either.
Great that you have a healthy dog and love your fur baby to bits, but my mother never got over loosing ours. There is plenty of information on the internet defining Inbreeding to refine a pure bred and what it does to the animal.
AJ from North Carolina on September 05, 2014:
Georgie was blessed. He not only got a great home that loves him dearly, but he also apparently doesn't have any serious health problems -- many puppy mill puppies do.
Lilly on May 05, 2013:
I read the article it was good.