With the demand for puppies higher than ever, many people turn to breeders and online sellers to find their new best friend. Avoid supporting for-profit animal abusers, get the whole story before buying a puppy online.
Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills
For puppy mills and backyard breeders, their only goal is to produce as many animals as possible to maximize their profits. Animals are often kept in unsanitary and inadequate living conditions, receive bare minimum care and improper nutrition.
These conditions not only cause suffering in the short term, but often lead to poor socialization and severe health problems which may not present themselves until long after purchase. Some medical conditions include:
- Hip problems;
- Bladder and bowel disorders;
- Dislocated and deformed limbs;
- Neurological damage;
- Poor teeth;
- Eye and ear infections;
- Parvovirus (a highly contagious and often fatal disease);
- Distemper; and,
- Internal parasites.
Animals may become fearful and aggressive towards people, and have other behavioral problems such as barking or chewing from anxiety, or house-soiling because they’ve never been trained.
These unscrupulous businesses have been known to fabricate vet records prior to selling puppies, claiming vaccines that were never given. This combination of being born into poor living conditions, developing weakened immune systems and not being properly vaccinated often leads to heartbreak and mounting vet bills for unwary buyers.
Designer Dogs and Foreign Imports
Some online sellers in Canada import puppies from overseas to meet the high demand for young puppies and specialty breeds. This can involve animals being enclosed in small cages for over 24 hours of transit, with inadequate food and water and deathly high temperatures. These conditions are extremely dangerous to the health and wellness of the animals, resulting in animals arriving in Canada extremely sick or even deceased. The animals may also develop health conditions that will not present themselves until much later after arriving. Asking questions before buying a pet and being aware of where the pet is coming from will help prevent this suffering.
Canadians lost over $2 million in puppy scams last year alone, by purchasing or paying large deposits on new puppies that never arrived. Online selling platforms make it much harder to discern a reputable seller from a scammer, but a critical component of fighting these scams is consumer education. Being aware of this issue and being cautious when making a purchase will help you avoid falling victim to these scams.
All these types of unethical sellers exist right here in Ottawa. The problem is not as far from home as you might think. Educate yourself and others before purchasing a new pet. Find out how to ensure you are acquiring animals from a reputable source and prevent suffering.