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Don’t buy pets, adopt from shelter

On its “The Horrible Hundred 2021” list of problem puppy mills and puppy sellers in the U.S., the Humane Society of the United States included 16 breeders and sellers right here in Ohio. These are the folks who sell those expensive pure breed dogs to pet stores and popular retail destinations in tourist areas.

Pet lovers often find themselves in such locations, looking at the adorable puppies –maybe even getting a chance to cuddle one or two. The dogs are a big draw, and bring in lots of money for their breeders and sellers. Far too many of them are born into horrific conditions among other animals who are sick, hurt, dirty, unprotected from the weather and generally treated inhumanely.

But the public doesn’t see those animals. They see the ones who are going to be profitable.

Of course not every breeder/seller of dogs is inhumane or even problematic. But of the 100 worst across the country, 16 are in the Buckeye State (Missouri was the worst, with 21) — and, as the HSUS points out, those are just the ones we know about. Those are the ones being inspected.

What can we do about it? For starters, don’t support breeders and sellers who have made the list, particularly as repeat offenders. And, if you do choose to go with a breeder when looking for your next pet, ask a lot of questions, maybe even ask to see the facility.

Here’s a better idea, though. Cut the puppy mills and retailers out of the equation altogether. Check with your local animal shelter or rescue group, and adopt your next pet. You will save money, you will save at least one life, and you will know you didn’t contribute to the financial wellbeing of breeder/sellers like those listed on the Horrible Hundred.

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