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The problem with pet shop puppies is that just because they don't get sick or die right away doesn't mean they are healthy.

99% of pet shop puppies come from puppy mills. Maltese are prone to liver shunts, MVD, luxating patellas, GME, white shaker syndrome, etc. The gene for these diseases is passed from generation to generation and dogs should be carefully screened for genetic disease before being bred. Puppy mills don't do this and there is a very high risk that a pet shop/puppy mill puppy will carry these "genetic times bombs".

Sometimes it is obvious early on that a dog isn't healthy. Often it's that first bloodwork before spaying or neutering that shows abnormal liver values. Sometimes, like with my Lady, a dog can seem to be very healthy for years until those time bombs start going off.

Another problem with pet shop puppies is that often they grow up to not look much like the breed they are supposed to be. It is not uncommon for pet shop puppies to grow larger than the standard 4-7 pounds (sometimes into the teens!) or have curly coats, etc. Every breed has a standard and a good breeder will breed dogs that are as close to perfect as possible in order to produce puppies close to the standard. Puppy mills breed anything, even mix a larger breed like a Bichon in, with no regard for producing puppies close to the standard. That's why many pet shop puppies are registered with the CKC, ACA or some of the other "alternative" registries instead of the AKC. There is no real guarentee a puppy mill/pet shop puppy is really even purebred.
 

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Deanna, you've hit the nail on the head. Just don't even go into pet stores to begin with. Don't give any business that makes a profit off the misery of animals one dime of your money even if it is just for a chew toy.

Only when these places stop profitting will we have a chance of shutting the mills down.

If you don't ever go into one of those stores, you won't be tempted to "rescue" a puppy. Just remember if you do, you have helped to keep this horrible industry going. By emptying a cage, you have just guarenteed that another puppy will replace the one you just bought and the cycle of abuse will contine.
 
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