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D2004-49

Dear Daisy Dog

I read your column about not buying a puppy mill dog from a farm or pet store. Where should I get a pure-bred dog?

Daisy Responds

First, check with your local animal shelter. Most people don’t realize it, but shelters often have pure-bred dogs.

If your shelter doesn’t have the breed you’re looking for, contact a breed rescue group. My brother Sam came to us from a golden retriever rescue group dedicated to finding permanent, loving homes for unwanted goldens.

Breed rescues are staffed by volunteers who know the breed well and can help you choose the right dog for your family’s lifestyle.

Talk with veterinarians, trainers, groomers and others who may know of dogs looking for homes. My brother Jack, a black standard poodle, joined our family through a personal contact.

Ask these people about reputable breeders, people committed to improving the quality of the breed. I came from just such a breeder, a woman who contributes to research aimed at preventing the medical problems that have found their way into my breed.

Finally, go to www.stoppuppymills.org and click on “How to Find a Good Dog Breeder” for information and a checklist to use when talking with breeders.

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