No matter how "reputable" you think your local pet store is, they are almost surely getting their puppies from one of two sources: 1) a "backyard" dog breeder, or 2) a puppy mill. The majority of purebred dogs are the product of irresponsible "backyard" dog breeders. These are people who make some easy cash by breeding their purebred dogs and they often also sell dogs through the newspaper classified ads. Remember that most of these backyard dog breeders don't know about breeding for favorable health and temperament qualities, and they don't know how to raise a properly socialized litter. Many of these little dog are weaned from their mothers way too soon. Sometimes, a backyard dog breeder turns into small-time puppy mill to increase their supply so you can buy a dog from a pet store and they can make a higher profit. What are puppy mills? A puppy mill is basically a purebred puppy factory farm where the puppies are just churned out as fast as they can and then sold to pet stores. The dogs are kept in small cages and forced to breed at unhealthy rates… it's all about the money. Female dogs in puppy mills are made to have several litters per year, which is extremely dangerous and cruel. Each purebred puppy mill produces several different breeds for pet stores, and pays little attention to the specific health and genetic diseases due to inbreeding. Genetic health testing is almost unheard of and mass-producing pets for profit is the bottom line. In the worst puppy mills, horrifying conditions are the norm. How can you stop puppy mills? There is only one way. Take away their profits. Remember before you buy a puppy, keep in mind that adoption is the most humane option!