New Survey Reveals that 1 in 4 People Know Someone Who Has Purchased a Sick Puppy from a Pet Store

ASPCA shares tips for families looking to get a pet this holiday season
December 9, 2019

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced findings from a national survey revealing that 1 in 4 people bought a puppy from a pet store who became severely ill or know someone who did and nearly half (45 percent) report that the sick puppy died.*

“At a time of the year when many people might be thinking about adding a puppy to their family, it is important to understand the risks of buying a puppy from a pet store,” said Jennie Lintz, director of puppy mill initiatives for the ASPCA. “The results of this survey are sobering – we don’t want anyone who was expecting to get a healthy, happy dog to experience the heartbreak that comes with purchasing a sick puppy.”

If you’re considering adding a puppy to your family, the ASPCA offers the following tips:

  • Visit your local shelter or rescue organization and speak to an adoption counselor. An animal shelter is invested in the well-being of its animals, and many are committed to creating matches that take animal temperament and home environments into account. One benefit of adopting from a shelter is that the staff can tell you about the animal’s behavior and make the best match for you and your family.
  • Find a responsible breeder. If you decide to work with a breeder, visit a breeder who loves and cares for their dogs, and who gave your future puppy the best start possible.
  • Avoid purchasing from a pet store. Puppies sold in pet stores come from commercial breeding operations that prioritize profit over welfare. Dogs in these facilities spend most of their lives in cramped cages, with minimal human interaction. They are bred repeatedly, receive inadequate health care and can suffer from health and behavioral issues.

To learn more about how to find your perfect canine match and avoid supporting cruelty, please visit