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MANY years ago - long before the term "puppy mill" was ever coined, my ex and I were looking for a puppy. We asked our vet to recommend some breeds that met our criteria. He did suggest two breeds (not beagles, by the way), and also told us THEN (this was in the early 70s), to "NEVER buy a dog from a pet store" and went on to tell us that most dogs sold by pet stores are "imported" from out of state breeders, and often come with health problems. He then recommended responsible breeders of the breeds he had suggested. I've kept that in mind ever since. I never considered breeding my dogs and all my dogs have ALWAYS been spayed or neutered UNTIL I got the beagles - and MOST of them are spayed or neutered. I've learned a lot about puppy mills - and about being a responsible breeder - I will ALWAYS take back one of my pups for any reason. Jack was returned because he liked to chase the owner's many cats - he is, after all, a "hunting" dog.
The ONLY dog I've bought from a pet store was a mixed breed about 15 years ago, she was Lab/Shepherd and a little "Honey", (that's what I named her) - I would NEVER buy a purebred dog from a pet store - because many of them do come from mills - or breeders that simply don't care. I screen people who want to buy one of my puppies (not that I have many to sell), I want to know who has my pups and that they are loved, wanted and well-cared for. I talke MORE people OUT of beagle pups than into them. Not everyone should have a puppy - and I usually suggest to those people that either another breed might be better for them, or to get a shelter or rescue dog. My Chloe came from a pet store - but she was given to me by a lady who bought her then gave her up because their older dog didn't like the pup. She is fine, healthy, and adorable - she is, in fact, my little heart. Turns out this lady does this pretty often, falls in love with a pup then decides she can't keep it for one reason or another. My dogs are NOT disposable.
 
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