Buy supplies- not puppies- from petstores.
We purchased our puppy from Tom's and have had a good experience dealing with the staff. Overall, the staff has been great and helpful.
Our puppy ended up with a minor viral infection within the week that we took him home. The vet gave him antibiotics that Tom's reimbursed us for. The puppy is healthy and he was up to date with his shots and dewormers when we purchased him. Being a new pet owner, we did our research on the type of dog that we want. Unfortunately, we should have done research on WHERE to get our puppy from.
Commercial breeders are legal in PA. The term puppy mill does not have a legal definition and is a term that is used loosely and is usually synonymous with commercial breeders. The thing is that it is ideal to get your puppy from a reputable breeder who is not in business primarily for profit. Finding a reputable breeder is another research that you would want to take time to do. Commercial breeders, on the other hand, breed dogs to sell to pet stores. Compared to reputable breeders, commercial breeders are not primarily invested on the health and welfare of the dog as much as they are on the profit that they would make on the dog. Reputable breeders would interview their prospective dog parents and would NOT sell their puppies through pet stores. I recommend that you read Cesar Millan’s book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog- before you get your dog. It has detailed information on how and where to get a puppy. You can borrow this book from your local library at no cost.
We still purchase some of our dog supplies at Tom’s and have found better deals on certain things there compared to Petsmart or Petco. However, there are items that are priced higher at Tom’s. Just like with any other petstore, you find things cheaper or more expensive- it is up to you to shop around.
I would buy supplies but NEVER puppies at a petstore, not just Tom’s but any petstore. I wish we would did more research before buying our first pet.
We were told by Tom’s that our puppy came from CONODOGUINET CREEK KENNEL, which an animal activist group labeled as a “puppy mill.” You can obtain the inspection reports on any registered kennel through the state’s website go to PA Department of Agriculture's website and search Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, and Kennel Inspection search.
Conodoguinet did not have any violations on the 2 inspections done in 2009. Although it is still a commercial breeder vs. a reputable breeder.
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