Spokane pet supply store offers tips to avoid puppy mills

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM) 

SPOKANE, Wash. -After the recent puppy mill bust that's under investigation in Stevens County, KHQ spoke to the owner of Yuppy Puppy pet supply store in Spokane about what red flags to look out for when you want to buy a dog.

"They have a really long road ahead of them," Aquila Brown said of the 255 dogs rescued in Stevens County.

She knows first-hand the problems the puppy mill has caused for the dogs in Stevens County.

"They're going to need good homes, but they're also going to need socialization and health checks," Brown said.

She tells me that the problem is, even though this was a huge bust, there are thousands more just like it needing to happen.

"They're breeding the dogs for money," Brown said.

Brown told KHQ that a big reason these puppy mills stay in business, is because people continue to buy from them. Sometimes, without knowing what they're walking into.

"You're funding that breeder so they can make more puppies," Brown said.

She gave three big red flags to watch out for when buying a dog. Make sure the owner isn't trying to sell the puppy before it's 8 weeks old. Those first weeks are crucial for the puppy to be socializing with its litter, and real breeders wouldn't separate them too young.

Next, ask to meet the puppy's parents. Most breeders are happy to make the introduction, but Brown says puppy mills are less willing to do this.

If there are too many dogs on the property to count, or if the owner doesn't want to meet you in their home, you might be buying from someone running a puppy mill.

And if you think you're in a puppy mill...

"Give somebody power, so that the change can be made," Brown said.

And to do that, Brown says get pictures, get an address, and call SCRAPS or a Sheriff.

Meantime, if you'd like to help the 255 dogs that were saved Tuesday, Brown has a wish-list.

"Cleaning supplies, puppy pads and wire crates," Brown said.

You can drop these items off at a Yuppy Puppy or a Haut Paws store.

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