Recently, my friend’s Boxer died. This wasn’t a death of old age as this dog was less than 2 years old. Sadie was a lovable puppy and a lot of fun. So why did she stop eating? Why did she have serious genetic internal problems with her organs? Well, Sadie was originally purchased from a breeder with ties to a puppy mill. Althouth my friend was able to see the dog in person before bringing it home, scammers often work long distance and try to sell animals that potential owners never meet first. So how can you protect yourself from scammers? Well, of course, never buy a dog you haven’t seen or preferably met in person. Actually, adoption is still the best option. There are thousands of dogs waiting for a good home. Remember, adoption doesn’t mean you have to give up on your hope of having a purebred dog as there are many purebreds at local shelters in need of new owners. Purebreds find their way to shelters more often than you think, so keep your eyes open. Rescue groups for specific breeds are also very passionate about finding homes for abandoned purebreds that have been abused or given to shelters. Use the internet to find breeders and rescue groups in your geographic area. Be careful when searching for a puppy online and follow these rules: Check references and try to get in touch with others who have purchased pets from a breeder you’re interested in. Don’t send money order payments Good breeders actually want you to come and visit your future pet so take them up on it Be wary of breeders that won’t give refunds should your new puppy become ill. A reputable breeder will always take a dog back no matter what the reason. For your own safety and the safety of your dog, pick up your new puppy at a kennel and don’t have the animal shipped or pick it up at a random location. Have any disastrous experiences of your own? Maybe we can learn from you! Please leave a comment.