I often see people who purchase a pet store puppy because they want to “rescue” it. By doing so, they support a system that allows dogs to live in misery. I realize their hearts are in the right places and they want to save the dog. I also realize that they do not know what happens to the unsold pet shop dogs, so I wanted to tell you about three pet store puppies and what happened to them. They are a Pug and two Westies, all nine weeks old. The miller breeds for the pet trade and sent them off to the pet store to be sold. When they got there, the store owner discovered all three had physical defects. The Pug had a bum knee and the Westies had hernias. The pet store owner, not wanting to lose money, called the miller and arranged to send them back. The miller took them back. This is what happens to most unsold puppies in pet stores. Of course, the miller had no use for them. That is where rescue comes in. Many rescues work to develop a relationship with the millers. It is not easy because what they do is a horror to those who rescue dogs, but it helps the animals from death in some situations. The miller called a friend of mine who works at a rescue and told her what happened. She said that if my friend wanted them, she could have them. No money changed hands and as I type, those puppies are in the vet’s office being altered and otherwise fixed up. Once they are better, they will be posted for adoption. I realize that this is not the fate of every unsold puppy, but it really is typical. So next time a sweet little puppy in the pet store catches your eye, go home and check out breed rescue. Many times, you can find a dog or puppy who was bred under the same conditions that pet store dogs are, but is up to date on shots and vetted. Same quality, better price, vetted and you will not be feeding the cycle of misery.