Buying a puppy or dog through Junk Mail

Be careful about buying dogs from pet shops. Reportedly many pet shops buy from puppy mills, through dealers. Because you cannot see the puppy’s parents at a pet shop, a legitimate and responsible pet shop should be able to tell you exactly where the puppy comes from. In general, when it comes to dogs rather use pet shops just to buy dog food and accessories.

Junk Mail gets thousands of free ads, placed instantly by the seller online. While we cannot evaluate each ad that gets placed, once we realize that there is a fraudulent ad online, we will remove it. Thus we cannot really prevent ads from puppy mills or dealers, but once we recognize such an ad we will remove it from our site and block the user.

You, the potential puppy buyer, should be careful when you respond to an ad placed in Junk Mail as you would with any other ad. Though in our advice on  avoiding scams  we usually recommend meeting sellers in public places, in the case of pets you have to see the seller’s premises!  If you suspect it might be a puppy mill, contact  Wet Nose or your local SPCA and report the ad to Junk MailJunk Mail supports Wet Nose and is in close contact with the organization.  Take someone with you for safety as well as an objective opinion. You can also give the seller’s address to a third person that’s not going along.

Before you decided to buy a dog or puppy, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you really want a dog?
  • Can you commit to a dog?  If you buy a god for your kids you’ll most likely end up taking care of it.
  • Will you take responsibility for the dog? (Remember if you buy a the dog for your kids you’ll probably end up taking care of it anyway)
  • Can you afford dog food, veterinary care, training  (if you can’t manage by yourself) and grooming (if you don’t have time for it yourself.)
  • Will you have time to exercise the dog and give attention to it? You can pay someone to walk it, tough it’s best to do it yourself, as it is a chance to bond with the dog.
  • Do you have permission to get a dog from the corporate body  (if you live in a complex)?
  • Do you have enough space for the type of dog you want?
  • Are you willing to live with digging in and damage to you garden? Especially for the first year, until the puppy is properly trained.
  • Have you chosen the right breed that will fit into your life style?

When you are sure you want a dog and have found an ad in our Dogs and Puppies section that you want to respond to, look out for the following:

  • Always go see the puppy at their premises, don’t just meet them somewhere. You have to see the living conditions of the dogs.
  • See all the dogs in the litter, if they’re still available.
  • Ask to see the parent dogs, especially the mother.
  • Are they well taken care of and in good condition?
  • Do they seem to like the owners?
  • Do they have a friendly temperament?
  • Are they pets, or does it appear that owners only have the dogs for the purpose of
  • Are the puppies inoculated and dewormed?
  • If it is a breeder, both the dogs and the breeder needs to be registered with KUSA
  • Ask the breeder questions about the breed. They should know their breed very well. Do some research beforehand.
  • The breeder should also ask you questions, because they should care where their pups will end up.
  • If it’s a breeder, look at the living conditions of the animals. Are they in proper kennels or in cages? Do the dogs seem happy?
  • Do they respond to their names or do you get the feeling they’re just incubators?
  • Do you get the feeling that the breeder/seller only cares about money?
  • Do an internet search on the breeder beforehand if you can.
  • Trust your instinct. If something appears off, leave!

If you want an older dog, you can also find a dog to adopt in our Dogs and Puppies section. When you adopt a dog directly from its owner, you save the dog from having to end up at a rescue organization.

Remember that getting a dog is a serious decision and a big responsibility. I wish you the best of luck in choosing the right puppy. May you and your new dog have a happy life together.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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