How To Recognize Ethical Breeders Or Rescues:
Breeders not only love dogs, as individuals, but they have a deep love and commitment for specific breeds of dogs. Here are the pretty universally accepted minimum standards of care for ethical breeders:
1) MICROCHIPS ALL DOGS AND PUPS AND MAINTAIN THEMSELVES AS A CONTACT FOR LIFE OF THE DOG.
2) DOES ALL HEALTH TESTING RECOMMENDED BY PARENT CLUB OR OFA - OR MORE
3) TRAINS AND TITLES BREEDING STOCK IN PERFORMANCE OR WORK TITLES APPLICAPABLE TO THE BREED
4) NEVER SELLS PUPS OR DOGS TO PET STORES or uses impulse sites like Craig's List or Next Day Puppy type sites
5) DISCOURAGES IMPULSE BUYING - MAKES SURE BUYER DOES THEIR RESEARCH INTO BREED TRAITS
6) MENTORS BUYERS IN THE UNIQUE HEALTH AND TEMPERAMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF THEIR BREED
7) REQUIRES APPROPRIATE HOUSING SITUATION FOR THE SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THEIR BREED; REQUIRES PROOF OF FENCING OR OTHER RESTRICTIONS FOR THE SAFETY OF THE ANIMAL
I have been involved in rescue since 1985. It is disappointing what "rescue" has become in the past few decades. If you think a rescued dog is the right choice for you, please make sure the rescue you choose to buy your dog from meets these minimum standards:
1) SPECIALIZES IN A SINGLE BREED - "ALL BREED" RESCUES ARE A POOR CHOICE DUE TO LACK OF SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY TO MENTOR ON HEALTH AND TEMPERAMENT CHARACTERISTICS.
2) SO CALLED 'NO KILL' SHELTERS WOULD QUICKLY FILL UP WITH UNSOUND AND DANGEROUS DOGS (SINCE THEY DON'T EUTHANIZE THEM) SO THEY ARE NOTORIOUS FOR SELLING AN UNSUSPECTING PUBLIC TROUBLE DOGS.
3) MICROCHIP ALL ANIMALS THEY PLACE AND KEEP THEMSELVES AS CONTACT FOR LIFE.
4) ALTER ALL ANIMALS BEFORE THEY PLACE THEM.
5) ABSOLUTELY DO HOME CHECKS IF POSSIBLE AND REQUIRE FENCED YARDS AND LANDLORD CHECKS.
6) HAVE STAFF THAT ARE KNOWLEDGABLE WITH THE BREED THEY SPECIALIZE IN WHICH CAN OFFER MENTORING AFTER THE SALE.
7) NEVER RESORT TO SCARE TACTICS OR ENCOURAGING IMPULSE BUYING BY USING STATEMENTS ABOUT A DOG'S EUTHANASIA STATUS.
The counterpart of the "puppy mill" in rescue is what is termed a "Retail Rescue". These are so called rescues which move huge quantities of dogs and puppies due to the fact they have little or no restrictions on who buys their animals. They often charge hundreds of dollars for the dogs even though they do not health test or have other expenses that would justify the price. It is simply a cash business, and sadly, many stolen dogs end up in these "rescues".