Why You Shouldn’t Buy Pets from Pet Shops

Early in December a story about breed puppies allegedly being sold illegally at Fairview Ayala Terraces in the Quezon City went viral. The pet sellers misrepresented themselves as animal rescuers. According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), several puppies were tested for distemper. At least one puppy died of parvo.

Illegal pet selling at Ayala Fairview Terraces , Quezon City Alleged illegal pet selling at Fairview Ayala Terraces. Photo was sent to PAWS by a mall-goer.

This kind of situation is just what animal welfare advocates warn pet buyers against.

Animal welfare groups oppose the buying of pets from pet shops for the following reasons:

  • Puppies purchased from petshops are often sickly and infected with parvo. Petshops get their supply of puppies from puppy mills aka puppy factories that breed animals to death and practice inbreeding.
  • Puppy mills are facilities and individuals who mass-produce puppies to sell them on side walk, to produce them for the pet shop industry, for Internet sales, or for other retail purposes. Puppy mills include illegal backyard breeders.
  • According to PAWS, puppy mills suffer from poor oversight, control, and regulation. Ill health, genetic defects and/or negative behavior traits are often overlooked in favor of financial profit.
  • Animals used for breeding often live in horrible, unsanitary conditions; are not properly cared for and provided with adequate veterinary care.

When you buy pets, you support the puppy mill industry. With demand, supply will follow, right?

Kimchi rescued dogGinger, T-Bone, and Kimchi - CARA ambassadogs - adopted / rescued dogs

Have you ever wondered what happens to pets that do not get purchased? I often do. My fellow animal welfare volunteers wonder why animal rescue groups often find abandoned pure-breed pets that look aged beyond their years. In the photo is a blind, abandoned pure-breed cocker spaniel found wandering in Alabang in 2012. He has been renamed Kimchi and is now an ambassaDOG for CARA Welfare Philippines. With him are siblings Ginger and T-Bone (also rescued). Lower photo by Angeline Fajardo.


Instead of shopping, Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA Welfare Philippines) recommends adopting pets from legitimate animal welfare groups and shelters.

“When you adopt a pet you are saving a life.”

And you free up space at a shelter for another homeless pet.

But when you buy a pet you not only deny one of the millions of homeless pets a home, you are also supporting an industry that thrives on shortchanging the welfare of animals.

Tootsie PART dog for adoption

CARA says that an adopted pet is every bit as loving, intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal. A mixed-breed is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills.

Most pets adopted from rescue orgs or shelters are up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, and socialized.

Another good reason to #adoptdontshop is the AMAZING support you will get from other animal lovers.

Polly CARA dog for adoption Dolly CARA dog for adoptionDolly and Polly are CARA adoptables

According to CARA, “A pet purchased from a pet store is a complete unknown. Once you walk out of the store, you are on your own – most pet stores don’t provide any support if you have questions or problems with your new pet.”

“When you adopt, especially from a rescue group, you know what you are getting because the group has a history on the animal. The rescue group will also help you through the familiarization period because they are invested in providing a good home for that animal.”

To adopt a pet, please contact any of the following animal welfare organizations: PAWS, CARA, Philippine Animal Rescue Team, Save Animals of Love and Light – Save All, Help Mandaluyong Animal Shelter, Island Rescue Organization, Philippine Animal Lovers Society, Dogs Mountain, or MBY Pet Rescue.

You might also wish to pay a visit at the Marikina Dog Pound offering free adoption.

Know of other pet rescue organizations? Please share in the comments!