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How to buy a dog: DON'T! Part 1 of 3

homeless dog for adoption wearing adopt me bandanna

Why buy a dog, when you can save a dog? It’s literally a matter of life and death!

Adopting a homeless dog, rather than buying a purebred puppy from a breeder, means you are saving an innocent dog who is in grave danger of being KILLED. You’re not just getting a companion, you’re saving your dog’s life.

Adopt, don’t shop!

Look, we get it. We know you love [insert favorite breed here]. Maybe you raised your purebred from puppyhood and she was the BEST DOG EVER and you can’t imagine ever getting a different breed. But please expand your comfort zone, for the sake of homeless dogs everywhere. Here’s one way to wean yourself off purebreds: get a [favorite dog breed] MIX!

Overpopulation is the greatest crisis facing dogs and cats worldwide. In the U.S. alone, several million dogs and cats are abandoned every year, and hundreds of thousands end up being put to death in shelters.

County animal shelters need you!

Government-run shelters have limited space, employees, volunteers, money, and resources to provide for the animals. And even if they had unlimited space, dogs and cats deserve a loving home.

Adopting a dog from a shelter is almost always cheaper than buying a dog, and the adoption fee goes towards saving more homeless animals.

That’s one difference between adopting a dog and buying a dog: what the money is used for.

A breeder does not use your money to save more homeless animals. They are simply selling dogs for fun and profit.

The other difference: unlike breeders, shelters don’t bring more dogs into the world.

homeless dogs at animal shelter

County animal shelters are funded mainly with taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, in general, they kill dogs and other animals when they run out of space. This is typically done through lethal injection. These shelters sometimes need a lot of work in terms of being inviting to the public and enabling adoptions.

In spite of all this, they are not the cause of the overpopulation problem. They don’t bring animals into the world. They are the dumping ground for society’s failure to solve this problem. So if you find a suitable animal there, please adopt because the animals really, really need you.


Why not buy a puppy from a pet store?

Ever walked past a pet store and seen an adorable puppy in the window? They’re so sad in those little cages that you feel that buying them will be “rescuing” them. Yes, you would help that one puppy, but what about the next one? The store will just take your money (of course the price is extremely high). When you buy one sad puppy, they will immediately put another sad puppy in that same cage. Pet stores deliberately take advantage of your kind-heartedness. Even if they sell you a sick puppy, they know there’s a good chance you won’t return him for a refund. That’s how they’ve stayed in business for decades.

dogs in puppy mill cage

These puppies are born from pain and tragedy, in a puppy mill. The pet store will swear up and down that they don’t get puppies from puppy mills, and they get away with this because “puppy mill” is a description, not a legal term.

Puppy mills are one type of breeder. They consider themselves good people. They often have a USDA license, and their puppies are usually sold with AKC papers, which have nothing to do with the health of the dogs. Puppy mills mass-produce dogs, and their focus is on selling purebred puppies. Their only goal is to make money, so caring for the dogs is not even a consideration.

Dogs are kept in horrible conditions and their only purpose is to reproduce. They aren’t given love, attention, or affection. Dogs frequently suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. They are often kept in unbearably small cages. Sick animals are not provided with adequate veterinary care. Puppies are taken from their mothers shortly after birth … long before they are ready. Female dogs are forced to give birth to litters over and over until they are no longer able, and then they are killed.

All of this pain and suffering … while hundreds of thousands of dogs wait for forever homes in shelters.

The good news is, pet stores that sell puppies are on the decline. One of the worst still in existence in the U.S.? The Petland franchise.

How to buy a dog from a “responsible” breeder

Only some breeders can accurately be described as puppy mills. Other types of breeders include backyard breeders, show breeders, and hobby breeders.

They all refer to themselves as “responsible breeders.” They generally mean that they believe they treat their own dogs with kindness, feed them well, and try to breed healthy dogs, or as they say, “improve the breed.” Treating their own dogs properly is an improvement over puppy mills. But they don’t deserve any medals for this.

This use of the word “responsible” has NOTHING to do with solving the pet overpopulation crisis. But it should. People who claim to care about dogs should care about all dogs, not just their own, and not just ones that have certain physical characteristics.

The responsible thing to do, once you become aware that there is a massive overpopulation crisis resulting in the suffering and death of homeless dogs in the U.S. and around the world, is to stop breeding dogs!

It is not responsible to promote the myth that purebred dogs are better than mixed breed dogs!

Breeders promote this myth. The sad thing is, for many years, the public bought this ridiculous, incredibly harmful idea. What started out as simple snobbery and a way to make money ended up causing a massive slaughter of innocent dogs, for generations – not just mixed breeds, but “excess” purebreds who ended up homeless.

stray puppy

Worldwide, we are dealing with an enormous overpopulation crisis of dogs and cats. Hundreds of millions do not have homes. They -- and their puppies and kittens -- suffer and starve and die on the streets, or are deliberately killed to reduce their population.

Whenever people decide there are “too many dogs,” homeless dogs are starved, poisoned, shot, and suffer in many other ways, simply because they are homeless.

So long as there is a demand for purebreds, purebred dogs will be bred into existence. This means that perfectly healthy mixed-breed dogs and discarded purebred dogs are needlessly killed.

Buying a purebred can range from $500 to unfathomably expensive. A Tibetan Mastiff was sold in China for a whopping $2 million. What a waste. This money could be spent on something useful, like saving animals’ lives.

How to buy a dog from a “responsible” breeder? DON’T!

Our Mission

rescued stray dog
Bruni, one of our rescued Pilot Pups!

​The mission of 600 Million Dogs is to bring a permanent end to global pet

overpopulation, end the Cycle of Suffering for 1 billion strays and prevent the deaths of over 30,000 children who die from rabies each year. ​


By using cutting-edge science to develop the Spay and Neuter Cookie.

Once completed, the Cookies will be capable of spaying and neutering – without surgery.

Please visit the rest of our website to learn more!


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