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Hello all....I am new to this forum, so i apologize if I am asking this in the wrong place. I figure that if animal welfare is our collective aim, a post like this wouldn't be too out of place.<br><br>
First of all, I am recent immigrant to the US, moving here from New Zealand a few months ago. I was able to bring my German Shepherd, Zobo, with me here despite all of the cost and paperwork. She is MY dog, and I am responsible for her; my career notwithstanding. I live alone on a lot of land, travel with my job a lot by car, and would like to add a new family member. I had three dogs just a few years ago, and Zobo is almost 15 years old.<br><br>
With this all in mind, I wanted a Rottweiler, as I have experience with the breed and would love to have another one. In New Zealand, this is rather easy. You search online or ask around for a breeder, usually a family that has chosen to breed the family pet, and you go over and negotiate a price. Animal shelters are full of other people's lost pets, and are usually a bad choice to get a dog, as most wait at least a few weeks hoping for the owner to show up. I got a dog there once before, only to have the shelter calling me to report that the owner had been searching for weeks, thus I lost my new pet. There are no places to really "buy" a dog, outside of a person you may know. I got my German through my boss's brother for 50 NZ dollars.<br><br>
Here in the US though, I feel I am VERY much uneducated about the situation. I see shows of shelters full of dogs, and the one near my house is full of them without owner names on the door. (What is the point of that? I always saw a name "Mr Brigsby" or something, from the tag that dog came in on with. If they had none, a very specific address was given as to where they were found. How are the owners supposed to find their pet?) Are these reputable places to get a pet? How do I know where their owner no longer wants them? How are there so MANY? A typical shelter back home, even in a large city, had maybe a dozen dogs at a time. This one had seemingly hundreds? What is going on here? I was very confused by the woman trying to help me, and left.<br><br>
So today I was driving around, and saw a store, directly next to a grocer, called "PetLand". I have since realized this is a national franchise through looking online. I was very curious, and went in. I found a Rott, a young puppy with ALL paperwork, on sale for $400. This seemed outrageous to me, until I saw that many others were selling for over $1000. Even non-working dogs like a Yorkshire Terrier were over $1000. Why would anyone pay that for a non-worker? A full bloodline border collie with herding certifications runs maybe $300 back in NZ, and that thing does everything but fill your taxes out. After talking to the salesperson (weird to say that, but they were), I got a paperwork that had a full bloodline on my Rott....I was impressed, as this usually requires KNOWING the owner personally. I then saw that my little Rott had been born in February, in....wait for it.....somewhere called Galt, Missouri.<br><br>
I am in Texas. That is 1200 miles from here....how did the dog get to me? How am I to speak with the breeder, meet the parents, etc?<br><br>
As you might see, I am lost here. I just want a new dog....any resources, videos, ANYTHING, would be great. I feel like a lost child. Thank you so much for your information in advance.
 

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Our so-called "shelters" are a national disgrace, that's for sure. We have a huge over-abundance of dogs and cats, and that is mainly caused by over-breeding. Too many people breed their pets and find they can't sell the puppies. We also have very large puppy mills where dogs are crated like chickens and bred to death in horrible conditions. Seriously. Missouri has a huge number of puppy mills.<br><br>
Please don't buy a puppy from a petstore or from anyone advertising on the internet. These are likely puppy mill pups. If you are set on a rotti (don't you want a Chihuahua instead? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">) search on breed specific rescues (there are a lot!) and let all of the nearby shelters know what you want. Here in central Va, we frequently get rotti/rotti mix pups. You won't have to wait long! Good luck!
 

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Petland gets its puppies and kittens from puppy mills. They are horrific places. Do a google search for "puppy mill."<br><br>
I boycott Petland for that reason - I will not but anything at all there. Missouri is a notorious puppy mill state - I lived there for many years.<br><br>
The shelters are overflowing with dogs - thousands are being killed daily. If you are looking for a specific type of dog, go on petfinder.com, type in your location and the breed you're looking for. Mixed breeds will show up, but so will purebred dogs. There are A LOT of large dogs, such as Rotts, in the shelters, because most people don't want big dogs. I don't know where in Texas you're located - I just did a general Texas search - but here's the first purebred Rottie who showed up: <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19421354" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19421354</a><br><br>
There are lots on petfinder. And a lot of rescues foster their dogs until they're adopted, so the foster families can tell you a lot about the dog.<br><br>
As I said, all of my dogs have been rescues: 2 Great Pyrenees, 2 chocolate labs, a beagle, a Jack Russell Terrier, 4 mixed breeds. All terrific, wonderful dogs. I am currently getting ready to adopt a fifth dog (at the moment, I have four). Some of mine have just shown up on my doorstep, some I have adopted from rescue. No regrets about any of them, at all, other than that I still mourn the ones who have died.
 

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Here's a rottweiler rescue group in Austin, that has puppies as well as adults: <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313501" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313501</a><br><br>
And another of his littermates: <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313504" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313504</a><br><br>
One of their sisters: <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313497" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313497</a><br><br>
I personally prefer to adopt adults - puppies are cute, but adults are easier, and I fnd them more interesting - but people who want a purebred <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19795478" target="_blank">puppy</a> can definitely find them in rescue.<br><br>
More:<br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19698245" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19698245</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19795478" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19795478</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313499" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19313499</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19659980" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19659980</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/18930010" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/18930010</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/18929914" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/18929914</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19402351" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19402351</a><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19402351" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/19402351</a><br><br>
And on and on.... There are pages and pages of Rotties in rescue in Texas, and several Rottweiler rescue groups.
 

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MLP beat me to it. Thanks for doing all the work!<br><br>
Please adopt, don't buy! Rotties are awesome dogs who because of their size, color and undeserved reputation don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting out of most shelters alive.<br><br>
GSDs are great dogs as well. Awesome yours has made it to 15!<br><br>
All of my dogs are rescues, the purebreds and the mixed breeds. Rescue is the only breed for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MLP: THANK YOU!<br><br>
Wow, I had no idea that sites like that existed. I got on there for almost 2 hours looking through the pups in my area....so where are most of these dogs staying? Are dogs like the one I saw today at the store (wow, that sounds strange) on petfinder, or are those mostly misplaced pets?<br><br>
I apologize in advance for the next few questions. I spoke with a neighbor just now and I felt like they were speaking in a foreign language about this stuff.<br><br>
1) First of all, this term "rescue". What does this mean? I read several on petfinder that had to be someone's pet. (Especially the top one MLP sent me in Austin) How do I know their owners are not looking for them? Is the owner giving away/selling their pet?<br><br>
2) A shelter here seems to mean something entirely different that the connotation I have....we called them "dog finders", or "pet pens" in NZ. Are these pets abandoned (!?) or simply misplaced from their owners? What do you mean by "have no chance" of being adopted?<br><br>
3) Why the emphasis on spaying/ neutering so heavily here in the US? Some breeds like the Rottweiler are fairly uncommon, so I figured pups would be encouraged. I have never bred a pet of mine, but my Shepherd was one of only a few in town pure bred. I am not disagreeing with doing this, just confused....why undergo that kind of surgery unless the dog is in pain or a female you don't want pregnant (due to higher cancer risk)?<br><br>
4) Prices....some of the listings say "adoption fee". What is that? Am I paying for the dog on top of that, or is that a total? Some of them are a little more my price range than my $400 store pup! Who does the money go to?<br><br>
5) What in God's name are those "puppy mills" for? I saw a video that confused me to the point that I turned it off, to say nothing of how shocking it was....why would someone want that many dogs to breed? The money is surely not worth it...<br><br>
Short answers are fine....and again, sorry. Like a few other things, pets in this country is a big culture shock. Thank you again.<br><br>
P.S. Got to love the big dogs...sorry for a no on the Chihuahua idea. For me, if it can't knock me over when I come home from work, it's not my kind of dog. I miss the old pack...my last Rottie lived to 2 weeks shy of 15: still have her pictures up! I just want to replace her with a good conscience. You all are amazing to help me.
 

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There is a HUGE pet overpopulation problem in the U.S. There may be 75,000+ cats and dogs killed in shelters in a medium size city during any given year, because there are not enough homes available/willing to adopt them.<br><br>
The term "shelter" usually refers to a facility that has an actual building to house animals, and that takes in unwanted, abandoned and/or stray animals. Some of them are run by local governments, some by larger animal welfare groups, some by small groups and/or individuals. Some are kill" shelters - in those, as soon as all the space is occupied, animals are killed to make room for new ones. Others are "no kill" - when they run out of room, they have to turn new animals away. Some "no kill" shelters will also transfer animals to "kill" shelters to make room.<br><br>
In addition, there are many rescue groups who don't have a building - instead, they have volunteers who foster animals in their homes until an adoptive family is found.<br><br>
All shelters and rescues will charge an "adoption fee" of some sort. These fees help defray the costs of spay/neuter, vaccinations, medical treatment, food, etc. Believe me, shelters and rescues do not make money on adoption fees - they just help to defray a portion of the overall expenses.<br><br>
Stray and lost animals normally end up at municipal shelters. They're not listed for adoption until the legal period during which an owner could find and reclaim them has passed. Other animals are voluntarily relinquished by their owners because they simply don't want them any more (it's unfortunately not unusual for people to drop off an older animal because they want to get a puppy or kitten instead), or they've lost their jobs, or their house, or have gotten ill....<br><br>
Petfinder is a centralized site where many shelters and rescues advertise some of the animals they have available for adoption. Stores and breeders are not permitted to list animals on petfinder. Petfinder is only for nonprofit rescue organizations and shelters. The animals you see listed on there have all either been abandoned, relinquished, their owners have died, or they have been impounded because of cruel, inhumane treatment.<br><br>
In the U.S., there are, unfortunately puppy mills - places that crate dogs on top of each other and breed them nonstop. The video you saw probably showed one of those places. People make money from doing this. The puppies you saw at Petland come from these puppy mills.<br><br>
There are also what's called "backyard breeders" - people who keep a smaller number of dogs confined and breed them, usually nonstop, to make some extra money on the side. The conditions for these dogs are often nearly as bad as for the puppy mill dogs. These people sell their puppies on places like Craigslist, through newspaper ads, at flea markets, and sometimes to smaller, non-chain pet stores.<br><br>
The reason for spaying and neutering, apart from health issues (and there are more health issues than you've noted) is to avoid accidental breeding. If you do a search for "rottweiler" on petfinder, you will find 3,114 rottweilers and rottie mixes listed there at the moment. That's JUST ONE BREED. If do a search for "labrador retriever", I get more than 32,000 results. And that's just the dogs listed on petfinder. Most big shelters don't list at all, or just a few of their dogs. That may start to give you some idea of the extent of the pet overpopulation problem here in the U.S.<br><br>
I also have rescued parrots. As you may realize, some of them sell for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars. They don't "accidentally" breed the way dogs and cats do. People pay so much money for them, and yet the bird rescues are overflowing with parrots in need of homes, and parrots are being simply abandoned, or killed in less than humane ways, or are being fed to other animals.<br><br>
Finally, the "adoption fee" is the total amount you pay to the rescue/shelter. The dog you adopt will have been spayed/neutered (so that the rescue doesn't adopt out one dog, just to have eight of her puppies dumped back on their doorstep wthin a year), will have at least its basic vaccinations, and may be microchipped. S/he will have been vetted, and will have been given a clean bill of health, or if s/he has any chronic condition, you will be told ahead of time. So, cheaper than buying a dog, because all of that is included in the adoption fee.<br><br>
ETA: Cross posted with RabbitLuvr.
 

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For example, Tascha, my current Great Pyrenees, came from this Great Pyrenees rescue: <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/IL88.html" target="_blank">http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/IL88.html</a><br><br>
Cindy, the woman who runs it, pulls Great Pyrenees out of municipal pounds and kill shelters in a three state area. She houses, feeds, grooms, and provides vet care for all of the dogs herself until she can find a home for them. She's been doing this for twenty years, because she loves the breed. When she can no longer do it, Pyrs in these states will be out of luck.<br><br>
My vet in St. Louis, where I used to live, donates a lot of her time and services to about half a dozen rescue groups, and now she's started taking in some animals herself, to try to place them, because all of the rescues are stretched beyond capacity because of the economy. I will be adopting a dog from her, if my JRT likes her. This dog is ten years old, was used by a backyard breeder to breed puppies for sale all her life, and was dropped off at a shelter, pregnant, when they lost their home. Normally, pregnant dogs are almost immediately euthanized at shelters, because they have to be kept too long, until the puppies are weaned. However, one of the rescues my vet works with pulled her out of the kill shelter. Only one of her puppies survived (she's too old and worn out from overbreeding), but she nursed an orphan raccoon with her puppy.
 

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Just to be extra clear on your point about prices, at a shelter you will pay an "adoption fee" and that is it. They don't phrase it like you are "buying" the pet, but rather adopting it. The fee is to help the shelter cover their costs. Sometimes particular animals will be "sponsored," which means somebody has already paid the fee to help that dog or cat get adopted quicker. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what that means.<br><br><br>
All the dogs in animal shelters are looking for homes. They need new ones. How we got so many homeless animals is beyond me, but in order to improve the situation, we need to spay and neuter our pets and not support breeders or puppy mills. Even family breeders who otherwise seem legitimate are contributing to a systemic problem of pet overpopulation.
 

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I've also heard some people complain about fees that rescue groups charge. This makes me mad. For example a local cat and kitten rescue group has a $75.00 adoption free which I think is reasonable. Especially considering that spay or neuter is included as well as testing for feline leukemia. The fees help cover the costs of a volunteer run rescue group and in my opinion, eliminates the impulse kitten takers who may quickly tire of a cat.<br><br>
I actually heard someone at work complaining about an adoption fee they saw advertized in the paper, stating something like "they ask for that much money, I could go to a breeder and get a purebred for almost the same amount!" Some people just don't get it and never will.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
MLP: THANK YOU!<br><br>
Wow, I had no idea that sites like that existed. I got on there for almost 2 hours looking through the pups in my area....so where are most of these dogs staying? Are dogs like the one I saw today at the store (wow, that sounds strange) on petfinder, or are those mostly misplaced pets?</div>
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Some are abandoned by their owner(s) for one reason or another--job loss, had to move, died, etc. Others are left intentionally by total...smeg head with all the love, compassion, and charm of a wart on the nose.<br><br>
I apologize in advance for the next few questions. I spoke with a neighbor just now and I felt like they were speaking in a foreign language about this stuff.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
1) First of all, this term "rescue". What does this mean? I read several on petfinder that had to be someone's pet. (Especially the top one MLP sent me in Austin) How do I know their owners are not looking for them? Is the owner giving away/selling their pet?</div>
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Some might be (see above about moving, or not being able to take care of their animals). Others are strays who just need a loving home.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
2) A shelter here seems to mean something entirely different that the connotation I have....we called them "dog finders", or "pet pens" in NZ. Are these pets abandoned (!?) or simply misplaced from their owners? What do you mean by "have no chance" of being adopted?</div>
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Some dog breeds are considered "dangerous" in many cities, counties and towns, especially if they've been rescued in a drug raid, where they are trained to attack people. Some "dangerous breeds are pitbulls and rottweilers, you might want to go to the police station (or county sherriff) and ask about dangerous breeds.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
3) Why the emphasis on spaying/ neutering so heavily here in the US? Some breeds like the Rottweiler are fairly uncommon, so I figured pups would be encouraged. I have never bred a pet of mine, but my Shepherd was one of only a few in town pure bred. I am not disagreeing with doing this, just confused....why undergo that kind of surgery unless the dog is in pain or a female you don't want pregnant (due to higher cancer risk)?</div>
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Too many puppies, of any breed (and kittens, rabbits, etc.) are why we have so many animal shelters, fostering places, rescues of various breeds, etc. Which is why we here in the US encourage spaying and neutering. Less unwanted animals.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
4) Prices....some of the listings say "adoption fee". What is that? Am I paying for the dog on top of that, or is that a total? Some of them are a little more my price range than my $400 store pup! Who does the money go to?</div>
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It might be a total, you'd have to ask at the shelter. The money goes for food/vet bills/education programs, etc. at the shelter.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
5) What in God's name are those "puppy mills" for? I saw a video that confused me to the point that I turned it off, to say nothing of how shocking it was....why would someone want that many dogs to breed? The money is surely not worth it...</div>
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Check out <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki2jeHquJa4" target="_blank">this interview</a>. That's all I can say without resorting to words my mother told me to never use in polite company, like animal lovers and veg*ans.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Taven7755</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2917663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Short answers are fine....and again, sorry. Like a few other things, pets in this country is a big culture shock. Thank you again.<br><br>
P.S. Got to love the big dogs...sorry for a no on the Chihuahua idea. For me, if it can't knock me over when I come home from work, it's not my kind of dog. I miss the old pack...my last Rottie lived to 2 weeks shy of 15: still have her pictures up! I just want to replace her with a good conscience. You all are amazing to help me.</div>
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Don't be sorry about the questions, it's how you learn things. I hope I helped. Good luck. P.S. If you can't get (READ: own) a rottie, you might try an Australian Shepherd, or a German Shepherd.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I learned from an early age that 'breed or buy and other dogs (cats, rabbits) die' and I'm sitting here with my beautiful, sweet rescue kitty because of it. Dogs and cats don't belong in stores, there are actually laws against that here due to the horrific maltreatment in places like 'petland'. Just please, save a life, adopt a shelter rottie.
 

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They're all right. The situation with pets in the U.S. sucks. Honestly, everything about animals and their welfare here sucks.<br><br>
I know a bit about the conditions in NZ because I have an online friend who lives there, and it sounds like it's completely different from over here. Pets are treated much more as commodities than companions over here, and over here shelters are not the little places where people put lost dogs like they are over there. People are driven to do horrible things to prevent horrible things, even some of the no-kill shelters who try their best to care for hundreds of animals. Breeders are not little Ma-and-Pa with a few dogs who sell some puppies to make a little money every time there's a litter, they're just as bad as factory farming.<br><br>
As for adopting a dog, I'm not too sure about that. Definitely trust MLP with this kind of thing. She knows a lot about pets and the pet industry and has done it all first-hand.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Purp</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2918248"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Some dog breeds are considered "dangerous" in many cities, counties and towns, especially if they've been rescued in a drug raid, where they are trained to attack people. Some "dangerous breeds are pitbulls and rottweilers, you might want to go to the police station (or county sherriff) and ask about dangerous breeds.<br></div>
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There is no such thing as a dangerous dog breed. There are, however, plenty of dangerous, stupid dog "owners."<br><br>
I realize what you meant, that some breeds aren't allowed in certain places. But I just hate that terminology. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>vegkid</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2918521"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
They're all right. The situation with pets in the U.S. sucks. Honestly, everything about animals and their welfare here sucks.</div>
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Except the ones that adopt me.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> If I lived in the penthouse of a no-animal building, and some rainy night, there will be pietious mewing or barking, I'll open the door, and there will be a starving, bedraggled animal that needs a home.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Wolfie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2918676"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There is no such thing as a dangerous dog breed. There are, however, plenty of dangerous, stupid dog "owners."<br><br>
I realize what you meant, that some breeds aren't allowed in certain places. But I just hate that terminology. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"></div>
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I know, but I didn't want the OP getting something that's been banned or considered dangerous, and having it taken away.<br><br>
Oh, one place you (the OP, not Wolfie) might check is Dogs Deserve Better. They might have a faithful companion for you.
 

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Like almost everyone said, here, almost every pet store that sells dogs gets them from puppy mills. I would suggest looking up puppy mills if you don't have a complete understanding of them, they are quite sickening. Pet stores like Petco and Petsmart have adoption animals from shelters and rescues so they are usually safe stores to purchase from but normally only have small dogs at their locations. The best bet is either buying from a reputable breeder or going to a shelter. Shelters are a necessary evil because of how many people abandon dogs but they are a GREAT place to find a wonderful pets. If a dog is not microchipped with the owners information then the dog is put out for adoption after a week or so of observation. Please, if you can, purchase from a shelter or rescue; it saves a dogs life, helps in the aid of other stray animals and doesn't promotes fair animal treatment. Petfinder.com is a great resource to find rescues in your area.
 
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