Enzoenzito Meet Enzo. He is my new 3-year-old child. The people that originally 'owned' him neglected, abused, and abandoned him, but he is doing really well after only a couple of months with me. I rescued him through www.sugarmuttsrescue.org. Enzo is one good reason NOT to buy a dog from a pet store or breeder. Every time we purchase a pet, be it fish, fowl, feline or French Bulldog, wonderful creatures like Enzo sit in a shelter, waiting to be put-down - or possibly worse yet, rot in a no-kill shelter for their whole lives without a family or proper care.

The demand for pure-bred designer puppies is so powerful that breeders and puppy-mills that force dogs to spend their entire lives in cages constantly breeding have become a serious problem. They continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who fall for cute puppies in pet store windows and on fancy websites. How can we ethically purchase a dog when so many need to be rescued? Did you know that there are almost 4 million dogs and cats put to sleep each year due to pet overpopulation?

"Life is particularly bad for "breeding stock," dogs who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems. "

Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year: 6-8 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year: 3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year: 3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year: Between 600,000 and 750,000 -- 30% of dogs and 2-5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)
Number of animal shelters in the United States: Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)
Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred: 25% (HSUS estimate)
Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 4-6Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6-10

Updated Oct. 12, 2006

- The Humane Society of the United States

These gorgeous gals in my lap were rescued by my friends Chloé Jo and Jeremy. As you can see, these pitbull mixes are totally vicious! Contrary to popular opinion, pitbulls and pitbull mixes can make amazing companions.


Avoid the temptation to "rescue" a puppy mill or pet-store puppy by buying him. Even though your intentions may be good, don’t buy a puppy with the idea that you are “rescuing” him or her. Your “rescue” opens up space for another poor puppy mill puppy and puts money into the pockets of the puppy mill. Pet stores won’t leave their cages empty and websites won’t leave their pages blank. The money you spend on your puppy goes right back to the puppy mill operator and ensures they can continue breeding and treating dogs inhumanely. If you see someone keeping puppies in poor conditions, alert your local animal control authorities instead of buying.

HSUS has a great resource on adoption.

Adopt a New York City animal in need today from NYCACC, BARC , Sugar Mutts Rescue and ASPCA