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Adopt, Don't Buy

You’ve seen a cute puppy in a pet shop and you think you just have to have it. But what are you really buying?

95% of puppies bought from pet shops come from puppy farms. Puppy farms (or puppy mills) are places where puppies are bred en masse. Puppy farms are businesses and the dogs exploited within them are a commodity, much like battery hens or cattle in a feed lot. Their emotional needs are not important to the people who ‘use’ them as nothing more than money making machines.

Breeding dogs are kept confined in small cages. They are never walked, played with, brushed or given affection. As many puppy farms are hidden from the public eye in sheds, some never even see the light of day. These poor dogs are bred continually and females are often ‘spent’ by three years of age. Many have prolapsed uteruses. Once they are of no use to the ‘farmer’ they are killed and replaced by one of their female pups.

Puppy farm dogs often live in filth, with matted fur stained with urine and faeces. They are not given veterinary treatment and often, as a cost cutting method, are only fed every second or third day. Breeding dogs are not selected for their temperament or physical soundness, as a legitimate, registered breeder would, and their puppies often suffer severe physical and/or psychological problems. These problems will often not be evident until the pup matures. By which time you, the buyer, will have already invested much time, money, and most importantly, love, in your new pup.

Time and again we see devastated people surrendering their puppy/dog to places like The Hobart Dogs Home or Brightside Farm Sanctuary because they can’t cope with the behaviours and/or the physical problems their animal has. This is not only traumatic for the humans involved, but imagine how awful it must be for the poor dog.

Adopting a puppy or dog from the Dogs home, RSPCA or Brightside is a much safer, cheaper and kinder option. Not only will you be taking home a dog that has been vet checked, temperament checked, de-sexed, immunised and micro-chipped, you’ll also be giving a second chance to a wonderful, forever friend. And if you already have a dog, you’ll have the opportunity of seeing if your dog will get on with your new dog BEFORE you pay your money and take him/her home. (This also saves a lot of stress and heart ache for you and your dog/s).

Every day in Australia a dog is killed every 4 minutes in Council run pounds. We, the tax payer, are paying local Government to kill healthy dogs, dogs who just need a home.

If you feel you absolutely must buy from a pet shop, ask the pet shop owner to give you the details of who bred the puppies they sell. A reputable breeder will welcome your enquiry. They will jump at the chance to show you your prospective new pup’s parents and their establishment. If the shop owner won’t give you those details, there’s usually a very good reason – they’re most likely supplied from a puppy farm. Don’t accept any excuses, like; “the breeder likes their privacy”. If the breeder likes their privacy, they’re in the wrong game.

Also, don’t be fooled if the shop owner shows you photos and claims they’re pictures of your pup’s parents or the establishment he/she came from – they’re just photos and could be of any dog and any establishment. If the shop owner refuses to give you the contact details of the breeder DON’T BUY! Tell the owner that unless you’re given those details you’ll go elsewhere.

Likewise, be very cautious if you're looking to buy a puppy from an ad in the classifieds, be it newspaper or online. And if you do go to buy from an ad and find the conditions of the dogs/puppies unacceptable, call the RSPCA immediately. And of course this also applies to cats and kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs too! In the last 12 months AACT has investigated three rabbit/guinea pig farms. Two of these farms housed the poor animals in appalling conditions. (The RSPCA often have rabbits and guinea pigs for adoption.)

Important addresses for adoption

Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania (Hobart)
101 Scott’s Road
Risdon Vale
Ph: 6243 5177
Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania (Devonport)
Spreyton Park Racecourse
Ph: 6427 2178
Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania (Burnie)
170 Stowport Rd
Ph: 6431 6199
Brightside Farm Sanctuary
Ph: 0408 658 356
RSPCA Hobart
553 Pass Road
Ph: 6244 3033
RSPCA Launceston
63 Remount Rd
Mowbray 7248
Ph: 6244 3033
Hobart Cat Centre
12 Self’s Point Road
New Town
Ph: 6278 2111



  • Go to www.closepuppyfactories.org and sign their online petition. Over 100,000 people already have!
  • If you know someone who is looking to buy a puppy (kitten etc.) encourage them to adopt from a shelter.
  • If you suspect or know of a puppy farm call AACT on 0408 970 359 or the RSPCA cruelty hotline on 1300 139 947.
  • Call your local Member of Parliament and politely voice your opposition to puppy farms.

Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania

Email: info@aact.org.au Tel: 0408 970 359

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© Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT), 2012