You may know better than to go to a pet shop for a new puppy, but should you go to a breeder instead?

PWNJ warns consumers of the pitfalls of purchasing puppies from pet shops, where the overwhelming majority of puppies come from puppy mills. We strongly urge people who are looking for purebred dogs to contact animal shelters and reputable rescue groups. As many as 30% of the dogs found in animal shelters nationwide are purebreds! Many breeders, like larger-scale puppy mills, operate their kennels under deplorable conditions. It's important to remember that dog breeding has become a profit-making activity where the bottom line is quantity – rather than the quality (health and temperament) of the puppies.

A backyard breeder casually breeds purebred dogs with little to no regard to the breed standard, genetic defects or temperament. They practice indiscriminate breeding of a variety of different breeds, without proper understanding of the science of genetics, do not screen for hereditary problems, nor do they perform the necessary pre-breeding health tests. Many of their litters are inbred.

When buyers go to breeders they may actually be purchasing dogs from puppy mills! New Jersey is home to dozens of puppy brokers who, masquerading as breeders, regularly con unsuspecting buyers into buying puppies obtained from Pennsylvania Amish puppy mills.

Therefore, due to deceptive advertising and fraud inherent in much of the dog breeding industry, PWNJ recommends that you contact breed-specific rescuers or when considering purchasing a dog. In reality, there is an endless supply of purebred and "designer mixed" breed dogs of all ages that need a home.