It’s important to choose the right place to get your puppy so that you don’t unknowingly support an irresponsible (backyard) breeder or puppy farm, which comes with health risks for the puppy and the parents.
The right source will also provide ongoing support if you need help after bringing your furry new friend home!
There are many ethical places you can get a dog from:
- Registered breeders
- Purebred rescue programs
- Animal shelters and council pounds
- Rescue groups
- National pet adoption websites
- Pet shops (partnered with rescue groups)
You can find a responsible and ethical breeder registered with a relevant local council or authority and recognised breeder club, such as the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders or Australian National Kennel Council (eg Dogs VIC, Dogs West)
Animal Shelters, Pounds and Rescue Groups
You can find a puppy from an animal shelter (eg RSPCA, Animal Welfare League), council pound or rescue organisation via their website.
Alternatively, you can search on a national online pet adoption database, such as Pound Paws or PetRescue.
Some dog breed clubs also have rescue programs that help find purebred dogs a new home.
Some veterinary hospitals partner with rescue groups and have animals – mainly kittens – available for adoption. Keep your paws on your local clinic noticeboard and social media, you never know what you’ll find.
You can find many pet shops, like Sydney’s Kellyville Pets and PetStock, that have partnered with animal rescue organisations and run Pet Adoption Day events, which can be a great opportunity to rescue a homeless pet.
Check if the pet shop is a member of Pets Australia or Pet Industry Association of Australia, which promote strong industry standards and provide a life-time rehoming policy.
What to avoid
To avoid puppy scams and puppy farms, never buy your dog unseen and be suspicious of sellers who encourage you to do so. Remember that pictures online don’t always tell the whole truth!