JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - You have probably seen the signs just off County Line Road in Jackson and even looked into the eyes of a pup that fits in the palm of your hand, but buyer beware.
"This particular puppy had no teeth which means this dog was incapable of being able to sustain life on they food they recommend this dog eat," said In Defense of Animals volunteer Deborah Young.
An unsuspecting girl bought a Shihtzu from a Crystal Springs breeder selling on County Line Road. Young said the registration papers were falsified stating the pup was six weeks old. Several veterinarians later confirmed the pup was just under four weeks old.
"He was beginning to go into distress so we had to take emergency actions to get fluids back in him," said Young. "Most people are more careful about buying a washing machine than they are about buying a puppy."
We went to County Line Road to talk to breeders there. "There's been people that have been concerned about the puppies being sold here that they're not licensed and they're not old enough to be weaned from their mothers?" WLBT's Julie Straw asked.
"All the puppies are weaned. They are at least six weeks old, sometimes 8 weeks old. They all come with registration papers, current on their shots and de worming and I even send them with food and a little toy," said Ian McArthur, a breeder from Magee. He was selling miniature dachshunds and Chihuahuas for $300 to $500. He said it only makes sense to bring the puppies to where the people are.
"I want to make sure people who buy my dogs are completely satisfied and know what they're getting," said McArthur.
"They've had their first set of shots before they ever come out. They're worming is up to date so they are ready to go. They're healthy," said Mike Smith of S & S Kennel in Byram. He was showing me his pups' registration papers when an argument broke out.
"You're full of crap," yelled Sue Smith. Smith's wife and In Defense of Animals director of investigations, Doll Stanley, carried on for several minutes.
"There's a reason why you're selling them here and not at your house," said Stanley.
"No ma'am," replied Smith.
"Do you let people come to your house," asked Stanely.
"Sure do," said Smith.
In fact S & S encourages buyers to come to their kennel. Smith admitted there are bad breeders out there. "There's a lot of them," said Smith. "The main thing is where ever you get one from get a written healthy guarantee on your puppies."
"This is an expensive "item" that they are buying. They are living, breathing creatures, but people are still going to want to get small dogs. They are going to be looking for those small dogs. So we say do your research," said Stanley.
Before purchasing a puppy ask for references from veterinarians and other families who have bought puppies from that breeder. Always visit where the animal was raised and meet the parents. Remember to ask for the breeder to provide you with a written contract and health guarantee. Be sure the dogs appear social and don't shy away from visitors.
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