Pet News

June 5, 2009
Never Buy Your Best Friend Online
If Lisa Mullins knew more about puppy mills, she never would have purchased her English Bulldog online. Mullins didn't know she was purchasing a sick puppy bred at a puppy mill when she bought her bulldog, Otis, from Bulldog Ravine. The Internet seller promised registration papers, "champion" bloodlines, and a health guarantee.

It wasn't until after Otis became seriously ill that Lisa learned that Bulldog Ravine was actually a Pennsylvania puppy importer accused of selling unhealthy bulldogs from overseas puppy mills. Sadly, after suffering from many health issues that cost his family thousands of dollars in vet bills, Otis died at only 8 months of age.

If you buy a dog over the Internet, at a pet store or through a newspaper ad, your new pooch may very well be from a puppy mill—an abusive mass-production facility that churns out puppies under inhumane conditions.

Puppy mill producers often have slick, professional websites that convincingly advertise their puppies as "home raised" or "family raised". These claims are often false. A reputable breeder will never sell dogs through the Internet or other outlets that would not allow them to personally meet and interview prospective buyers.

The HSUS believes that Bulldog Ravine owner Brenda Moncrieff, like many Internet puppy sellers, has operated businesses under several names and used different Web sites to sell puppies, possibly including: B&E English Bulldogs, Heavenly French Bulldogs,, and Mullins and dozens of other heartbroken Bulldog Ravine customers have contacted The Humane Society of the United States for help.

"Most of the puppy mills that The HSUS has raided in recent months have been Internet sellers that posed online as small reputable breeders," said Stephanie Shain, senior director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign. "The HSUS encourages anyone who has purchased a Bulldog from Bulldog Ravine or one of these other online businesses to contact us as soon as possible."

If you are ready to share your home with a new pet and have the time, space and dedication to provide a lifetime of care and companionship, visit your local animal shelter. One in every four dogs in U.S. animal shelters is a purebred. Most dogs in shelters are there due to "people" reasons, such as cost, lack of time, lifestyle changes (new baby, divorce, moving, or marriage), or allergies, not because of something the dog has done.

Some shelters will keep a waiting list for people seeking a particular breed or species. In addition, private rescue groups exist for almost every breed of dog, as well as other kinds of pets. If you choose to buy your pet from a breeder instead, always visit the breeder's facility in person and see how and where all the dogs are living. Never buy a puppy without personally visiting where the puppies and their parents are raised and housed.

Puppy Mill Facts

• Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire-floored cages for life.
• Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
• There is little regard for the dogs' health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.

Comment on Article Add a Comment
duckfeet (Offline)

I agree 100%! You can find almost any breed at the breed specific rescue! NEVER buy online or from breeder's

ssnyder (Offline)

So True . I have a friend who bought 2 English Bulldogs from a breeder in Russia . 1 died , 1 is deaf .

Cuddleslover (Offline)

I didnt know. now i do, thanks

brandiohara2008 (Offline)

I knew this but it is still so sad I just talked my grandmother out of getting a puppy from pet land only after I showed her a video I found on I think it was PETA and it showed a breeder for pet land that breeds small animals like bunnies and birds and the guy was cutting a bunny with a dirty blade to fix the bunny and it was a wake I got sick and when I showed her she got sick and she called pet land and gave them what for so please give a animal at a pound a home and then puppy mills will not make it they will shut down because they will not be making anything

fisheramen (Offline)

I think it's highly unfair and really very slanted to say "NEVER" buy a puppy online... I am a Chinese Crested Breeder, and 90% of my sales are online. I am a very reputable, conscientious, honest breeder who has never sold a sick, mis-advertised or malformed puppy. To say that no one should "ever" buy a puppy online is doing Breeders like me and many others a HUGE disservice. I welcome anyone to come and see my dogs, look at the rooms in my home they are raised in, and tell my 60+ buyers that they got ripped off in any way. I understand the massive market that puppies are involved in, and I have had to SPAM several emails from folks wanting to Broker my little ones, but know this: BYB's are NOT all puppy mills. I have six kids I am sending to private school because decent people have recognized my integrity. PLEASE don't damage my reputation by saying NEVER...

JSParrow (Offline)

I feel sorry for puppies like Otis, but I'll have to agree with fishermen's comment here. I live in India and bought a lab from an online seller and had no issues. From the article, it appears that this kind of internet pet fraud happens mostly in US. But it's not uncommon to stumble upon an article pertaining to an American issue written by an American writer making it seem like it pertains to the whole world. It could be sort of misleading to readers outside US until they begin to figure out the scope of the article. A better subject to this article would be "Never Buy Your Best Friend Online in US".

spoulisse (Offline)

I agree with fisheramen, as I also sold puppies recently online and ALL of my puppies were happy and healthy. I invited people to look at the home, where they were raised, and provided copies of vet checks and shots for all the puppies to the new owners. I only sold a couple of the puppies online, after I could not find local buyers, since my puppies are bouviers and are rather large dogs. I "sold" my puppies through and only sold them for roughly what I had into the puppies and their dam for medical costs! I made sure I met with all of my buyers (or at least spoke to them more than once since two went to Tennessee from Michigan) since I wanted to make sure they all went to good homes. I was a first time breeder, so was very concientious about my female being taken care of before, during and after the litter, and also about caring for the puppies. But I also agree that puppy-mills are atrocious and should not be allowed to exist. I bred my dog because she has been such a good dog, that I wanted one of her puppies!!

lady1959 (Offline)

I purchased a basset hound online, thru a puppy mill. She was so badly abused, she was kept in a wire cage, her legs were bowed, and her tail was broken. I wanted to find out more bout her, but the place changed there phone number. She lived to be 10 yrs, and the best dog ever. RIP. Sassy...

PhoenixRising8 (Offline)

As it has been said previously, it's unfair to say never buy your bestfriend online. I bought my amazing Miniature Pinscher online from a reputable breeder who still talks †o me about Rooster and how his offspring are doing. If this was a puppy mill I don't think they would be putting so much time into a dog or customer they didn't care about. He did end up having health problems but the problems he did have are common in Min Pins, and I knew that when I bought a purebred Min Pin.

mason07 (Offline)

As an owner of an English Bulldog, my heart goes out to Lisa, as I am sorry for your loss of Otis. Before I purchased my bulldog, I did a very thorough investigation of the breeder and the kennel. I called previous buyers and asked many questions about the bulldog puppies they purchased. I even called the BBB to see if they had any complaints against them. My experience from buying a dog online has been a positive one, only because of the steps I took beforehand. The lesson here is this...don't be afraid to ask questions, call other buyers, do whatever....and trust your gut instinct...

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