Pet Breeding: Best Friends' Position

Best Friends does not support pet breeding. Please adopt a pet like this brindle dog from a rescue group or shelter.

As an organization working to Save Them All, Best Friends urges people to get their next family pet from a shelter or rescue organization.

Choose adoption over pet breeding of any kind

Until every animal can be guaranteed a loving home, we promote adoption as the best way to select a new animal companion for your family. We oppose all pet mills. We prefer that people adopt a pet rather than acquire an animal from any pet breeding situation.

Pet mills

It is estimated that most pets sold in pet stores and through online sales come from commercial mass-breeding operations known as mills — puppy mills, kitten mills, bird mills, bunny mills, etc. These high-volume breeding operations add more animals to the national pet population each year than are killed in shelters annually and are one of the most significant contributing factors to shelter populations.

These commercial breeding operations are inherently exploitive not only of the animals trapped in inhumane breeding servitude, but also of the people who purchase these over-priced pets, many of whom have diseases, genetic defects and behavior problems from poor breeding practices, inadequate nutrition, and lack of socialization and veterinary care.

Breeders who sell their animals to distributors for resale through retail outlets are required by law to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. However, since USDA standards are so marginal, extraordinary mistreatment and negligence can, and most often do, exist within USDA-licensed commercial breeding operations.

Consequently, Best Friends Animal Society opposes pet mills of every type.

Adopt a pet

While Best Friends does acknowledge that there are responsible and caring breeders, we believe that as long as healthy, loving animals are dying in our nation’s shelters, the best and most responsible choice is to adopt pets from local shelters or rescue organizations.

For those intent on purchasing a pet from a breeder, we offer these references to help inform such a decision: