“Preloved” Dogs For Sale

Are these private individuals or puppy mills?
By Julia Lane, September 2011

I belong to the Dalmatian Lovers! group on Facebook, where those of us smitten by spots share photos, videos and stories of our Dallys. A few days ago, one concerned member posted a “Preloved” classified ad for a six-month-old deaf female Dalmatian in the UK. The accompanying photo showed a neglected dog in a filthy outdoor kennel. A local good samaritan inquired about her and was horrified to learn that the seller had many other dogs in similar straits for sale.

The next day, she picked up the Dalmatian, who in person, was clearly a mix and an adult. The owner said he had gotten her from a friend, and that she had never received vaccinations. Also, she was not deaf—simply independent and untrained!

While I'm glad that this spot is safe, I worry about the other dogs in this man's care and how easily the public can be fooled. The ad claimed that the Dalmatian needed to be rehomed due to a baby, but a description of the premises sounds more like a puppy mill than a private individual's residence. Should online ads be regulated to ensure puppy mills are not selling dogs under false pretenses? If you bought a dog via an online classified ad, did you receive the dog as advertised?

Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.

Sponsored Content

FROM AROUND THE WEB