If you do not end up finding a puppy at your local shelter, you will want ensure you are working with a reputable rescue group. Here are some questions you should ask.
Many animal welfare organizations have an issue with rescue groups buying dogs at auctions. It simply perpetuates the production cycle just as buying the same dogs’ offspring at Petland does. Either the rescuers outbid the buying millers for the young, profitable stock — profit to the seller — or they throw a few bucks to the seller for “worn out” animals that otherwise would not have gotten bids — so again profit to the seller. Millers who used to give their worn-out dogs to rescues now bring them to auction and sell them to different rescues.
Our position on rescuing from breeders and at auctions:
In order to accomplish our mission of shutting down puppy mills and backyard breeders, it is recommended that rescues and animal advocates not pay a puppy miller or backyard breeder any amount of money in exchange for a puppy or dog. Even $5 helps them continue their mass production and continue to be an obstacle in our mission. While it is hard to turn away any animal in need even for a mere $5, we believe that it is imperative to cut off the flow of money to these people. It is the money that keeps them going. If a rescue wants to accept a puppy or dog from them, it should be free of charge.
Animal Advocates are being asked not to purchase dogs at dog auctions. To do so will only encourage future auctions. Specific breed rescues have found that not bidding on dogs actually drives prices downward and helps discourage future auctions. Instead, advocates who are intent on traveling to auctions are encouraged to wait in the parking lot and offer to take―free of charge―any dogs that did not sell since many breeders do not want to take unsold dogs back to their kennels.
Mary O'Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs and the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions has requested an all out boycott at auctions.
"Dog auctions are a tragic embarrassment to Ohio and its humane-minded citizens. We have been asked if people should "buy" or "rescue" these dogs. We are asking for an all-out boycott of these events. Buying at the auction will simply mean that it will be profitable. If it is profitable, it will continue and more dogs will be bred for sale at future Ohio Dog Auctions. That said, we do understand compassion for the dogs being sold and know that there will be some who will buy. We understand both sides of the situation, and hope that in the long run, not buying will produce the best outcome to end these auctions altogether."