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I haven't bought any puppies from pet stores, but three of my dogs came from puppy mills and were turned over to rescue because they couldn't be sold on to the store.

Widget, my youngest IG, made it out of the mill and to the pet store, but in transit he managed to break his front leg, so the pet store sent him back. The mill kept him for another two months (planned to breed him, didn't bother to seek ANY medical attention for the leg), but he became so ill he was finally turned over to a woman in rescue who kept urging the miller to please do so. His leg didn't mend correctly so it looks kind of funky, but otherwise he's a happy, healthy little sprout.

Sprite, my Pomeranian, developed encephalitis at the puppy mill after he was vaccinated for distemper. Again, the mill kept him on for a few months without treatment and finally turned him into rescue. He's thriving on a raw diet, now, and though he couldn't even walk when he first came into rescue, he can now walk, run and climb stairs.

Lyra, my chi, has an open font and a grade three luxating patella so couldn't be sold or bred. She was turned into a small breed rescue (the same one I got Sprite from) and played so well with Sprite, she joined the swarm. She is now the house's official lap warmer (or, if you're lying down, head warmer).
I am considering buying a dog. This will be my first companion in my life and I will do some serious research before I make the decision but what are your opinions on buying a dog/puppy in a pet store or puppy store. I am leaning towards buying a puppy.

In this pet store they have about 2 dogs per cage sometimes up to 4 and the cages were probably 2ft wide, 3ft tall and 2ft in length. They had either 1 or 2 bowls in each cage of dry food and there was paper under the cages to cover poop. It is quite noisy and the people who run the store seem very kind, I think it's family owned.

I was wondering if you think dogs from puppy stores are okay and won't have any defects. I am hoping to have a healthy dog since I would hate for him/her to have problems in the future. Do you think buying from a puppy store would be safe? Do you think the dogs from there are okay?

Please express your opinions and comments. I can give you any additional info if needed.
 
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