NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - They're cute and soft and full of love. Saturday, March 23 is National Puppy Day!
The annual celebration was started in 2006 as a way to promote puppy adoption and raise awareness about puppy mills, an effort to breed puppies only for sale. Often times, the conditions at these puppy mills are considered inhumane.
According to the National Puppy Day website, around 8,000-10,000 mills operate in the U.S. The website says anyone visiting a breeder should watch out for the following, which can be signs of bad conditions:
- Bad odor/unhealthy conditions in the kennel
- Breeder unwilling to show you the puppy's mother and/or father
- Puppy with weepy eyes and lethargy
- A puppy that doesn't want to interact with people
- Puppy is skinny
- Puppy is limping
To make sure you're adopting from a reputable breeder, check for city and state licensing, no Better Business Bureau complaints and make sure a reputable veterinarian has certified the conditions.