Am I allowed to ask my customers questions before I sell them a puppy?

////Am I allowed to ask my customers questions before I sell them a puppy?

Question

I own a puppy store. Despite all the propaganda that is out there about how puppy store owners are horrible people, I truly love all the puppies that come to my store. I do my best to provide every puppy with a stable loving environment for as long as I have him/her. I’m also very careful to try to match perspective buyers with the right puppy. As such, if somebody comes in that has never owned a dog and they live in an apartment and want to buy a dog for their nine-year-old, I am not going to sell them a Husky—even if what they ask for is a Husky, I am not going to sell them one because I feel it’s irresponsible and I won’t put a dog in a position where I think it’s going to end up in the shelter. As such, I ask my customers a lot of questions in an effort to match them to the right puppy. However, I was recently told that by law, a puppy in Pennsylvania is considered “property” and that I am not allowed to ask my customers any questions before selling them the puppy. That sounds like a ridiculous law to me and I don’t understand how I would ensure that I’m placing dogs with people that are actually going to take care of them if I’m not allowed to ask any questions. Can you tell me if the information I was given is correct? Am I allowed to ask my customers questions before I sell them a puppy?

Answer

I have never seen a law which prohibits pet store owners/workers from screening potential purchasers for suitability for a particular animal. Shelters and rescues do this all of the time. You may love all of the puppies who come to your store but consider where these puppies came from. Most puppies at pet stores come from large commercial breeding facilities (puppy mills). There is substantial documentation regarding the horrendous conditions at these mills. Animals should not be treated as commodities and many of the breeding animals spend years at these mills as breeding “machines” without a home and without a family. There is also a serious overpopulation of homeless dogs and cats and these mills contribute to this problem.

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By |2019-10-04T12:35:36+00:00October 4th, 2019|