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It is unfortunate that we have to think about such things during this time of year, but the reality is this is when the demand is at its highest. It is easy to minimize this problem as far as its complexity and scope, however, it is a bit more difficult than that. If it was as simple as cutting off the demand, convincing people to stop buying these puppies that would be great, but the hard truth is, many families have no idea that the puppy they are about to purchase came from an illegal puppy farm . This is what many smugglers are counting on; ignorance.
If you are in the market for a new puppy, awareness of this problem is certainly well known but I think consumers need to be a bit more vigilant, ask questions, and find out where the puppies came from before you buy. But again, this is not going to eliminate the risk completely. If the business selling you the puppy truly believes they got them from a reputable place then that is what they will tell their customers. Should we ban the sale of all puppies in brick and mortar type businesses, leaving local breeders to fill this consumer demand? The push back from honest retailers would be immense. Again, as stated above, this problem goes far deeper than many think. With clandestine smugglers taking advantage of the average person's inexperience and desire to make a buck many of these little furry guys will continue to be processed and delivered to unsuspecting vendors with no one the wiser.
Dwight Eisenhower once said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.” Remain alert and cautious, and let's end this “trade” one more question at a time.