Local animal care and control agencies are the best place to locate a puppy. At shelters across the country, virtually millions of adorable, adoptable dogs are looking for love and in the need of homes. But what if your local shelter doesn't have the particular breed of puppy you desire?
While the deplorable conditions of puppy mills (which mass breed puppies for profit) have been well documented, it is possible to find a healthy purebred puppy that has been raised humanely, with good breeding practices.
To locate a reputable, responsible breeder, ask an adoption counselor at your local shelter for recommendations. Your veterinarian is also an excellent source of information.
Personally visit the kennel and ask to see the puppy's parents. This is extremely important, so that you can evaluate the conditions in which the puppy has lived, the character of the breeder and the condition of the puppy's parent or parents. Healthy parents have healthy puppies, devoid of the physical and psychological genetic defects caused by inbreeding or ignorance of good breeding practices. Legitimate facilities encourage prospective owners to visit.
With careful screening (and continuing responsible care), your puppy will grow up to become a well-adjusted adult and loving companion.