For Curious Puppies

Breeders, rescuers and other dog merchants do not control the content on our website. They can’t simply delete their Facebook page or change their website URL if they don’t like the reviews they’re receiving.
Two ways. First, we don’t charge money for you to write or read the reviews (or anything else on our website). Second, we’re not known primarily for restaurants, handymen or any other types of businesses. We are all dogs, all the time, a dedicated website where all dog lovers can come together and crowdsource information, specifically to help dogs.

Our foundation database of breeders, rescuers and other merchants is unique. It took more than a year to construct before being released to the public.

While other websites have listings added here and there by everyday people, our foundation database—thousands of breeders and rescuers—was built on specifically targeted investigative journalism into the merchants offering dogs for sale. And we apply this same research principle to every new listing that the public contributes, adding our own investigative information to the reviews of everyday dog lovers.

Because nowadays, a lot of dog merchants do business under multiple names. They make it hard for dog lovers to find any meaningful information about their business practices.

As an example, you may be searching for information about “dog breeder Kathy Smith” and finding nothing online. Here at DogMerchants.com, our database will show that “Kathy Smith” also does business as “Diamond Star Labradors,” and that the same cellphone number for that business also is the contact number for “Morning Glory Cavaliers,” which has the same email address as “Top of the Mountain Shepherds.” Even if “Kathy Smith” has three separate websites to make the Labrador, Cavalier and Shepherd businesses look unrelated, a search at DogMerchants.com will inform you about the true nature of her practices and let you see reviews from other people who have gotten dogs from any of her businesses.

In fact, not only will our database listing pull up all that information for you at once, but if any of those businesses have been covered in the news or in animal-cruelty court cases, we’ll often have that available for you in a single click, too.

Because the business of selling dogs—whether it’s called a sale or an adoption—has grown into an $11 billion global industry. Some merchants blur the lines in terms of traditional breeding and rescue activity. As it becomes harder to tell them apart, we are trying to help all dog lovers at least distinguish responsible from irresponsible merchants.

Never. Absolutely, unequivocally no.

In fact, DogMerchants.com doesn’t even accept advertising from rescuers, breeders or any other merchant that sells dogs. The site was built for dog lovers to exchange honest information about every dog merchant. We exist first and foremost for the good of dogs everywhere, not for the financial gain of people selling them.

Award-winning author Kim Kavin, in researching the book (which you can find here), realized just how big of a business selling dogs had become—and realized just how poorly regulated a lot of that business was.

Even worse, Kim realized, was that the millions upon millions of dog lovers like her had never come together as conscious consumers. We go to a website to rate hotels. We go to a website to rate restaurants. We go to a website to rate books. Why have we not come together at a single website to compile everything we know about breeders and rescuers, to promote the best and expose the worst?

Kim then used her two decades’ worth of journalism and web-development experience to build DogMerchants.com. It is a website built by a dog lover, for all dog lovers—and for the benefit of all dogs, everywhere.

The contact buttons at the top or bottom of this page. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can, just as soon as we get back from walking our own dogs.

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For Dog Lovers

By searching our database of reviews. Our foundation database is built on investigative journalism into all kinds of dog merchants, so you will see information like news articles and court filings if they exist, in addition to reviews from other dog lovers who have purchased a dog from that merchant.
DogMerchants.com has one of the world’s largest databases of breeders, rescuers and other sellers, and it grows every day. But the reality is that the nature of the dog business means sellers come and go. Some breed only one litter of puppies every three years, so they might not be in our database yet. Some have gone out of business since you rescued your dog, so they might not show up in our current listings either. We’re counting on dog lovers like you to add them, so we can research them and publish the information we find along with your reviews.

And then there’s the fact that anybody can hang out a sign and offer a dog “for sale” or “adoption” from their backyard. You may be the first person to encounter the dog merchant, in which case it’s up to you to let all of us other dog lovers know that the merchant even exists.

Because some people who sell dogs operate totally under the radar. They may be selling purebreds or offering mutts, but their business practices are the same: They use a burner cellphone, put nothing online and make it impossible for dog lovers to find them after they’ve collected the money they want.

For these dog merchants, it’s especially important for dog lovers to come together and write reviews. Regulators don’t know they exist. Lawmakers don’t know they exist. Animal-welfare police don’t know they exist. We dog lovers, by crowdsourcing what we know here on DogMerchants.com, are the only check and balance between these people and the dogs in their care.

No. Dog merchants can send us additional information such as contact details, professional affiliations, photos and videos–which we encourage if they want to show dog lovers more of their background. They also can reply to reviews and comments, for the sake of fairness and telling all sides of any story, but they have no way of altering or deleting the reviews or their listings.
Absolutely yes!

In fact, other dog lovers would love to know not only how your experience was with the breeder or rescuer, but also how your dog is doing at age 3, or 7, or 13. If you’ve had a great experience, that’s fantastic. If you’ve had a lifetime of veterinary bills or problems with the dog merchant, that’s something other dog lovers want to know, too.

You bet. All we ask is that you actually write a review, instead of simply posting a one-star rating. Explain to other dog lovers what you saw that concerned you, or what business practices bothered you, and state exactly why you walked away. That type of specific information is just as helpful to other dog lovers as any other kind of review.
Apparently yes, until lawmakers intervene. People selling dogs can write any kind of contracts they want, and if you sign them, then you are bound by them.

Our opinion here at DogMerchants.com is that dog lovers should think twice before doing business with any breeder or rescuer who demands such a contract clause in the first place. Anyone who says, “Take the dog and never speak of this deal again” doesn’t sound very reputable to us.

The contact buttons at the top or bottom of this page. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can, just as soon as we get back from walking our own dogs.

For Dog Merchants

Either our research found you offering dogs for sale, or a dog lover added you based on their own knowledge.

Please do! Use the contact buttons at the top or bottom of this page to send us additional contact information such as your street address, phone number, email, website, Facebook page, Twitter page, photographs, company logo and URLs from YouTube videos. We’ll add them to your listing for you.

In fact, the more information we have about you, the more time dog lovers will spend on your listing getting to know you. If you are a responsible dog merchant, that should only help your reputation.

We know there are responsible breeders, just as there are responsible rescuers. We also know there are irresponsible breeders, just as there are irresponsible rescuers. We don’t believe in calling them names. We believe in gathering and publishing information about them, for all dog lovers to see and evaluate.

Our goal is to use the crowdsourcing power of tens of millions of dog owners. A critical mass of reviews, paired with our investigative journalism into dog merchants of all kinds, will ultimately expose the truth about all breeders, rescuers, pet stores, shelters, veterinarians and anyone else who takes money in exchange for a dog.

Absolutely. We encourage you to do so. Simply log into the site and click to add a comment under the review. Carry on a conversation. Make your point however you see fit.

With one caveat: Just as with the reviews posted by dog lovers, we will check your comments for profanity and the like, but we will never otherwise alter your words. We know there are multiple sides to every story, and you are welcome to tell yours here, just like everyone else.

You can’t. We know other websites let you pay to game the system, but we’re not those kinds of people. We’re not here to take your money and create paid advertisements for your breeding program or rescue group. We’re here to help dog lovers find honest information about you, and that means no dog merchant gets an advantage over anybody else.

Plain and simple: Your listing will show up at the top of the page if it is the best match for the search terms that the dog lover typed.

Yes, if you are a person or company selling products that are intended for all dogs–things like dog food, collars, beds and toys. Click the “advertise” button at the bottom of this page. We’d love to hear from you.

No, if you are a person or company who exchanges money for dogs–whether you call it a sale, an adoption or anything else. We don’t take money from dog merchants of any kind, because we want dog lovers to know that our listings are honest and untainted by cash changing hands.

The contact buttons at the top or bottom of this page. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can, just as soon as we get back from walking our own dogs.

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