Puppy Mills & Puppy Auctions

Puppy Mills

NGRR is well aware of disreputable and unscrupulous Golden Retriever breeders (and breeders of other dogs) who raise animals in inhumane conditions, advertise heavily, and frequently falsify pedigree documents to get you to believe that you have just bought a prized dog.   The dogs are raised in small cages, rarely get exercise and receive little or no vet attention.  Genetic problems such as hip dysplasia may be common, but the breeder will provide patently false clearances about the dog’s heritage and health.

The sure signs of a puppy mill vs. a reputable breeder:

No Adoption Criteria

Reputable breeders may do an extensive interview with potential applicants and may only let people that have been recommended by prior adopters have an opportunity to get a dog from their litter.  They are very choosy about selecting the right adopting families for their puppies. Puppy mills don’t care who you are a long as you don’t ask too many questions and have cash or credit card available.


The reputable breeders don’t need to advertise. They find their adopting families by recommendations and referrals. Puppy mills will have continuous ads in newspapers and electronic bulletin boards such as Craig’s List.

Reluctance for an Inspection

Reputable breeders will gladly let you meet the parents of the dog, see where the puppies were born, and see how the puppies have been treated since birth.  Puppy mills generally will not let you see any of the living conditions.

NGRR strongly recommends that families seeking Golden Retriever puppies go through the NorCal Golden Retriever Club at http://www.norcalgrc.org/ and look at the Puppies tab. There you will find an email address for Golden puppy breeder references.  Also see these 2 articles on puppy mills:

Finding the Perfect Family Pet–Buyer Beware

How to Spot a Puppy Scam

Internet Puppy Scams

10 Signs of Puppy Scams


Puppy Auctions

NGRR is strongly opposed to pet auctions of any type, especially those advertising Golden Retriever puppies. While the intent may be good hearted and charitable, and the cause worthwhile, auctioning off a pet of any type or breed encourages impulse adoptions without thinking through the consequences or responsibilities for the adopting family. The result is typically a bad outcome for both the pet and the family (an ignored animal, reluctance to provide basic vet care, inadequate exercise, etc.) all of which can lead to bad behavior on the pet’s part through no fault of its own.

In many cases the pet comes from a disreputable breeder, (in the dog world, also known as a puppy mill) who advertises low cost animals but has raised the animals in extremely poor living conditions without regard to health or genetic dispositions.  The only guarantee for the adopter is that if they get a sick or problem animal, they get a replacement animal, not a refund.  Certificates of pedigree are frequently false.  See below for NGRR’s strong position against such breeders.

NGRR on the other hand, thoroughly screens each adoption applicant, including visiting the home to assure the dog’s new home will  be loving and secure. We screen the dogs, evaluate them medically, assure they get all shots and a vet checkup, and then try to match the best dog to qualified applicants by looking at whether the dog is good with children, good with other pets, etc.

A pet auction ignores all of this and almost guarantees a bad outcome: the animal’s health may be suspect; the winning ticket holder may have absolutely no intention of caring for a new pet; even if the raffle winner is willing to care for it, the animal may be a bad match for the circumstances, etc.

When NGRR hears of an auction involving Golden Retrievers, we contact the sponsor of the lottery and try to talk them out of it, citing many examples of bad outcomes. If after our pleading, they still insist on going ahead with it, we try to convince them to at least tell the winning ticket holder that we will take the dog with no questions asked, at any time.