Where to buy a dog in Omaha

By on February 21, 2016

First, when thinking about “buying” a dog, stop. Instead of paying for a dog as if it were a head of lettuce or a car or any other consumer product, use your money to pay for adoption fees instead. It’s not a matter of parsing words or semantics; instead, it speaks to the way you use your money to get a companion animal and make a difference in the way animals get into homes- and get treated.

To explain a bit, understand this first: there is and has been an overpopulation problem in dogs and (especially) cats for a while. When you adopt an animal, you are getting a dog or cat that has been neutered or spayed and that helps with the problem as they can’t reproduce in the future. At the same time, you’re taking in an animal who may have been contributing to the overpopulation problem in the past, so you’re providing another piece of the solution puzzle there. For these reasons, adopt and don’t buy.

Secondly, let’s do a Google search. This is what many people do first when thinking, “Hey! I want a dog!”

Google this: “Omaha Pets for Sale”.

The first thing you’ll see, hopefully, is a paid ad from a rescue or shelter organization. This is great. Remember, adopt and don’t buy. Next, unfortunately, you’ll likely see a link to Craig’s List. Quite simply, don’t use Craig’s List. You never know exactly where the animal comes from, plus there are many commercial breeders (licensed and not) who put animals for sale there claiming to have “pure-bred” or “AKC registered” animals that aren’t either of those things. Want a pure-bred? There are plenty of them available at rescue and shelter organizations. And you won’t spend a month’s salary with them either like you will with some breeders.

So. Don’t use Craig’s List.

Next in your search results, you’ll likely see some sort of Marketplace for animals. Those words don’t belong together. And while you’ll see animals in the marketplace listed on petfinder.com, a great site for rescues and shelters to promote their adoptable animals, you’ll also find puppies for sale that come from breeders and even puppy mills. Here’s a rule to go by: The only reason you should use a marketplace like this is if it entails meeting with an adoption counselor from a shelter or rescue. If you go to meet someone who has “papers” and requires a deposit, you’re probably dealing with someone who contributes to the problem we talked about above.

Now. Don’t buy online. Simple. And don’t use Craig’s List.

*A note- there ARE reputable breeders who make it a hobby, have a litter or two per year, and love these dogs while they’re in their care. If you can get a dog from a reputable, non-backyard breeder, by all means. Here are a couple of things to know: if the dogs used for breeding are like family pets, sleep in the bed with their owners, and don’t breed as a means to make a living, you’re probably safe. The last thing we want to do is lump all breeders into one negative category. Commercially-bred and bred-as-a-labor-of-love or a hobby are much different terms.

At least in Omaha, you’ll find Tully’s Kennel as a place to buy a dog in your Google search. Tully’s has done a good job of convincing some that it is a family business that loves its animals and doesn’t breed them and doesn’t get them from mills. How much of that is true? It’s debatable. Read about Tully’s in an article from Pets in Omaha here. You have better options, so bypass Tully’s.

No Craig’s List. Don’t buy a dog online. Skip the kennel. There’s a reason dogs and cats are becoming harder to buy in stores around the country… pet store puppies are likely puppy mill puppies. We want that to stop.

Finally, you’ll see sites like ours, sites like the Nebraska Humane Society, and sites like petfinder.com, adopt-a-pet.com. This is where you want to be.

Pets in Omaha will always tell you to go to the shelter or rescue to adopt. The Nebraska Humane Society and other shelters help to solve the overpopulation problem, rehabilitate animals, educate, provide animal control and complete a laundry list of other programs that help animals. Adoption fees are almost always lower than buying elsewhere and your animal will have a microchip, will be spayed or neutered, will be disease-free, and will love you for bringing it home. Rescue groups take animals that were in bad places, foster and treat them, and adopt them to people who will love them forever. There are no better options if you are a concerned pet lover than adoption.

Next time you want an animal, or when you hear someone saying he or she wants one, go to the shelter. Seek out rescue organizations. Choices like these will help eliminate population problems, put unsavory characters like puppy millers out of business and save lives of animals who need to find homes.


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