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  • Pet adoption

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    A mixed breed dog at an animal shelter.Pet adoption is the process of taking responsibility for a pet that a previous owner has abandoned or released to a shelter or rescue organization. Common sources for adoptable pets are animal shelters and rescue groups. Some organizations give adopters ownership of the pet, while others use a guardianship model wherein the organization retains some control over the animal's future use or care. Also available is online pet adoption. These sites have databases of pets being housed by thousands of animal shelters and rescue groups, and are searchable by the public. They include Petfinder.org and Adopt-a-Pet.com. A black cat waiting to be adopted. Because of the superstitions surrounding black cats, they are disproportionately more common in shelters than in the general population and less likely to be adopted than are cats of other colors.

  • Puppy mill

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    A puppy mill in the rural United States A puppy mill, sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a type of commercial dog breeding facility. Although no standardized legal definition for "puppy mill" exists, a definition was established in Avenson v. Zegart in 1984 as "a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits". The ASPCA uses a similar definition: "a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs." According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills in the United States, in total selling more than 2,000,000 puppies annually. Commercial kennels may be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and state and local jurisdictions which may inspect the kennels routinely. The term "mill" is also applied to operations involving other animals commercially bred for profit, including cats. For-profit breeding on a smaller scale may be referred to as backyard breeding, although this term has negative connotations and may also refer to unplanned or non-commercial breeding.

  • Puppy

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    Golden Retriever puppy Basset Hound puppy Newborn Welsh Springer Spaniel puppiesA puppy is a juvenile dog. Some puppies can weigh 1-1.5 kg (1-3 lb), while larger ones can weigh up to 7-11 kg (15-23 lb). All healthy puppies grow quickly after birth. A puppy's coat color may change as the puppy grows older, as is commonly seen in breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier. In vernacular English, puppy refers specifically to dogs, while pup may often be used for other mammals such as seals, giraffes, guinea pigs, or even rats or sharks.

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