SALT LAKE CITY (Good Things Utah) When asked what you want for Christmas, a common response is, “a puppy.” However, this holiday season, Best Friends Animal Society urges shoppers to make informed decisions when acquiring a new pet. Temma Martin, joined us on the show to share how people can avoid the disappointment and financial loss of an online pet scam or unhealthy commercially bred puppy, while making a sustainable choice to save a life by adopting from a local shelter or rescue group

Here are the top five reasons not to buy a puppy online this holiday season:

1. You risk online fraud – As consumers turn to the internet to find new pets, BBB warns that a shocking 80% of sponsored pet advertisements may be fake. 

2. You might get an unhealthy puppy – When people do receive the puppy they purchase online, it’s often not what they expect. 

3. You fall prey to a deceptive industry — Although websites that sell dogs convincingly market the puppies as well-bred and lovingly raised, they are likely selling unethically bred pets. 

4. You aren’t making a sustainable choice — As long as people continue to buy puppies from online retailers and pet stores, the inhumane puppy mill industry will persist.

5. You can opt instead to save lives — As an organization whose mission it is to end the killing of pets in shelters by 2025, of course Best Friends encourages people looking for a pet to adopt from a shelter or rescue group, rather than buying from a pet store, breeder or online retailer. 

This holiday season, the solution to this problem is simple: Adopt rather than buy your next pet. Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of nearly 4,000 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.