As recent statistics have demonstrated, the Midwest has a serious problem with puppy mills. For anyone that is unfamiliar with the term “puppy mill” this is the name given to an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane.
A large number of puppy mills in the Midwest has resulted in Ohio coming in second on Humane Society’s ‘Horrible Hundred’ puppy mill list. The state came just behind Missouri, which had the largest number of problem puppy mills — 23 — for the sixth year in a row, according to the report.
In light of this, Ohio’s Senate has recently advanced groundbreaking reform for puppy mill dogs, along with Chicago, which wants to stop dog breeders from skirting the city’s puppy mill ban. But will these new laws be enough to stop this inhuman trade? Fortunately, the startup community might have an answer.
Online platform Wuuff, which allows registered purebred dog breeders and potential buyers to meet and build trust, today expands to North America in a bid to make the market more transparent, easier and more responsible for all involved.
After huge success in Europe and throughout Russia, the company will now target the US and Canada. The abundance of information on the site will make buying or selling a dog a much smoother experience.
Founded in 2016, Wuuff sees dog breeders register on the site, while potential buyers simply type in the breed they are interested in, and they are matched with reputable kennels. The site aims to put an end to ‘puppy mills’ – a huge business in the US – and assist people so that future puppy owners can find responsible breeders and breeders can be assured their puppies will go to a good home.
Wuuff founder, Sandor Fagyal, said of the expansion: “Wuuff, though still in its early days, has made impressive traction in Europe. Customers and breeders all comment on how accessible the site is and we’re confident American dog enthusiasts will feel the same.
“We realized the big issue: dog-buying is a serious thing and the finding experience is a nightmare which leads to many making the wrong move. It shouldn’t be. So we wanted to make finding a puppy easy and enjoyable by providing all the information you could need to make a confident choice.”
Currently, buying a dog in the US can be a tricky process. With a lack of proper information, the potential buyer is often unaware of a puppy’s background and breeders’ credibility. Websites advertising dogs are often outdated, don’t verify their advertisers and do not provide enough information to make an educated decision.
Wuuff is changing this by using the internet to make choosing a puppy a much clearer process. Breeders are vetted after registration and potential buyers can learn about the dog’s background and the breeder’s values right on the site, without further phone calls or the need to visit a dozen more sites to learn about the breeder. After shortlisting just the best puppies, a direct channel of communication assures that the buyer understands the needs and responsibilities of the dog, while the breeder knows where the animal will end up.
While Wuuff does encourage puppy buyers to visit the breeder in person, it also recognizes it’s not always possible and one should not limit their options or settle for a less attractive breeder that lives near to them. Wuuff also offers a secure way to conduct transactions during the transfer of ownership and works with the breeder to ensure that the chosen puppy arrives safe and healthy prior to releasing the full payment. Breeders can get retainers, too, as the site collects and holds payment from an early stage. Both buyers and kennels are given ratings, and they can choose who they will deal with based on them.