Humane society authorities are urging potential pet owners to ask more questions and be skeptical when shopping for puppies.

Cambridge and District Humane Society Agent Tracy Laraway said some people selling puppies are "making money hand over fist," but raising the dogs in inhumane conditions.

"People have a role to play," in stopping cruel puppy mills, she says.

Here are her suggestions for people looking for a new puppy.

  • Ask questions: Laraway says you should ask to see the property where the dogs are being raised, ask to see the parents and ask for all of the dog’s medical records.
  • Be skeptical: Laraway said many people bought dogs at the Brant home without knowing how bad conditions were inside, because the breeder brought the dogs to the end of a tree-lined driveway. She also warned that some breeders will assure puppies have had full medical checks, when really they’ve just been given one simple vaccine.
  • Consider the conditions: At the Cambridge and District Humane Society management insists the floors be kept clean enough for a human to eat off. If windows are blocked or a breeder won’t let you on to the premises where you're buying a dog, that should be an "immediate red flag," Laraway says.
  • Try the humane society: There are lots of advantages of getting a dog from the shelter, Laraway says. Most importantly, the staff has had a chance to evaluate the dogs and will help match them with you.