I applaud your Feb. 16 editorial (“Our View: Pet store dogs too often have troubling origins”). Adding to the fact that pet store pups come from horrific conditions of suffering, I’d also note that pet stores rely heavily on impulse buying. You see that adorable puppy in the store, and you just have to take him home with you.

People who buy this way often know little about the breed. They often don’t know how large the dog will become or the personality of that breed.

Responsible breeders and rescue organizations are more careful about placing dogs than pet stores. You won’t leave with the dog the same day, which gives the potential owner time to think about it.

They’ll require a home visit to see where the dog will reside and if your home is appropriate for that breed. They’ll educate you on the breed, its personality and potential health issues. You’ll answer questions about you, your family and your preparedness for a dog.

You will sign a contract, which includes an agreement that if you should decide not to keep the dog, you will return the dog to the rescue or breeder. You will not give the dog away, sell him on Craigslist or surrender him to a shelter. Pet stores have no such conditions.

Since puppy mill dogs have been poorly bred and come from terrible conditions, many will develop health or behavioral problems. If this happens, the owner will either euthanize the dog, ban him from living outside, give him away or take him to a shelter.

I hope that Maine will lead and end the practice of selling dogs in pet stores. If other states followed, puppy mills might eventually cease to exist.

Karen Tanguay