Free Wal-Mart Puppies

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My family has not adopted puppies or kittens from shelters. Normally, when we have wanted a puppy, we just need to go to our local Wal-Mart and check out the selection of free puppies on a Saturday morning. It seems that everyone stops to see the puppies. There are usually a few people with kittens but since we live in the country, we take in any stray cat that comes along.

When we have gotten a puppy from Wal-Mart, it is usually a big dog mix. If this is the route you take, you will be responsible for getting the pup spayed or neutered. Most of the time, it seems like it is a farmer with one of his farm dogs that has had pups.

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Puppy Mill Sales on Wal-Mart Parking Lot

Every once in a while there will be someone trying to sell small, pure-breeds. I am leery of these people because most respectable breeders will want you to come see the purebreds at their kennels to make sure they get a good home. I always wonder if these little pups came from a puppy mill. I would love to rescue them, but I do not want those types of people to make a dime from me if they are running a puppy mill.

I have asked these people for their cards and an address so I can go check out their facilities. Most of them decline. In my opinion, that is a red flag. If they have nothing to hide and want people to see their pups, they would want others to spread the word about their facilities. Their puppies are cute, but with purebreds all one need to do is run an add to see them if they are, in fact, a legitimate business.

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Bringing Home the New Puppy

When we have brought our pups home, we have a dog house with straw and a blanket for them. We buy plenty of food. Even though they are large breed pups that are meant to be outside, we pamper them as puppies and bring them inside to play, eat, sleep, and I usually rock them while watching TV. They are just babies, and you must remember they have been taken away from their mother and litter of brothers and sisters. They need to feel comforted.

Treating them like the babies they are, will help you bond with them. They will become loyal family members with many years of love and companionship.

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Have a Checklist

If you know ahead of time you are going to get a puppy, be sure you do some simple things.

  • Prepare to have lots of love and patience
  • Puppy food
  • Dog bowls for food and water - you may even want to buy a storage bin to keep the food fresh longer
  • Chew toys - you can even create your own with old socks or pieces of rope - remember they are going to be teething and will want to chew on things
  • Bitter spray to spray on things you do not want the pup to chew on
  • Puppy shampoo to rid the pup of fleas and ticks
  • Tick and flea protection, like Frontline, to place between their shoulders after their first bath
  • Get an appropriate collar and leash
  • A book on training your pup is always helpful
  • Be prepared financially to take care of a new pup
  • If you have other dogs, make sure you do not leave them out or they will get jealous.
  • Get a veterinarian appointment as soon as possible to spay or neuter your pup
  • Make sure you have an appropriate place for the pup - whether you are planning on keeping it indoors or outdoors
  • If you are keeping the pup outdoors, make sure it is a safe environment. A fenced yard is best if you live near a busy road.
  • Remember, you are bringing home a baby and there will be an adjustment period. The pup will probably cry and whine at night.
  • Be sure you have the capacity to love the pup. If you have a busy life and will not be able to give the pup attention, you may want to reconsider until you can take the time for it.

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Your New Family Member

Your puppy is home, and you have taken all steps to ensure it is comfortable. You will find great joy in having a new loyal companion. Dogs are amazing and most are very intelligent if they are taught from an early age. The time you spend training them with positive reinforcement will create a bond and friendship for years to come.

© 2012 Susan Holland

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Comments 46 comments

Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

Why are people breeding these animals? If you don't want a purebred, I don't see why you wouldn't support a shelter over people who irresponsibly breed these dogs and then give them away to anyone with a pulse. That is very dangerous for these dogs, and it just makes potential homes for shelter dogs disappear.


pippap profile image

pippap 4 years ago from Surrey, BC

Thanks for reminding us again that we are our brother's keepers to some extent. By "our brother's", I mean all sentient beings including dogs. It is up to us to keep them safe while in our care.


christollesseb profile image

christollesseb 4 years ago from UK ME ASIA

So full of sound advice. Useful, interesting & voted up. A must read for anyone considering finding a dog and a new faamily member. Thanks again!


christollesseb profile image

christollesseb 4 years ago from UK ME ASIA

Well dear Sholland,

I just voted this post up, awesome, interesting & useful, Some excellent advice given here. So well presented too.

It also made me smile, because it was only yesterday I started on a post about Mans' best friend! Must be great minds think alike or some ESP going on here. Ciao for now!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Melissa, back when we got our pups years ago, shelters were not common in my area. Most of the people who had the puppies owned farms and were raising the pups for the farm - if you have ever seen a farm dog, you know what great pets they are.

Later, after we had already gotten four of our dogs, my daughter and I used to go to Pet Smart on Saturday mornings to see the puppies and kittens and to make donations. I noticed that many of the shelter puppies had hernias because they had been spayed and neutered too soon (6 - 8 wks).

I am not sure why you would think there is a difference in getting a pup for free is different than getting one from the shelter. Chances of good and bad things happening are going to happen no matter what we do to try to prevent it.

I just know we have always loved our pups. They are part of our family. I know there is cruelty in the world, but I don't know anyone who has mistreated their animals and if I did, I would report them and possibly rescue the animal myself.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Pippap, I agree. It is up to us to take care of our precious animals. They are part of the family.

Thanks for dropping by. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Chris, our pups are our family members. They give us so much joy. Great minds must think alike. LOL Good luck with your post.

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

The beginning of your hub reminded me of a dog my stepmother brought home one time. She'd gotten it from someone at the local mall. The poor puppy couldn't keep food down and we ended up taking it to a vet. There was some kind of cat disease going around at the time, and the puppy had this disease. We ended up having to take the pup to the vet twice a day to have him fed by a tube down his throat. This went on for about 2 months. It was quite costly but well worth it in the end as he grew up to be a really nice dog.

I'm happy to say that for the past few years I hardly ever come across people trying to sell pets this way anymore.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hey Susan! That poor puppy. I have never heard of a puppy catching a cat disease. I am so glad you have the time and patience and love to deal with the little guy. I would have done the same.

Our pups were free, and we were very fortunate not to have any problems.

Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you dropped by! :-)


IsadoraPandora profile image

IsadoraPandora 4 years ago from Florida, PCB

Ahh, Walmart puppies and kittens--every parents nightmare! lol.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Loved this Hub. As you probably know by reading my Hubs, I love my dogs! I voted this UP, etc.etc.


Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

The difference is that you are supporting those who are breeding irresponsibly. Why create more dogs to give away for free when there are dogs that are very much in need of a homes at shelters? You are also supporting a practice that is very harmful for dogs with this article. In my opinion no animal should be placed in a home with no scrutiny. If someone is looking to abuse or neglect an animal, you can bet their place of choice to obtain animals are from Wal-mart giveaways. It's just not a responsible practice, period. Shelters are very common now.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

This is a great Hub full of useful tips for someone bringing home a new puppy. I find it interesting that you can get animals from a Wal-Mart parking lot. I wonder how that would go over in Ohio! We have so many strict laws. For example, I know people aren't allowed to sell animals at the local flea market or farmer's markets. But it would be a good way to showcase animals a person would otherwise put in the paper. I especially like the part here when you mention rocking the poor baby because he or she was just taken from its family...so sweet!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Mary, I am with you!! I love our pups. They are family! :-) Thanks for dropping by and the votes.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Okay, Melissa, kill me for not being able to pass up a sweet puppy. It is a shame that they came to my home for the past 20 years and were taken to the vet on a regular basis, spayed and neutered, loved and played with, taken in to my home, fed, brushed, bathed, etc. Y are right... What was I thinking? I am completely irresponsible. Thanks for dropping by to point that out.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Ardie! They are just sweet babies taken away from their mothers and siblings. Ya gotta rock them! Of course, I stop when they are around 75 lbs. LOL Just like babies, you need to consider so many things before bringing them home. With our first dog, I asked the guy if he would wait for me to go in to shop for all the supplies I needed for the pup. He did and was almost reluctant to let the pup go because he was so attached to the litter.

Thanks for dropping by! I appreciate your comments! :-)


Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

My comments are not about -your- puppy, they are about the animals that suffer due to this irresponsible practice, the ones you do not see. I don't know why you've chosen to make up my position.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

All puppies need to be adopted no matter where they come from. If you don't take that puppy it won't matter to those people. They will still not get their animals fixed. So good for you.

Shelter's have gotten to the point that their animals are to expensive and they put you through so much scrutiny, that it's almost ridicules.

We once got a puppy from a mall and another full grown dog from a shelter. That was in the days when you could get a dog for $35.00. We had that dog for less than a year, he died of cancer. We had big vet bills but he was worth it.

Enjoyed your.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Melissa, I did not make up your position. I responded to your comments about how irresponsible I was to take a free pup from a person who had the audacity to try to give their pups away to good homes on the Wal-Mart parking lot. Reread your own comments. I don't regret my actions. I do not apologize for taking home a puppy and turning it into a family member.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I agree, Moonlake. The people I recall getting our pups from were families with kids who lived on farms. The puppies were already socialized and used to people. You can pretty much tell what character a person has, especially a kid with tears in his eyes as you carry the puppy away.

I am sorry you lost your pup. We had a Shi Tzu that died from cancer. Broke our hearts, and we still miss him. We put up a little gravestone for him and his mother. And you are right, they are worth every penny we spend on them.

Thank you for dropping by and commenting. :-)


Charlu profile image

Charlu 4 years ago from Florida

Wow I love this hub We also have private shelters and adoptions in front of our local Tractor Supply, shoot the vet even comes there and does very cheap check ups and vaccines.

Maybe if people didn't pay such outrageous amounts for purebreds there wouldn't be so many puppy mills like the dozens shut down in 2008 after an investigation by MSNBC and the Humane Society into where Petland stores were buying their pups. In case you didn't hear about it they came from puppy mills and people were paying as much as $3500 for a mill pup whose condition's were horrifying (if you don't think that motivates mills your sadly mistaken) Why not go after the larger abusers than the small town farmer who needs some good cow dogs.

I'm a sucker for pups that need a home and that's probably why I have 5 that get breakfast and dinner cooked for them everyday. Even if two do have skin conditions that sometimes make me crazy.

Great hub with great info to consider before getting a pup or any dog.

Voted up useful interesting Oh yeah cute dog


IsadoraPandora profile image

IsadoraPandora 4 years ago from Florida, PCB

Love free puppies. Why would I spend a mint at the pound when I can get the same kind of mutt for free?

There are enough regulations out there and I refuse to give someone the paperwork to come to my home whenever they see fit and check on my animal.

You can't even give away a dog from the pound in some areas. You go into a stupid contract.

Enjoy your free puppies. The worst dogs I ever had came from pounds--the best came from parking lots or those I bred myself.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Charlu! I am a sucker for a pup, too. I did see that Dateline about Petland. Horrendous. I think they should go to prison for mistreating those babies.

We do have two mini-Dachshunds. We bought them from a breeder, but she only has one litter at a time and eight mommies so they do not have more than one litter every year or so. She had us come out to her house at the end of week two to hold the puppy - she keeps her litters in the house. She did not want to upset the mother-dog, that is why we waited. We were so excited. They live way out in the country, so when we drove up, we were led in by a "herd" of doxies. LOL Then at week 4, they came to our house to check out where we lived.

All in all, we have great pups. I hope that all people prepare for their pups before bringing them home. Time investment must be considered, too. We love being surrounded by our pets.

Thanks for dropping by and the comments and votes. Oh, and thank you for the compliment on the pics. The black dog is Annie, and the yellow dog was Scarlet. We lost her to old age a few years ago. Such wonderful pets. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Isadora, I am sorry you had a bad experience with the pound or shelter. My girlfriend got two of her dogs at the pound. Poor little things. One had been in a cage for 6 years. She is very quiet and timid, but she is part of their family and we love her. The other pup died from unknown causes. Broke my friend's heart.

I know there are lots of good shelter experiences though, too. I just know, we love our pups.

Thanks for dropping by!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

sholland, great hub, I live in the out back and people dump dogs a mile down the road in the middle of the desert.

In the summer they are often dehydrated and I give them bits of water with an irrigation syringe that is used to wash away blood. Perfect in the corner of a mouth that pretty much forces a dog that has given up to drink. I carry gator-ade mix for getting the electrolytes and salt to them. I end my trip to town and take them home. Sometimes it's a female and a box of puppies with their eyes not open yet, I take them all and if possible get them up and going, I've never tried WalMart I figured they would run me off, I rent a spot at the flea market and ask for 50 pounds of dog food or 25 dollars to check them for finances I figure if they can't afford that they really can't afford to own a dog. I've many good stories and some sad ones but rescued dogs are very loving and clingy to you, a trait I like, they always know where you are, if I go out to feed and don't let them come, 45 minutes gone and they jump for joy like I was gone a week.

Excellent hub,

Peace, 50


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Oh 50, thanks for sharing your story. What a wonderful thing you are doing helping those pups. You are right about how needy they become when they have been dumped and are food/water/attention/love deprived. You are doing a great service.

At our house, it is cats that are dumped. We just keep feeding and watering them. We know they are safe with us, so we don't even try to get rid of them. There have been a few occasions a friend has been over and fallen in love with the cat and taken it, but few and far between.

Thanks again for sharing your story!! I appreciate you dropping by!!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

My daughter came home with a little lab puppy from the Wal-Mart parking log, 8 years ago and "Sadie" is still happy and health with us. Unfortunately, she had puppies before we got her spade and I was at the Wal-Mart parking lot giving them away. I did turn two people down, I guess I shouldn't judge them, but they just didn't seem "right" for my puppies. I tried to be as careful as I could to see that they went to good homes.

If you take them to the shelter here, they will get euthanized after a few months. I couldn't stand that!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi SG! Give Sadie a big HUG! I know the people I got my dogs from talked to me about how they had taken care of their pups and what they fed them. It wasn't a situation where people could just walk up and take a pup. I don't blame you for not wanting certain people to take your pups who didn't seem like they could take care of them. Above, 50 said he charged a small amount for his pups, and that weeded out some people.

I know we have some "no kill" shelters around here now, but I know the Humane Society euthanize animals after so long. That makes me extremely sad, which probably why we have several outside, fat cats - 2 are ours and the others have been dumped. Hey, we do not have mice!

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your story! :-)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I am forbidden from Walmart on Saturday mornings. :) I just can't say no to cute little faces. It is really hard to get pets from the pound. I do it, but I think about those who don't get adopted. Great article!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

I had to go through a long drawn out process to find a puppy that would fit our family. I needed one that was next to allergy free. I had never heard of Lhasas before then. It took us a year before we found a dog that fit our needs. We loved him to death and was sad that he had to be put down. I was able to breed him to a Bichon which was even better for my family's alleries. We kept one and then screened the families of those that wanted one of the littermates. It was worth it. Everyone that has adopted our puppies has loved them.

It is sad to see when an animal is abused by people that seem not to care about anyone but themselves. I have a sister that adopts animals because she can't stand to see them suffer. Lucky enough for her they live on a farm so the animals have plenty of room to roam.

I came across as heartless one time when I told a lady that I would rather see my animals put down then to go to an abusive home. Great hub! I will be sure to pass it on.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I had no idea they did that at WalMart; we have one but I never go there. Makes sense though. I agree with the "lots of love and patience" part of your hub. We just got a puppy and that dog manages to get into everything no matter how much we secure it. Gotta love puppies and gotta love this hub!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Tammy, yeah, my daughter and I have been grounded from going to Wal-Mart on Saturday mornings... Just too risky. We already call our place the Holland Farm because of all the animals that we take care of. LOL We do love them, though.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

TI, I am allergic to cats, so I know how hard it is to find an animal that doesn't have a type of fur that sets you off. I hve heard that Lhasas and Bichons are good for people with dog allergies. I am so glad you found one that you could love and have in the family. I don't think you are heartless. I would not want any animal to be treated inhumanely like we have seen. I honestly think a person should go to prison for mistreatment of animals.

Thanks for sharing your story. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Bill, puppies are just like toddlers - into everything, and you have to keep a constant eye on them. Good luck with your training. You are right - ya gotta love puppies!! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

What a great strategy, Susan, asking for their business cards and the like. Legitimate businesses are only happy to spread that info around. Obviously, many of these aren't. Voting this Up and Useful.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, ALocsin! Yeah, if they aren't legitmate, I walk away. I do want to save the puppies, though!! Thanks for dropping by and the votes.


Alexus 4 years ago

Sorry but I agree with Melissa. I'm nit trying to slam you, I know puppies are cute and irresistible. But buying a puppy from a back yard breeder supports them and their greed- makes them breed more and more unwanted pups. With a shelter dog, you get that dog out of a shelter and give another dog a spot in the shelter. Buying a BYB only makes a BYBer want to breed more and indirectly kill more shelter dogs.

My point: puppies are cute, but not so cute when you think of the fact that buying that pup kills a shelter dog.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Alexus, I appreciate your comment. I didn't buy the puppy. She was free. If the farmer had not given her to me, she would have gone to a shelter. I talked to him quite a while before taking her with me. I would not pay for a puppy from someone who just breeds for breeding, not caring about their pet. The farmer's dog was a very pampered dog. His kids were there loving on her and taking care of her. They were worried about her missing her puppies. Of course, kids would like to keep them all. :-) Anyway, I took a puppy home and gave it love and care, and she became a good dog.

I have gone to shelters who spay and neuter pups too soon and have seen the hernias. I was more than happy to take my pup to the vet to pay for spaying her and her shots at the correct age.

I still stand by getting my pup from a farmer even if it was on a Wal-mart parking lot.


Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 4 years ago from United States

We don't have a dog because I know I don't have the time to care for one. I hope I can get a puppy when I graduate from college. I think you are so right about having a check list and supplies ready before you bring a puppy home. When I do get one, I will be doing that for sure!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Bedbug! You are so wise to wait until you have time for a puppy. They are just like children and need lots of love and attention. I am glad you found the list helpful. Being ready is so important for you and your new family member.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

I just found your article today. Insightful hub. The origin of the shelter dogs and the Walmart parking lot dogs are the same. People who breed and dump their dogs off at shelters are no more resposible than the people who sit in Walmart parking lots with "free to good home" puppies.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Good thing there are people who want to love those pets. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


watergeek profile image

watergeek 4 years ago

Well, I'm going to respond to the "irresponsible" charges. Years ago I had three cats I needed to let go of. I was moving to start college again and live in the dorms, where you can't have pets. My only friends where I lived had two small sons and didn't like pets. My father didn't like pets, either, and my brother was moving to the same college I was.

I didn't want them euthanized at a shelter, so I took them to a local grocery store. They were picked up almost immediately by a very nice family.

I'm one who always stops to pet animals I see being given away. Contrary to the complaints of some I see here, I very seldom see anyone who comes across as abusive or uncaring to the pets they're giving away.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

WaterGeek, thank you for sharing your story. I wrote the hub to an audience of pet lovers. I believe most people who go look at pets anywhere would love to take them home. I would not buy from a breeder who shows up on a Wal-mart lot because I would be suspicious as to why the person wouldn't want me to see their facility. That said, I believe those people who are pet owners with a litter of puppies or kittens who show up to give them away want them to go to good homes. We can usually sense who is a pet lover and who isn't. The pet can definitely sense whether the person has a genuine feeling for it. I sat with the farmer and his son talking about our home, and they told us about their farm. These people would not have let their pups go if they felt they were in danger.

I am sure you talked to the family who took your cats home. I doubt very much they ended up in a lab for testing. I do not believe you were irresponsible for giving your cats away on a grocery store parking lot.

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you dropping by! :-)


Dennis 2 years ago

I just wanted to say that its awesome those of you who have had good experiences with Walmart parking lot puppies. Unfortunately my wife and I did not we bought a cute little pit bull puppy. She was beautiful but we only had her 3 days before having to get her put down she had parvo. So from now on I will not buy a puppy unless I know it has a bill of good health.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I would feel the same way, Dennis. I am so sorry about your puppy. My son got a mini-Dachshund. She had papers and vet visits with shots. A few months later, she was an older puppy - I am thinking she was about 9 months old, she got Parvo from using the bathroom at their apartment complex. Our family vet had given her Parvo shot when it was time, but it didn't take for some reason. We were fortunate, though. She was in the vet hospital for about 10 days, and she survived. I think there are risks everywhere. We have always had both kinds of pups and kittens. We bought some from reputable people and shelters, and we got some of them from Wal-Mart. We have been very fortunate.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

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