I can't say enough about making informed decisions when it comes to adding a pet to your family. The choice to buy vs. adopt is yours, but if you do decide to go the breeder route then it's important to pick a legitimate, well-run facility.

It's now possible to research the breeder down the street, or clear across the country with the ASPCA Puppy Facts database. Simply enter the name, license number, or location and it pulls up current inspection records, which list violations from inadequate record keeping to unsanitary living conditions.

A bonus if you live in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois. There are laws in place to allow you to also search pet stores, too. So you'll know if you want to patronize a shop . . . or take your business elsewhere.