I'm showing you this image (above), but leaving out some photos I have seen that were simply too disturbing to post, but just know that it is inhumane to say the least. Puppies are often weaned from their mothers far too early for normal socialization and health, and they are packed in crates for long journeys until they reach the pet shops, which many will not live to see.
Roughly 3,500 to 3,700 pet shops in the United States buy their dogs from these puppy mills, and the public has no idea. These shops sell up to 300,000 to 500,000 puppies a year. Because of the way in which the puppies are raised, they often develop sicknesses that will cause discomfort and death, and raise your veterinarian bills through the roof.
So it is in everyone's best interest to deal with reputable breeders who treat the animals with care and compassion. They will insure that dogs are not bred indiscriminately and their lineages are preserved and well matched if you are looking for purebreds. If you are searching for the cutest little companions, and you live near my city, Toronto Maltese Puppies might be a good place to start. The owner is lovely, and takes very good care of these little babies.
The other option is going to animal shelters and adopting pets that have been abandoned or abused. Not knowing the background of an animal is sometimes tricky, but they are eternally grateful for your friendship and kindness. Whatever you decide to do, please be loving, and remember that what we put out into this world comes back to us :)