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updated 3/22/2012 11:53:27 AM ET 2012-03-22T15:53:27

 

Facebook's Marketplace feature has become a popular place to buy and sell gadgets, furniture, cars and pets — including a lot of puppies. In fact, the first sample ad that Facebook showed when it launched Marketplace back in 2007 read, "For Sale: Cute Dog."

According to the ASPCA, many of those pups aren't coming from loving homes, but instead from dog-making shops that it calls "puppy mills." Today, the ASPCA announced a deal with Facebook to pull down ads from companies that churn out puppies in factory-like conditions — keeping dogs in cruel and unhealthy conditions, such as in stacked wire cages, with no human companionship. 

You will still be able to find dogs on the Marketplace, but only for adoption at a minimal fee, not for pricey sales.

The Facebook deal is part of a large ASPCA campaign against puppy mills. The organization runs a separate website, called  No Pet Store Puppies, that provides information on the commercial dog-breeding business and suggests alternatives.

It discourages buying from any pet store or online site since they commonly get their dogs from mills. Instead, it recommends adopting pups from shelters or from "responsible breeders." The ASPCA site lists requirements for a responsible breeder; for example, making sure to not inbreed or breed very young or very old animals. The breeders should also be open to visitors so that people can see the conditions that animals come from.

Unlike sites such as Craigslist, Marketplace is a social classified. So you can always see the profile of whoever is offering something for sale to get a better idea of where it's coming from.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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