As someone who uses a lot of forums, I see many enquiries from people who have discovered a puppy farm or back yard breeder and want to act.  Sadly immoral and illegal are different things, but there are a few things worth trying to stop this horrible, greedy, selfish behaviour.

Bad breeding and puppy farming results in puppies suffering unnecessarily from hereditary illness and poor temperaments, yet there are more of them now than ever.  If you find one, please act.

There are many good breeders who health test, offer lifetime back up, choose studs carefully, register and have dogs living in their homes.  Any breeder not doing this should be reported and stopped.

Firstly, keep copies of any adverts.  This means save the page to your computer, not just storing the link.  The ads are often time limited, and removed as soon as the breeder is caught out.  Google phone numbers and description, you often find many ads from the same person and address.

  • Be realistic, the RSPCA still has to operate within the law, which is woefully inadequate where bad breeding is concerned.  Unless welfare laws are breached, action is difficult and their officers have no more right than you or I to enter premises.
  • Report names and addresses to Inland Revenue and if you suspect the person is on benefits, to the  Social Security offices too.  Income is taxable and few declare it.  As most are cash sales, the only proof may be in the ads you saved.
  • You can try reporting to the Kennel Club if the pups are KC registered and particularly if the breeder claims to be an accredited KC breeder.  This is sometimes on ads when they aren’t.  Again, be realistic, the KC are not the dog police and can only act within their own remit.
  • Report photos (again, save them) of dogs in poor condition to the RSPCA and to Environmental Health as there may be breaches under health legislation.  In some cases, change of use from the Planning Dept may be needed if they can say it is a business run from a private home.
  • If you have bought a puppy in poor health, you need to see a vet immediately after purchase to prove the puppy came like that.  Any later and you give the breeder time to claim you did it, and they will say that.  Take photos too.  Report all this to Trading Standards, breeders can be sued under the Sale of Goods Act under “not fit for purpose” if the dog is ill and especially if suffering from hereditary illness.  It may not be nice to describe your puppy like that , but it is effective.
  • Don’t feel sorry for the pet breeder.  No health tests is greed, some of these people are fronts for farmers, selling dogs they haven’t bred from their home.  How many times do you think they use the “it’s our first litter” and “she’s being spayed next week”?

You need as much info as possible.  Names, addresses, adverts, phone numbers, copies of receipts, pedigrees etc.  I read lots of complaints online, yet few follow through.  This is partly why this still goes on.  Too many moan to family, friends and post on forums and don’t act.  many post to say they told the RSPCA, even the council and nothing changed.  You have to report to all of the above, one of them is often the right one.  The RSPCA may agree with you, but can’t act on immorality.  Please follow through.

See our guide to safe buying on the SafePets website

If you would like to contact us for advice or for us to follow up a problem (in confidence) please email us HERE

About Safepets UK

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51 responses »

  1. […] who have discovered a puppy farm or back yard breeder and want to act. … Original post: Reporting puppy farmers and bad breeders, some advice « SafePets … Posted in Puppy Breeds Tags: back-yard, puppy best breeds « Puppy Training Tips | […]

  2. […] have discovered a puppy farm or back yard breeder and want to act. … Continue reading here: Reporting puppy farmers and bad breeders, some advice « SafePets … Posted in Puppy Breeds Tags: back-yard, puppy breeds « Puppy Training Tips | […]

  3. […] advice about complaining about puppy farmers and bad breeders here Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed What Impact Does Your […]

  4. Caroline says:

    This is a puppy farm advertising as “designer puppies’ what an outrage, something needs to be dive about Little Rascals in Lincoln.

    • safepets uk says:

      Little Rascals has featured in a couple of TV expose shows and there are stories all over the Internet about them. Sadly people are still buying, so all of these places continue 😦

      • Deb Willy says:

        I hope they shut them down! Hope all gets the word out.

      • safepets uk says:

        Unfortunately whilst the reselling of puppy farmed pups is immoral, it isn’t illegal. They are one of several outlets in Lincolnshire alone, every county in the UK has many places selling on these pups, it’s big business.
        Encourage buyers not to go, tell anyone you find that has bought one to speak to the council and trading standards.
        A depressing and growing trade. Wherever you live, try and get people to understand and recognise the sellers.

  5. SHMM says:

    I just bought a forest cat from a woman from Bristol her number is 07450276007 and her adress is Bs5 7uw, the cat was sold with 6 weeks and his brothers even earlier, she claimed he was 8 weeks, it was a lie, the cat now suffers from loads of health problems. Please do not buy ftom this seller!

  6. karen says:

    I wish to report a puppy farm at Jinny Moor Lane Swillington. She placed an advert on the free ad”s advertising “cockaliers” for sale when we got there she offered us anything but the dog we went to see she had Westiepoo’s, Cavapoo’s Labropoo’s labraliers, and bossipoo you name it she had it. She took us the conservatory and she had large dog crates 2 high and about 7 long and they were just full of bitches with pups. She took us to the conservatory and just to the side of the conservatory the was a pen with some cockerpoo’s in they had no water and were covered in there own poo. Also she in her ads say she give puppy packs and a brand of food and all you get is a print out from the net.

    Me and my husband walked away and both said that’s a puppy farm. And that we would not give her our hard earned money. So if you care about animals please don’t used her..

    • Jenni Moore says:

      OMG! This is disgusting! Where is this place? This needs to be stopped now!

    • Kira says:

      We bought a mini labradoodle from this lady (Sharon keighley) which looked perfectly healthy when we visited, the only thing was she tried to give us the pup at 4 weeks old but we were going away so collected her at 6 weeks and thats when we noticed that we weren’t able to see any other puppies or dogs or our pups mum and dad, we thought nothing of it as she said they were at the groomers or something else. When we got her home we took her to the vets for her Jabs where we discovered she was a runt, she had eat infections, stomach problems and skin problems ! Please be careful when buying a puppy it cost us a lot of money, these people don’t care about the dogs only the money.

      • maria says:

        we also bought a puppy (cockerpoo) from there, he was in a cage in the conservatory . each pup was covered in each others faeces !! my childred were desperate for a pup so we bought one of them. a few days later he started to become unwell, we took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with kennel cough. the breeder said he hadn’t caught it from there !!! he then was treated for ear mites. we did ask to see his parents but were told that they were in a top pen !! wouldn’t recommend the place to anyone. it is definitely a puppy farm and they are just money grabbers !!!!

  7. andy says:

    I bought a puppy from a breeder in Enfield health checked 1 he before we picked it up.all good we get it home after 3 days we suspect puppy is deaf . We take it to vets. Vet confirms our suspicions. And checks for infections . Next day I return the pup . Refunded all money apart from 250 deposit which I was told she would refund me after pup had been vet checked again. While I was there someone else came and picked the pup up from her. Then 2 days later she said “been to vet,bad ear infection if u want ya deposit take me to court.” I spoke to my vet who assured me there was no way on this earth that there was any infection in the pups ears. And this person is still selling pups on Pets4homes

    • safepets uk says:

      Report this first to pets4homes,they may want to see a vet letter. Did you see the parents? Did you sign a sales contract? If this was a breed with potential hereditary deafness, like Dalmatians, then the puppy should have had a BAER hearing test certificate. Some breeders of English Bull Terriers test as well. A vet health check is not the same, even if true it had one.
      You could ask the breeder for a copy of the vet check that allegedly showed the infection, but I’d guess they will ignore you as most people don’t bother to go to court.
      The judge rinder TV show is looking for dog cases, they pay all the costs so you could apply to them for help. We have the researcher details.

  8. Katie says:

    We bought a Chihuahua puppy from an old couple in Benfleet. When ringing them they said they had 3 left… we travelled 1.5 hours and when we arrived they said they only had the one left. We took him home and he died the next day. We tried to contact the breeders but no luck so feeling suspicious we got a friend to ring them up and enquire about puppies to which they said they had left. we drove back up their unannounced and we turned up to barking puppies in there outhouses white kittens in a small garden shed. We asked her why she had sold us a sick puppy she ignored our questions, we also asked her why she told us he was the last one… she ignored that too. She gave us our money back but lets face it she knew what she was doing… she made out that our pup was the last one so we’d take him…. she knew he was sick and knew he wasn’t going to last long and she (like all the other disgusting dirty dog farmers) didn’t want to lose out on the money. Again this was in Benfleet Essex on Crossfell road. SS73JQ. A couple called Pam and Jeff avoid at all costs!!!!!

    • safepets uk says:

      If you get a written report from your vet about the poor puppy’s death, then contact Trading Standards. Contact the council responsible for her address and tell them what happened.

  9. Victoria says:

    We bought our puppy from K9 Companions in Swillington from Sharon Keighley too. I felt uneasy about the place but, like another person leaving a review on here, we had our children with us and we ended up buying a puppy from her the same day. On returning home it was clear that the puppy was unwell and when I contacted Sharon asking for advice she said his upset tummy and insistent ear scratching would have been caused by the stress of the move. The illness progressed however and soon turned to bloody diahorrea so I immediately took him to the vet. The vet took samples and found a serious parasite infection. I forget the name now but can check on the vet records. The puppy also had really bad eat mites. The vet told me the problems the puppy had will have been from unsanitary conditions at the breeders. I contacted Sharon again and told her this. In response I received a slightly aggressive and very defensive message. After an exchange of messages she agreed to pay towards the puppies treatment. Thankfully the puppy got through the illness and is now a wonderful healthy young dog. I am annoyed with myself that I bought from this place however despite my instinct that she wasn’t a sound breeder. I am also ashamed that I didn’t report them after this incident. Reading the other posts on here makes me feel that I still should. Has anyone else reported them? Is it worth doing now do you think?

    • Caroline Rockley says:

      I was really shocked to read such an awful review of K9 Companions! Myself, All of my family and friends who have dogs use this highly professional breeder who has a genuine passion for the welfare of her pups in my opinion.

      The downside to this type of forum is that it’s easy to leave a negative comment – but people don’t tend to come forward with positive feedback because they’re happy.

      I cannot recommend this breeder enough folks, a lovely knowledgeable and friendly family business with brilliant advice and help whenever needed.

      Ignore the comments this buyer has put – they’re clearly not telling the truth!!

      • Charlotte says:

        The reason I am replying to this post is that I have searched this forum to see if there is anything I can do in response to the issues I have experienced from purchasing my puppy from K9 Companions a month ago. I have experienced the exact same problem with my puppy that Victoria has therefore I can say with certainty she IS telling the truth. When I took my puppy home I found she had lice and after a few days of owning her she developed a nasty, hacking cough. In addition to this for the past two weeks has suffered diarrhea with blood and mucus. After visiting the vets three times over the past three weeks they have prescribed antibiotics to treat a serious bacterial, respiratory infection as a result of a parasite which was contracted prior to purchasing and most likely as a result of being bred in unsanitary conditions. She has started her course of antibiotics today and I am praying that they help this poor little girl get better as she has suffered for three weeks unable to play and run around without bursting into a horrible coughing fit. I have sat up night after night looking after her and was terrified I was going to wake up and she had passed away. There is no reason for me to lie. I have another puppy who could also contract this parasite and I am praying I that she does not have to suffer in the same way. Instead of this whole experience being happy this has been horrendous and memorable for all the wrong reasons.
        I’m glad you have escaped with positive experiences Caroline and that your puppy and families puppies haven’t had to endure such a negative start to life.

    • Gary says:

      I just spoke with Sharon enquiring about planning a Cavapoo purchase around May for £950. She said she keeps the mother and father outside and brings the mum into give birth. She sounded quite genuine.

      • safepets uk says:

        Poodles can have hereditary eye problems and Cavaliers can have heart and syringomyelia problems ( horrible disease where the brain is to big for the skull). When buying any puppy, whether a cross of 2 pedigrees or a pedigree dog, ALWAYS ask what health tests have been done on the parents and ask to see the certificates to prove this has been done. There is no excuse for any breeder not to test their dog.
        Personally I would not buy from someone keeping dogs outside and only having them indoors to whelp.

    • Elise says:

      Can you contact me on I am looking in to doing something about this for my dog

  10. Caroline says:

    Our puppy was so ill we had to take it back and get a refund. Heartbreaking

  11. Donna says:

    I recently went to view some puppies. The breeder brought their mother in and the five pups ( seven weeks old) showed no interest in her. However a ten week old pup ( from another litter ) immediately latched on to her. The breeder said that the little ones were fully weaned from her and that all pups will latch on to any female if it is thirsty.
    Does this sound right?

    • safepets uk says:

      No it doesn’t sound right. Try googling the breeders name and address, see if anyone else has had a problem.
      If you are buying a pedigree puppy, look at the Kennel Club assured breeder list. These breeders have agreed to better standards, like health testing the parents, lifelong help etc.

  12. Tara says:

    I am really sad to read this my mum has bought a cavapoo from Sharon and he is a beautiful dog, I know what people mean about having lots of pups about and I am so against puppy farms but if you don’t want to buy a pedigree dog then it’s very difficult to get a cross dog from someone reputable. Where do you go unless you want to go through the kennel club ??

    • safepets uk says:

      Firstly educate yourself by finding out what hereditary problems the pedigree parents could have. Then only use a breeder who has tested the parents for these and do not fall for any lies about “crossing them is healthier”. Then look up breeder/sellers names and phone numbers, see how many adverts they have and whether any posts anywhere about them. Ask about both parents, ask to see and handle them, ask for the proof they have been health tested. Back yard breeders and puppy farm sellers will lie about all of these or try to persuade you the information isn’t necessary.

  13. SUE Li says:

    How do I report a person who sold an ill puppy, he died the first night, all I have is his mobile number, he gave me the incorrect post code, I’m devastated I fell into his trap, I just wanted that puppy, cost me a lot of money, just don’t want anyone else to buy from him

    • safepets uk says:

      Without the seller’s name and address, nobody can trace them. You could try googling the mobile number and see if anything else shows up. If it was an advert, report it to the advert site. Didn’t you see the pup in the seller’s home?

  14. sue firth says:

    Having read these comments i have to give good news about Sharon keighley.
    I bought a dog from Sharon 8 years ago she has never had any health issues or any issues at all. i have used Sharon for her stud dogs too and my pups are always fit and healthy.
    since i bought my first dog from Sharon she has ALWAYS been on the end of the telephone for me and never hesitates to help me with any queries i have even though she doesn’t have to!
    when my dog i bought from Sharon had her first litter i was never off the telephone and she even drove to my home to help me while the dog delivered, so i am sorry people have had bad experiences but i have never known Sharon as anything but loving helpful and goes above and beyond, she does care for her dogs and is regulated by the local council who make regular checks on the dogs and puppies and there environment.
    As for this banned breeders list, rubbish! Some people just like to bad mouth and does anyone ever check these stories are true? but in the meantime you could be ruining a persons reputation?
    Sharon is a good honest breeder who is regulated, they would close her down if she was such a bad person who didn’t care about her dogs and personally im disgusted at the way she has been slated.

    • Carol says:

      Rubbish, this woman is only interested in making money she constantly has puppies advertised and can’t even be bothered changing the pictures or the write up. We made a very big mistake buying a puppy from her, we were also fobbed off when we asked to see the parents and maybe if this hadn’t been our first puppy we wouldn’t have rushed in and we would have done our homework. Our puppy came with numerous health problems ear mites, stomach problems that needed antibiotics and to top it all off cataracts in both eyes that could lead to complete blindness/ operations in the future, basically this puppy should never have been sold to us, although I dread to think what may have happened to her had she been left there. Let’s face it Sharon won’t be footing the bill for our dogs treatment she will be too busy rubbing her hands together and counting her cash!.. puppy farmer indeed!!..

  15. Karen says:

    I would like to add myself and 3 friends have all had positive experiences from this breeder. My friend purchased her boy puppy from them in April of last year, on another two colleagues recommendations. I then purchased a puppy in August, and I also know two other friends of friends who have since purchased puppies. All were and still are in great health and lovely little dogs.

    Sharon is very experienced with dogs and pups, although I will admit she can be a little scatty, her love of dogs is clear. She has a lot of dogs herself, over 10 pets and more working dogs in outside kennels. The puppies we saw were all very clean and looked healthy and energetic. She was very helpful when we choose our puppy, we were able to visit 3 times before picking him up and she was there was support after when we needed some advice as first time puppy owners.

  16. Hi can you give me some advice I bought a shihtzu puppy of a lady last year which I took to vets as things did not seem good with her I was told that it was brain damaged and partially blind which as you can imagine I was heart broken I tried many times to get intouch with lady who I purchased shihtzu of and she was very addement it’s not her problem iand that the person who she bought the shihtzu of her selfe it’s her problem I said look I did not buy it of that lady I bought it of you and gave you £420 am not letting this go I am going to seek whatever help I need and hopefully this will be dealt with she said to do as I wish she gave me registration number for the shihtzu but I just think it’s wrong how she has got away with my poor shihtzu being put to sleep what can you advise me to do as not only have I lost my dog I payed £420 for her to thank you

    • safepets uk says:

      I assume you bought this pup without seeing the parents and got no paperwork? If you buy like that it’s easy for back yard breeders and puppy farmers to do this. You can start by getting all of your correspondence, including the sale advert you first saw and go speak to Trading Standards. You may have to take out a civil claim against the seller. Poor puppy.

  17. Lee says:

    Do not buy from Sonia Lunn. Springfield farm.

  18. Louise says:

    Last year we bought a puppy a,cockerpoo for £550 we thought was one. She was growing far too big for one so we paid £50 for a dna test. She wasn’t what we thought but a springerpoo.I immediately contact the breeder who eventually told me a pack of lied then admitted she wasn’t a cockerpoo. No offer of refund for dna test or something towards our dog for her lies. My mum now cannot help us with her when away a far too big. Luckily we adore her and wouldn’t swop her for the world.

    This woman should be fined x given us our money back for lying. £550 is alot of money .

    I have her address and phone number as I’m sure she will do this again. She bought 9 puppies to sell make a profit not caring what breeds they were all squashed in two very small metal cages.

    I look forward in hearing from you as she she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this.

    Louise Maskall

    • safepets uk says:

      Unfortunately I see this a lot in these crossbreeds. If you can prove, via advert, correspondence etc that this was a mis sold puppy, you should speak to trading standards and the place you saw the advert good luck

  19. Anon says:

    Dog breeders on saturday left 5 puppies in their car in a basement car park with no water or ventilation. Its on derbyshire constabulary fb page. The puppies were rescued after 53 minutes by police and were taken to a cets to be checked over. The breeders still didnt return until after another 2 hours had passed.
    They run a puppy farm with 20 bordercollies. Theyre also bullies towards others and are incredibly racist too. Carole especially.

    Im not someone who owns dogs and my cats are only ever rescue so i dont know who or where to report this to. These are the breeders though.

    Mr and Mrs Bowler Four Lane Ends Farm, Gibfield Lane, Hulland Ward, Derbyshire, DE6 3EJ. Border Collie 20 breeding bitches

    • safepets uk says:

      I saw this story on facebook and the owner identified herself and gave her version. The puppies were apparently returned to her. As long as they are licenced to have the number of dogs they have, there is nothing illegal in it. People still buy puppy farmed and back yard bred dogs despite endless education about seeing parents and not handing over at service stations. It is a frustrating thing to fight.

      • Anon says:

        Yes unfortunately the woman the breeders claim to have caused unnecessary damage is actually a highly qualified health and safety welfare for animals. She knew what she was doing. The car was left for 3 hours.
        Theyre currently selling the dogs on pets4homes at £850 a pup. I reported it to pets4homes.

  20. carol says:

    hello, I don’t know if you have read my previous post but I have also had a bad experience with Sharon Keighley at Canine Companions. My dog has been diagnosed with cataracts among other issues but please feel free to get in touch.

    • Caroline says:


      I get notifications of this threat after leaving positive feedback for K9 companions and we are thoroughly delighted as are my friends who have, over the years, had health and beautiful dogs from this licensed breeder.

      I feel personally that this is getting like a witch hunt for K9 and these online forums are a purely cowards way of dealing with any queries by becoming keyboard warriors! So if you’re going to make comments on online forums to avoid doing things the adult way and trying to ruin someone’s reputation, perhaps you should do things the adult way by speaking directly with the breeder instead of clutching at straws on these forums to build up what seems to be a posse of owners trying to pin their dogs health on one person. Perhaps you women on here should discuss this directly with the breeder and stop your pathetic attempts to spoil the amazing reputation of an experienced breeder. Read up about licenced breeders, the checks they have and how closely monitored their dogs health had to be. No dog comes with a guarantee as most educated adults will understand and sadly, they do develop at times issues which are out of any breeders control. You as the owners need to grow up and liaise with this breeder instead of making rumors and suggesting indirectly that you have issues which are clearly unfounded as to why they are directed at one person. It’s simple, get your dog insured, speak to your vet and the breeders vet and resolve – not too complicated is it. I’m honestly disgusted with how some people on here behave in such a childish manner. Sharon has an amazing reputation over many many years so to those of you who are put off by these ‘keyboard warriors’ hiding behind their computer screens, don’t be put off because everyone is quick to criticise but not so quick to post the positive. Grow up ladies and address properly!

      • Sue firth says:

        Well said!!
        I too know Sharon on a personal level and have bought a dog from her and used her stud dogs.
        Quite simply this is a witch hunt and the forum guide should be stopping this immediately
        If I was Sharon I would be looking to prosecute the forum holder for allowing a discrimination being built against her without any proof just as you said keyboard warriors
        If you contact Sharon she will fall over herself to help you this is all uncalled for if your still not happy then contact the council

  21. safepets uk says:

    I have left this thread to run as both sides have their stories. Being a licensed breeder does not cover health as there are no stipulations on the licence or by the Kennel Club that breeding parents MUST be health tested. Hereditary disease is generally preventable by testing adults to see if they have any of them.
    So, a breeder that can show copies of all heath testing done on the adults they breed from, with satisfactory results, is likely a good breeder. Anyone breeding without first testing is not a good breeder. People buying without doing their research line the pockets of bad breeders.
    Bad breeders are bringing pups into the world at risk of serious and often life limiting disease.
    Any breeder mentioned here is welcome to post their comments, copies of heath testing any anything else relevant if they feel any comment is untrue.
    Yes, occasionally a pup will inherit something despite testing on parents. However this is extremely rare and there is no excuse for breeding without first testing.

    • Sue firth says:

      I used Sharon because her dogs ARE health tested and even though we are friends I asked to see them
      Sharon will not comment on here as it should be done face to face or via telephone it’s between herself and the purchaser no one else
      I am experienced with cavaliers but recently bought a shitz zhu I didn’t know about the breed I bought books did my research found a reputable breeder went and visited on numerous occasions and then bought my puppy once I had seen mum and dad and also siblings and checked all health check documents
      A lot of onus is on the buyers as you said.

      • Caroline says:

        I don’t actually understand why the moderator of this forum seems to be taking such a defensive pose and seemingly tarnishing Sharon’s reputation. I would personally be taking this as a potentially libelous statement to make. Perhaps some consideration should be made for this, and the afore mentioned ‘witch hunt’ which appears to be directed at one individual. Man up people and get liaising with the breeder. Sharon is a wonderful caring dog breeder and does her utmost to ensure the welfare of each and every one of her pups. Please be mindful that a few derogatory comments have the potential to drive ignorant purchasers to private sellers who have no experience and no monitoring conducted by the local authority so if anything, this is simply encouraging people to go to these so called back yard breeders as they see the happy home, kids etc and this could be the pups have been imported etc. think long and hard all of you including whoever is moderating this site. I’m really disappointed that everyone is aiming these comments and narrowing the blame to pin it on one single person

  22. carol says:

    Caroline, how do you know that I haven’t been in touch with the breeder? You are entitled to your opinion, as am I. Believe me, I am not hiding behind my keyboard and I feel this is no witch hunt. Having already spoken to a vet and been referred to a specialist, I can assure you my comments are justified. I am definitely dealing with things in “the adult way” and feel I don’t need to say anymore .

    • Caroline says:

      You won’t feel like you need to say anything else Carol because clearly with no back up of your vets findings (you’ve stated nothing on here) again your comments are unfounded – and yes it does continue to be a witch hunt!

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