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

Pet training and behaviour company treating cats, dogs and livestock. Range of free advice on website. Covering Midlands to London. Training and behaviour advisers to Pet Education Trust.

22 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?

  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.

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