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 http://www.safepets.co.uk/advice/safe-dog-buying/
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