cage_lgpupsToday the Dogs Trust released the results of an undercover investigation into the illegal smuggling of puppies into the UK.  Film of the puppies is similar to that seen in other investigations yet the trade is increasing. A ban on 3rd party puppy sales is being pushed for by TV vet Marc Abraham and his #wheresmum campaign.  Yet Dogs Trust opposed calls for a ban on 3rd party sales. 

I am frustrated by two main things; Dogs Trust I assume is opposed to the illegal importing of puppies yet opposes a ban, as did Blue Cross, AND frustrated by the behaviour of buyers who still buy illegal unchipped puppies, no mums, sold at service stations.

I have endless emails from upset buyers going back years.  Ironically two today, a sick pup sold to new owner at an agreed meet at a petrol station and a prolific back yard breeder whose neighbour wanted something done.

For years there have been campaigns to educate the public.  But who needs to be educated and pleads ignorance of advice and thinks it is ok to meet a seller to buy a puppy at anywhere other than the breeder’s home?

Who watches a friend, family member or neighbour breeding or buying pups to sell with no health testing, not microchipping or keeping their breeding dogs and pups in poor conditions and does nothing?

The law is poor on this. Proof is hard to come by and the principle of selling pups you didn’t breed is not in itself illegal.  Proof of multiple sales, vet reports for an ill or sick puppy should be discussed with councils and Trading Standards.

Dog ownership is in crisis in the UK.  Selfish buyers who don’t care about conditions or the law until their pup is ill or worse often know it isn’t right to buy, but do so anyway.  I have said before that in bite cases ( I am an expert witness and assessor of dogs for court cases) there should be consideration of charges on sellers, breeders and rescues who do not turn dogs out into homes properly assessed, healthy in body and mind.

You are taking a dog into your home to live an intimate and loved life or you should be. If you buy a pup or adopt a dog from a rescue who don’t neuter, temperament assess or act responsibly, or you buy from someone selling pups with no mum, not chipped, parents not health tested and not sold from breeders home, you should be ashamed.

If buyers bought responsibly, there would be no trade.  But the reality is that buyers have sometimes been turned away by responsible rescues or breeders who think they are not suitable to own a dog.  So they go and get one no questions asked. The majority of buyers who email me did know they weren’t buying sensibly, but did it anyway.  I know how hard it is to walk away from a puppy or dog you desperately want to help, but YOU fuel this trade, illegal imports, puppy farming and back yard breeding.  The misery behind the scenes and often for the puppy itself is something you are supporting.

PLEASE buy or adopt responsibly. See mum, research beforehand what health problems your breed or cross has, ask the questions, only see the dog in the breeders home, all pups sold must be microchipped and no younger than 8 weeks, check what paperwork will be available at sale, ask for advice before going.

The health of your puppy physically and its ability to function in a real life situation is based on breeding from dogs healthy in mind and body, properly health tested and good, positive learning experiences before you buy.  Yes you might be lucky, but even if you are, the parents of your pup are not lucky and you funded their misery.


Read this post about the standards rescues should be meeting

Rescue Standards, Good Practice




About Safepets UK

Expert Witness behaviourist assessing dogs for court, treating cats and dogs. Covering Midlands to London and other areas.

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