TV and fulltime vet, animal welfare campaigner and founder of Pup Aid, Marc Abraham spends much of his time fighting against puppy farming. The horrific practice of mass producing puppies to sell online happens day in day out, with puppies being sold through private dealers, free newspaper adverts, pet shops and garden centres. Here Marc explains what you can do to avoid being part of this increasing trend
Breeding bitches are imprisoned in disused derelict agricultural blocks and kept alive in squalid conditions purely just to breed more litters on every heat. These battery farmed dogs can produce on average 20 pups a year – all sold for as much profit as possible.
Pups are removed from their mum too early, transported across the UK, then bought by well-meaning unsuspecting members of the public who are then presented with a diseased unsocialised ‘time bomb’ of a tiny little fluffball that usually either dies (e.g. from killer parvovirus) or requires hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds worth of treatment to save.
Puppy farming is hard to police so the only way to curb this evil industry is to stop the demand by educating people to stop buying these poorly pups in the first place; and instead choose a rescue dog or responsibly bred pup instead.
If you are buying a puppy my expert advice is:
- Consider rescue shelters (e.g. Dogs Trust, Wood Green, Oldies Club) and reputable breed rescue societies instead where there are often homeless puppies as well as fully grown house trained, microchipped, neutered adult dogs.
- Contact the Kennel Club for their list of responsible Assured Breeders – the gold standard of dog breeders.
- Please always ask to see puppy interacting with mum – there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be present.
- Never buy a puppy from a pet shop, garden centre, website, free newspaper ad.
- Take a look at their surroundings and check paperwork carefully including any relevant health tests.
- Puppies should be at least 8 weeks old when sold.
- Never feel like you’re rescuing a sick pup as you’ll just be making room for another one.
- Beware of breeders selling more than 1 or 2 different breeds.
- Beware of anyone offering home delivery or meeting at neutral venue – you need to see where the pup was bred.
- Beware of fashionable crossbreeds (e.g. maltipoos, cockerpoos, labradoodles) as these are often born on puppy farms to supply growing demand of impulse buys and poorly researched breeds.
- Check location of landline of breeder and be wary of breeders listing only mobile phone numbers.
- If in any doubt walk away and contact RSPCA if you suspect anything dodgy/poor breeding conditions.
Puppy farming is an extremely serious animal welfare problem, and with local puppy farm dealers, pet shops, and websites advertising pets on the increase please help us to spread awareness to help stop the demand.
On behalf of Pup Aid 2013 I would like to thank PetsPyjamas for kindly helping to sponsor this year’s puppy farm awareness day with celebrity judged fun dog show taking place on Primrose Hill on Sat 7th Sept – hope to see you all there!