Concern over farmed puppies trade
A "shocking" number of people are buying puppies that have been separated from their mothers, raising concerns about an increasing trade in puppy farming, a survey suggests.
The study for the Kennel Club found 20% of puppy owners bought their pet on the internet, a pet shop or a newspaper ad, all outlets used to sell farmed puppies, instead of direct from the breeder or a rescue home.
It revealed 30% had not seen their puppy with its mother, rising to 37% of those who bought their puppy from a newspaper ad, online or a pet shop, while 31% did not see their puppy in its breeding environment, rising to 40% of those buying from newspaper ads, pet shops and online.
The survey, to mark The Kennel Club's Puppy Awareness Week, found puppies were delivered to 35% of those who bought their pet by mail order, either online or through a pet shop.
The Kennel Club warned that home delivery is often used to mask the breeding conditions of pups and their mother. Nearly a third (31%) of buyers said they picked their pup up from a neutral location such as a motorway service station.
The organisation warned that the fashion for designer cross breeds such as the labradoodle had fuelled a rogue puppy trade, with owners of cross breeds the most likely to have bought online, from pet shops or newspaper ads (25%), and the least likely to have seen their puppy in its home environment. The poll found that 22% of puppy owners had bought designer cross breeds and 49% had bought these dogs in the last three years.
The organisation said puppy farming remains a poorly regulated and often cruel industry which breeds animals in dirty, cramped conditions from overused breeding bitches with little or no regard for their health or wellbeing.
It said responsible breeders would always show a pup with its mother in its breeding environment to give potential owners the chance to see how their pet could turn out and the conditions in which it was raised.
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: "Buying a puppy online means that buyers have no idea of the often appalling conditions the puppies were born into. Sadly, these puppies often grow up with health and behavioural problems which can cost thousands of pounds to treat or which lead to heartbreak if the problems cannot be overcome."
Atomik polled 1,134 dog owners online on September 2.
- Jewish businesswoman Sam Caldicott slams anti-HS2 group for 'disgusting' video
- UKIP leader Nigel Farage at Staffordshire HS2 protest meeting
- Shoppers mourn loss of town centre "flagship" store
- Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy calls for an end to 'hospital bitterness' after incidents mar peaceful protest
- VIDEO: Save Stafford Hospital - Rowan Draper
- Stafford man hospitalised after three car smash in Beaconside