Puppy farms are like factory farms where dogs are bred purely
for profit. The dogs are normally bred too often, many are
unhealthy, and often live in unbearably poor conditions. The
puppies are generally removed from their mothers far too early and
sent by rail or van to 'dealers' or pet shops to satisfy the
Many are severely traumatised by the transition, and some do not
make it alive. Do not buy a puppy or a dog from these sources, as
they will have had the worst possible start in life, and are far
more likely to have health and temperament problems.
Many 'puppy farm' puppies come with complete pedigrees, however, a
pedigree in itself, is not necessarily an indication of quality.
Find out more about the Kennel
Club's Stop Puppy Farming campaign.
'Dealers' are agents for puppy farms. They buy puppies and sell
them on, advertising them in newspapers and magazines, often
masquerading as breeders. If an advert lists more than one breed of
puppy for sale, then the person placing it is probably a dealer
(but not always). Ask if you can see the mother with the puppies,
and if they make an excuse about why the mother cannot be seen, do
not buy a puppy from them. Never buy a dog from the back of a van
at a motorway service station or from an airport (such as Heathrow)
car park, as this is how many dealers operate.
Do not buy a puppy or a dog from a pet shop as it is likely to
have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell
their puppies via a pet shop, despite what you may be told.
Problems with the dog you have purchased?
The purchase of a puppy is one of the most important decisions
that a new owner may make. In the vast majority of cases both the
breeder and new owner will be happy. However, what happens when
things do not go as smoothly as they should and particularly where
there is some doubt over a puppy's pedigree?
The Kennel Club does not register breeders, and
therefore we are not able to become involved in disputes arising
from the purchase of a dog.
Your rights as a purchaser are going to be based upon the contract
with the breeder. The sale of a dog might be covered under the
general terms of the Sales of Goods Act 1979 and as such there will
be legal rights and remedies available.
However, it may be better first to approach the breeder and
attempt to openly discuss any issues and to try and reach an
amicable solution to any problems.
It may be that there are also statutory rights under the Trades Description Act to explore and therefore
your local Trading Standards Office or Citizens Advice Bureau
should be able to give you some guidance. This applies both for
breeder and owner. Alternatively, advice can be sought from a
solicitor, although undoubtedly it is best to resolve any problems
directly with the people concerned.
Pet Advertising Advisory Group
The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) was created in 2001 to
combat the growing concern amongst animal welfare organisations
regarding unethical classified advertising of pets. In certain
cases, such ads were illegally offering dogs banned under the
Dangerous Dog Act, endangered animals or advertising establishments
which were not fit for the breeding or boarding of animals.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 a pet owner has a legal
duty to ensure the welfare of their animal[s]. A pet's welfare
needs include a proper diet, somewhere suitable to live, any need
to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, allowing animals
to express normal behaviour, free from pain, suffering, injury and
PAAG is comprised of the following organisations: Dogs Trust,
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, The Blue Cross, Cats Protection,
The Kennel Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, Wood Green Animal
Shelters, DEFRA, Metropolitan Police, Rabbit Welfare Association
& Fund, and the RSPCA.
PAAG also works closely with: Loot, Auto Exchange & Mart and
the Pet Care Trust.
The PAAG website
offers downloadable advice booklets, practical tips and fillers for
consumers and publishers alike and aims to promote best practice,
provide uniformity, transparency and ultimately improve the welfare
of the animals being bred, bought and sold via newspapers and
online. It also offers a growing library of resources to help
answer questions, download fillers and links for publications and