21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 19-12-2014 04:00

      Thursday 18, December 2014

      RSPCA launches festive campaign to warn against rogue puppy traders

      The RSPCA have warned against the dangers of buying from puppy traders as part of their #notapresent campaign.



      THE campaign has been launched this festive period to raise awareness about puppy trafficking and to encourage people to think twice before buying puppies as presents.


      RSPCA spokesperson Calie Rydings explained:


      “The last thing anybody wants on Christmas Day is to be sat with a vet, anxiously waiting to hear whether the puppy they’ve given their children is dead or alive.


      “This might sound shocking, but it could be the reality for someone who buys a puppy as a present without doing their homework.”


      #notapresent was launched after new figures revealed nearly a third of parents of children aged four to 15 have been pestered for a puppy by them.



      The RSPCA fear that many potential buyers will fall foul of traders selling sick, unsocialised or illegally imported puppies.


      They also want to warn against ‘buying blind’, which means purchasing a puppy without checking the background of the parents, gathering knowledge on how they were bred or viewing the puppies with the mother.


      'Leaving families heartbroken'


      Calie explained why ‘buying blind’ can cause issues:


      “Some puppies are far too young to be removed from their mothers and others will be too weak to survive.


      “The RSPCA has received reports of puppies falling ill or dying just a few days after purchase, leaving families heartbroken and lumbered with huge vet’s bills.” 


      Statistics show that 41% of people who bought a puppy last year did not see the young animal with its mother and more than half did not see the breeding environment.



      Mave Rostron has been breeding bullmastiffs in Manchester with her husband Alan since 1958. They are members of The Kennel Club and the Bullmastiff Society.


      She explained the difference between honest breeders and traders:


      “You can’t say every breeder is bad, because they are not. Some bigger establishments can’t answer questions because they don’t know anything about the breeds they’re selling.


      “Whereas a genuine breeder who has been around a long while, you can ask them anything and get their honest opinion.


      “Many of these bigger establishments are not proper breeders, everything is money orientated. A proper breeder just about breaks even, if they are lucky."


      'Puppies falling ill'


      With Christmas approaching, many traders and irresponsible breeders could set out to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers and will exploit the high demand for puppies.


      The RSPCA encourage people to buy from rescue centres rather than breeders. But Mrs Rostron believes there is a risk involved here too.


      “There’s a danger when you get a dog from a rescue centre, you’ve got to know why they are there because people aren’t honest enough.”


      Greater Manchester was last year revealed as the illegal puppy farms capital of the UK – with 217 reports of illegal farms in the region in 2013.



      Puppy Love Campaigns was launched in 2007 to expose some of the worst breeders and traders in the UK. They investigate dog breeders who sell through pet shops, small ads and kennels.


      Organisation founder, Veronica, explained:


      “Most people in Manchester are buying off dealers; there aren’t many puppy farms in Manchester.


      “The dealer’s conditions may be pristine but it is where the puppies have come from that can lead to problems. They could have come from unhygienic places or locked in pens or covered in their own faeces.”


      Puppy Love Campaigns lists the stories of owners who have bought unhealthy dogs from certain establishments so that other people will refrain from making the same mistake.


      Quays News contacted several large breeding establishments including one major Manchester outlet and they refused to comment.



      Veronica added: “A lot of people buy puppies for Christmas and then they realise they’ve got to let a puppy out every twenty minutes, they don’t realise this and they usually don’t last until New Year before they are dumped on rescue. It’s just all wrong.”


      An estimated 110,000 dogs a year are abandoned in the UK, and one healthy dog is put down every hour due to not being able to find a home.


      For more tips on how to guarantee you are buying a puppy from the right place head here.


      Images included in the article by RSPCA.

      By Rebecca Frankland