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RSPCA sees 122% increase in puppy farm complaints

by Shake Paws

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA has witnessed an astonishing rise in the number of calls it receives complaining about puppy farms

Oscar’s Law is calling for an outright ban on puppy farms Australia-based Oscar’s Law is campaigning to change the way companion animals are kept, bred and sold in that country. Photo: Flickr/Andy Wagstaffe, Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

The RSPCA says the number of calls it receives about puppy farms has more than doubled over the past five years, according to figures released this week.

So far this year the charity reports having received 3232 calls, a 122% increase on five years ago.

These shocking figures mean that on average we receive more than one call about puppy farms and dealers every three hours.

The RSPCA’s assistant director of public affairs David Bowles said as the problem grows the need to bring in regulations surrounding the sale of puppies is all the more urgent.

“For dealers, these puppies are easy money. We believe they buy them in from Ireland and the continent for around £100 then sell them on the internet for many hundreds, even thousands of pounds.

“Dealers buy puppies in bulk looking for the highest profit margin. Often the puppies are too young to be away from their mothers and are sick when they are loaded onto vans, before travelling hundreds of miles which is likely to be incredibly stressful and could exacerbate any disease they already have. A lack of socialisation also increases their chances of long-term behavioural problems.

“These people are gambling with the lives of not just these puppies, but the dogs they are bred from too and they are playing with the emotions of people and families who take them on as pets.

“It is clear the present legislation is not working and that this sickening trade needs to be stopped.”

In a bid to raise awareness about the puppy farming industry, we’ve released a run down of the country’s ‘hot spots’ when it comes to reports of puppy farming in 2014.

Greater London saw the highest number of calls (262), with Greater Manchester (209) following close behind.

“Puppy trafficking is big business and dealers are getting rich from duping members of the public and often leaving a trail of sick and dead puppies behind them, not to mention the heartache of families that have bought puppies,” added Bowles.

“If they are lucky enough to be rescued, it can be really difficult for the puppies to cope in a home environment and it takes a lot of time, patience and hard work from their new owners to help them settle in and become confident.

“We want to see tougher regulations in place around the sale of puppies. In 2013 the UK Government brought in new laws to tackle the criminal scrap metal trade in England. But now it’s puppies who are being traded like scrap with no regard for their welfare, or even if they live or die.

“It is far too easy to sell puppies and current laws are failing puppies and their parents. We want to see Westminster treat the issue of puppy dealing in England as seriously as they did scrap metal and licence anyone who sells a puppy to help ensure traceability and put barriers in the way of dealers.”

The RSPCA wants people to tell the UK Government that puppies are more precious than pieces of scrap metal by signing its Scrap the Puppy Trade Petition.