(By Rosa Silverman) Animal lovers are being duped into buying “farmed” dogs, a charity has warned. As many as 900,000 people may have bought a dog from a puppy farm without knowing it, Dogs Trust said.
In a recent survey of almost 900 dog owners carried out by the dog welfare charity, 95 per cent said they would not buy a dog from a puppy farm.
But when asked where they had got their dog from, 15.1 per cent said they had got it through a newspaper ad, the internet, a pet shop or a pet superstore – all of which are often supplied by puppy farms, the charity said.
It branded the trade “battery farming of dogs” and called for a review of dog breeding licensing legislation. The charity said breeding bitches at battery farms are kept in small pens without natural daylight or contact with other dogs, have little contact with people and no space to exercise or opportunity to play, and are bred from continuously in these conditions until they are too old, and then discarded.
An animal from a puppy farm could have genetic or other health problems and behavioural problems, the charity said. Those who buy them can end up with huge vet bills, it warned.
The RSPCA said it shared the trust’s concerns. A spokeswoman said: “Puppy farms don’t have the dogs’ health and welfare at heart. It’s all about making a profit.”