Puppy mills-close all of them please


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Horrific £100million puppy farm trade as 100 smuggling gangs sell sick pets to unsuspecting fam

21:33, 14 Oct 2015
Updated 14:09, 15 Oct 2015
By Russell Myers

Cruel gangs are raking in up to £35,000 a week smuggling puppies into Britain and selling them to unsuspecting families.

The RSPCA said up to 100 *criminal groups are importing diseased dogs bred in “horrendous” farms, raising fears of a rabies outbreak.

The sick gangs are earning an estimated £100million a year - and experts warn the appalling problem is becoming much worse.
Pups born in disgusting farms across Ireland and Eastern Europe are transported into Britain with fake documents.
The dogs, often riddled with disease, are also kept in horrific conditions here before being sold to animal lovers who believe they are buying a healthy and happy pet.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit , said: “The gangs pretend to be legitimate breeders but they are hiding the fact they are turning over hundreds of dogs as quickly as possible with no regard for the animals’ welfare.
“The new owners are saddled with huge vet bills or the dog dies within a few weeks.”
He added: “Dogs can be reared in truly horrendous conditions and bred for a fraction of the cost.
“A designer cockapoo or French bulldog bred in a puppy farm in Ireland or Poland might cost 100 euros but could be sold for £1,500 over here.
“Every day hundreds of dogs are being brought into the country in this way. With the lead up to Christmas, it’s reaching epidemic levels.

“We are dealing with a massively worsening problem across the country.

“There could be up to 100 of these criminal gangs . They are operating like drug cartels.”

In less than three years animal welfare agencies have rescued thousands of dogs from the traffickers and puppy farms.
The gang put behind bars last week sold more than 800 sick and dying puppies.
Peter Jones, Julian King and his sister Grace Banks, all from Greater Manchester, were caught after a five-year investigation by the RSPCA – thought to be the biggest ever probe of its type.

When RSPCA officers raided a property in Stockport, Greater Manchester , connected to the gang they found four Yorkshire terrier pups that had died from starvation.
An officer said they suffered “the most horrific death”.
There were 87 live puppies at the house in various states of health.

Video footage shows tiny puppies in crowded buckets.
The recording also shows a dead puppy in a pen with a live dog.
Stockport magistrates jailed King for six months, and Jones and Banks for five months each.

The gang used numerous fake names and addresses and even set up a “pedigree registration” firm to con people into thinking they were buying pups that had been well cared for.
The vile gang sold puppies at an average price of £600 each.
The breeds included huskies, West Highland terriers, Labradors, beagles, shih tzus, and French bulldogs.
The RSPCA has rehomed the puppies seized during the investigation.
Jones and King breached their 10-year bans on keeping dogs after previously being successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA for animal cruelty offences.
All three have now been banned from keeping any animals for the rest of their lives. King must pay £2,500 costs, Jones £2,100 and Banks £4,500.

In another case, the RSPCA found dogs in stables with urine-soaked sawdust and surrounded by faeces.

The dogs were rescued in Hull in 2013 after being trafficked from abroad.

Mr Briggs said: “These gangs are highly sophisticated and they have huge earning potential. The level of fraud is staggering.

"The gangs are faking dog passports, forging documents and doctoring their routes across Europe to make them seem like they are legitimate businesses.

“We estimate the illegal industry is worth in excess of £100million.”

He said nothing is known about the health of many of the dogs being imported, adding: “Many are ill before they arrive and others could be carrying diseases such as rabies which could have a huge public heath risk.

"This is all extremely concerning.”
Welfare groups are lobbying the government to bring in stronger regulations to combat the problems.

The RSPCA is calling for laws that would mean anyone selling a puppy would need to have a licence.

trong penalties and fines would be dealt out to anyone caught selling a puppy without a licence.

And a national database of puppy sellers funded by licence fees would also be created to aid enforcement.

Mr Briggs warned: “The increase in dogs coming here from Eastern European, on top of the dogs being trafficked from Ireland and the rest of Europe, has heightened the need for immediate legislation on the illegal imports of puppies.

“Buyers must remember their responsibilities when researching and purchasing a dog because it can lead to high bills and in the worst cases disease and death.”

If you would like to support the work of the RSPCA in calling for better regulation in the puppy trade and sign their petition at www.rspca.org.uk/scrapthepuppytrade #ScrapthePuppyTrade

Tips to make sure breeder is legitimate

How to avoid puppy traffickers:

* Never buy a pup under eight weeks old. Insist on seeing it at least once with the mother in the place where it was born.

* Never buy from someone who offers to deliver or meet up.

* Check vaccination certificates and other paperwork is genuine.

When you meet the puppies:

* Traders may try passing off another dog as mum, so check for signs of recent birth, such as enlarged mammary glands.

* Ask to see certificates of disease screening, vaccination and microchipping records.

* Check for signs of illness such as dull scruffy coat, runny eyes or nose, becoming tired quickly, hunching or crouching.

* Look for a pup happy to interact with you and littermates. Spend plenty of time with the dog.

* Visit more than once. If breeder refuses, he or she may be bogus.

* Use the RSPCA/Animal Welfare Puppy Contract.

* Report concerns to the RSPCA on: 0300 1234 999.

* For more info and questions for breeder, see: www.getpuppysmart.com


Adopt don´t shop


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Move to ban sale of puppies in UK pet shops derailed following opposition from leading dog charities
Dogs Trust and Blue Cross maintain position despite animal welfare inquiry warning of 'unavoidable negative impact' of third-party sellers

A proposal to ban the “inhumane” sale of puppies in UK pet shops was derailed after two leading dog charities opposed it, it has been revealed.

Dogs Trust and Blue Cross warned against implementing a ban on third party dog sellers, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) sub-committee that conducted an inquiry into animal welfare in the UK.

The Government disregarded Efra’s findings that third party sales had an “unavoidable negative impact” on the welfare of puppies, citing resistance from a “number of established welfare charities”.

It also pointed to evidence specifically presented to Defra by Dogs Trust and Blue Cross on the risks presented by banning third party puppy sales as part of the decision not to implement the ban.

“Banning third party sales so that the public bought directly from breeders would bring public scrutiny to bear on breeders, thereby improving the welfare conditions of puppies,” the Efra sub-committee of 12 cross-party politicians wrote.

However a Government response disregarded the advice, claiming a ban “has the potential to increase unlicensed breeding in addition to a rise in the sale and irresponsible distribution of puppies, and may be detrimental to our welfare objectives.”

Dogs Trust and Blue Cross were previously vocal in their support of campaigns to ban puppy sales in pet shops.

Both supported a 2014 Pup Aid campaign to ban the sale of puppies and kittens without their mothers being present.

“We believe pet shops are unsuitable places to sell puppies and kittens, not only because they can compromise a pet's welfare, but also because they can lead to people buying them on impulse,” Blue Cross said at the time.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home also no longer supports a third party ban as it currently stands, and instead is calling for the creation of a working group to work out the specifics of outlawing third party sales.

A spokesperson told The Independent the charity does support a ban, "however what isn't yet clear is how to overcome the multiple obstacles which could prevent such a ban from achieving its objectives, not least of which the question of where the resources would come from for competent and consistent enforcement."

The Government claimed a ban could increase the risk of driving sales underground, a position echoed by Dogs Trust on its website in its reasoning for not backing the initiative.
“A better route is a robust regime of licensing and inspection for breeders backed with increased enforcement of the law. If puppy breeding and selling are driven underground, enforcement will only become harder,” the charity said in a statement.

However many animal welfare organisations have refuted the warnings as “illogical.”

Cariad, a campaign dedicated to ending puppy farming, said: “They’re basically saying that people would actively look for puppies from criminals – the way drug addicts look for a hit. Wrong again."

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced tougher licensing regulations for breeders and third party sellers in response to the committee's findings.

However, licensing barrister and Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare member Sarah Clover said the Government’s proposal to license third party sellers instead of banning them was an “epic failure of logic” and would be impossible to enforce.

“Looking at Defra's recommendation and the subsequent Government response, it makes no sense, it's an epic failure of logic,” she told The Independent.

“The burden placed on local authorities to try and get those third parties licensed and, importantly, to try and enforce it, it’s just not going to happen.”
She also said the argument that a third party seller ban would drive the puppy trade underground "doesn't make sense."

The opposition to the committee's findings came despite charities including RSPCA and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) consistently citing a ban on third party sales as the only way to end the inhumane puppy farming trade.

The UK director of IFAW, Philip Mansbridge, told The Independent: “Whilst IFAW was delighted to see that the Defra Select Committee supports a ban on the third party sales of puppies, we were naturally disappointed that the Government has ignored this recommendation.

“The puppy trade is booming, fuelled by low welfare puppy farms from within the UK and within Europe, and the public are often unwittingly feeding into this cruelty. A third party sales ban would be easy to enforce, clearer to the public and would dramatically improve dog welfare.”

Up to 200 cities in the US already ban puppy sales in pet shops. San Francisco recently enacted a ban on the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats by third party sellers as part of a concerted effort to eradicate “inhumane” puppy breeding operations in the city, something animal welfare advocates had hoped to replicate in the UK.

Neil Parish, MP and chair of the committee that published the report called the Government's decision to ignore the recommendations a “lost opportunity.”

“Not only am I disappointed in the fact the Government hasn’t gone the whole hog to ban third party puppy sales but also they haven't really shown us how they are going to make sure that local authorities monitor these establishments to show us what’s happening,” he told The Independent.

When questioned about the charities’ opposition to the ban, he said: “It’s entirely up to them to have their opinion, in the end I came down the side that it was best to make sure you can go see where the puppies are being bred.

“Their view is we need to tighten up on the regulation but I think we need to go further. I’m not at war with these organisations but I feel that in the end the solution I'm putting forward would be the best one.”

The negative impact of puppy farming has grown in the public consciousness in recent years. Many welfare organisations oppose puppies being sold away from their mothers, whether in licensed pet shops, garden centres or private premises of third party dealers, due to evidence the trade supports irresponsible breeding practices and serious animal welfare violations.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson told The Independent: "Although Dogs Trust would want to see a world where third party sales do not happen, the charity does not believe that it is in the best interests of animal welfare to rush into a ban that would have unintended consequences for dog welfare at the current time.

"The simple fact is that there are too few puppies to meet demand in the UK and as long as the supply of puppies from responsible breeders falls woefully short of meeting the demand, unscrupulous breeders will breed dogs for profit even if they have to circumvent or flout the law, as puppies are an increasingly profitable commodity to criminals."

Blue Cross's head of public affairs, Becky Thwaites, denied the charity had lobbied the government against the ban but confirmed it had presented its policy position to Defra.

“A ban on the third party sales of puppies, as recommended by the Defra committee, will not solve the issue of poor welfare standards in puppy breeding and would be impossible to enforce with local authority resources already stretched to their limits,” she told The Independent.

“We agreed with the principles behind the 2014 petition, which only addressed the sale of puppies and kittens without their mother, but we have always had concerns on how this would be enforced.”

A petition calling on Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea to change their stance had reached more than 7,100 signatures at the time of writing.
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Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Victory! Another Major City Bans Pet Store Sales of Puppy Mill Dogs

Animal advocates are celebrating another big win for companion animals: Sacramento, Calif., has officially banned pet store sales of dogs and cats being sourced from commercial breeders.

The City Council voted this week to pass an ordinance that will now require pet stores to work with shelters and rescues if they want to offer dogs, cats and rabbits to customers.

The ordinance points out that most dogs and cats being sold in pet stores are coming from commercial breeders that have otherwise become known as puppy and kitten mills, where animals are often left without proper shelter, access to food and water, veterinary care and socialization. Not only are these conditions inherently cruel, but they’re causing even more problems down the line for both animals, and for customers who are buying sick pets, many of whom are winding up in the shelter system.

It’s hoped that this ordinance will help address the problem by encouraging adoptions, reducing the number of animals in need of homes, and reducing the number of animals who are turned in to pet stores by cutting off an outlet for commercial and backyard breeders offering animals to pet stores.

While many continue to defend pet store sales of dogs and cats, claiming that they only come from breeders who are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the standards that have to be met for licensing are the bare minimum and are definitely not in line with the level of humane care that breeders should be providing.

Dogs can be kept in cages only a few inches longer than their bodies for their entire lives, cages can be stacked with wire floors and dogs can be bred as often as they can produce to maximize profits. Sadly, numerous investigations, inspections and busts have continued to expose the problems inherent in these types of operations. The recent release of The Humane Society of the United States’ Horrible Hundred list of some of the worst puppy mills in the U.S. has again highlighted how big the problem is across the nation.

Thankfully growing awareness about the issue is bringing positive changes. Sacramento now joins more than 30 cities in the state, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, that have adopted measures like this, and there’s even more hope that a ban on retail sales of cats and dogs coming from commercial breeders could be made statewide.

In April, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell introduced The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act (AB 485), which will ban pet stores throughout the state from selling dogs, cats or rabbits, unless they were obtained from a shelter or rescue group.

Supporters hope that closing such a huge market for animals coming from mills will help save lives, reduce the demand for more breeders, protect consumers, and relieve taxpayers who are spending a quarter of a billion dollars annually to house and kill animals in shelters in the state.


You can help by signing and sharing the petition asking lawmakers in California to take a stand for companion animals by passing the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act.



Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Woohoo! California Becomes the First State to Ban the Sale of Animals From Puppy Mills

Animal lovers across the nation, particularly in California, are rejoicing with the news that California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation that would ban pet stores from selling animals from “puppy mills” and other irresponsible breeders. Instead, pet shops will be required to partner with animal shelters, rescues, or adoption centers.

This new law, which will take effect January 1, 2019, will not only protect dogs from deplorable conditions at breeding facilities but cats and rabbits as well. Those in violation of the law will face a fine of $500.

Supported by animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the new law is hoped to not only stop animal neglect and cruelty at puppy mills but also help stop the epidemic of euthanasia in animal shelters, where HSUS estimates 1.5 million animals are killed annually across the nation. Puppy mills provide pet shops with 99 percent of dogs sold, so this groundbreaking law will certainly save countless lives and cut back significantly on animal cruelty. From a financial standpoint, California taxpayers provide $250 million to animal shelters a year, and this new law should help curb this amount.

There are already 36 cities in California, including San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, and several cities in other states, like Phoenix and Chicago, that have already banned the sale of animals from puppy mills, but this is the first statewide legislation approved. The law will not affect the sale of animals from private breeders who do not participate in the mass commercial sale of animals.

According to Matt Bershadker, the president of ASPCA, animals from puppy mills “generally live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions” and “without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization…While awareness of the puppy mill problem is growing, humane regulation at the state and federal level has been slower to evolve.” We hope the rest of the nation follows California’s lead and takes a stance against animal cruelty and irresponsible breeding.

There are still some people who are unaware of the problems with puppy mills, so please share this with your network!


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Oscar's Law
29 juni kl. 09:08
By now you have probably heard the news, new laws start taking effect in Victoria from Sunday which ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. It's phase one of legislation to smash the puppy farm business model.

We're receiving a lot of questions on this, so we've put together this FAQ!



Puppy farm legislation is a state issue, and each state government is responsible for amending and introducing their own laws.

Unfortunately it is’t possible to introduce a federal law to ban puppy factories and the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops.


We want it to! It is purely coincidental that these laws are being introduced in the state where Oscar’s Law is mostly physically based.

We have been campaigning across the country heavily for years now, and the Victorian Labor Government is the first state government to come to the table and support our campaign.

Rest assured we’re not finished yet, right now we are in the consultation process with the Labor Government in Western Australia, who are looking into implementing the same laws.

We have also received a commitment from Labor in New South Wales, however sadly they are in opposition at the moment and the Liberal Government aren’t interested.

Sadly the Queensland Labor Government are not interested in this legislation, but we continue to lobby them.

If you are interested to know the puppy farm laws in your state, you can check out this quick guide here: https://www.oscarslaw.org/legislation-in-each-state.htm


No! We have been working with the Victorian Labor Government since 2014 to get this implemented. The laws passed last year, and the only reason they took this long is because the Liberals and Nationals did all they could to block them.

They want to overturn these laws too. So don’t forget that at the polling booth this year.


We’re getting a lot of enquiries from people concerned that their local pet shop still has puppies and kittens. Sadly, this is still legal until Sunday and there is nothing we can do to stop them until then.


Then they are breaking the law. We’ve made this handy guide on what to do if you catch them: https://www.oscarslaw.org/report-law-breaking-pet-stores.htm


Understandably people are concerned about puppies + kittens currently in pet stores. The stores selling these animals have had plenty of notice for the laws to take effect, and have been written to by the government numerous times to remind them.

Some of them have already started phasing out animals or stopped altogether. Of course, there are still stores waiting until the 11th hour to act.

Unfortunately, we can't do anything about that. But puppies and kittens sold in pet stores have always been surrendered to rescue groups and shelters if they do not sell. This way they can be appropriately and suitable rehomed (after vet work and desexing!).

We expect usual process to be followed, so please don't go rushing out to buy any puppies or kittens still in store on Saturday.


It is! And it's one of our favourite parts of this legislation.

Pet stores will be able to work with approved shelters and rescue groups to hold adoption days in store.

The pet store should be promoting the group/s they are working with in store, and you can always check in with the group to confirm it is legit.


It’s important to remember that the pet store ban is only phase one of this legislation. This time next year the Pet Exchange Register will be being implemented, and it will make it impossible for puppy farmers to hide behind flashy websites and deceive consumers through sites like Gumtree, Trading Post and Facebook.


As mentioned above, the Pet Exchange Register and cap on breeding dogs that are also part of this legislation will help to combat backyard breeding, while also smashing the puppy farming business model.


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011

adopt don´t shop


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Nathan Winograd
16 april kl. 18:56 ·
On July 1, the last remaining puppy mill-fueled pet store will close in Sarasota, FL. The store owners sued the City after it passed a law banning the retail sale of commercially-bred animals in pet stores. Of the three pet stores in the City, one closed, one began offering rescued animals for adoption, and the third sued. The City announced the case has been settled because the owners are giving up their fight and will not renew their lease when it expires at the end of June: http://bit.ly/2VMmarn.

Lawsuits like this are not uncommon following pet store ban ordinances, but they invariably lose. Courts uphold the right of municipalities to increase the number of rescued animals in need of homes who find them and to strike to the heart of so much animal suffering. Commercial breeding mills fuel inbreeding, provide minimal to no veterinary care, lack of adequate food and shelter, lack of human socialization, overcrowded cages, and cause neglect, abuse, and the killing of animals when they are no longer profitable: http://bit.ly/2UDUybq.

In a bid to overcome these arguments, pet store associations have tried a new tactic: hiring the former CEO of the ASPCA. In a lawsuit against another municipality that also passed a ban at roughly the same time, Ed Sayres argued that pet stores protect public safety by offering “safe” dogs for purchase. Shelter dogs, he claimed, are particularly and peculiarly dangerous, calling them a bigger threat to the lives of Americans than “jihadi terrorists” and “far-right terrorists”: http://bit.ly/2GfUQeu. Studies prove otherwise (and to the contrary): http://bit.ly/2UDUybq and http://bit.ly/2UDT2WB, as do the experiences of successful shelter directors who note that, “the percentage of truly aggressive dogs... in small to very large shelters is well under one quarter of 1%”: nokilladvocacycenter.org/behavior-dogs.html.

Sayres also testified that “there is no connection between [puppy mills…] and retail pet stores,” despite copious evidence to the contrary: http://bit.ly/2UDUybq.

Thankfully, courts are not listening, upholding bans in various cities.

Legislators are not listening. Since then, California and Maryland both banned the retail sale of milled dogs and cats (and rabbits). Other states, including New York, are trying to do the same.

People are listening less and less, too. A new pet industry report finds that the amount spent to purchase animals declined by 4.3% and is “the smallest area of total pet industry spend”: https://goo.gl/Y7wNB9. (Not surprisingly, as fewer people are buying animals, overall adoption rates have increased with shelter deaths falling to below two million across the U.S. for the first time and as low as 1.5 million by some estimates).

And even some pet store owners have stopped listening. "I think you do have some social responsibility as a pet store," said a Tampa, FL, pet store owner. "I think adoption is the best route. Obviously there's a lot of dogs out there that need homes”: https://goo.gl/Z1xs5t.


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
The biggest single improvement to animal welfare in 20 years’: Puppy farms to be outlawed in WA
February 10, 2020 4:25AM
Puppy farms will be outlawed and the purchase of puppies from pet shops banned under new laws to be introduced to the Western Australian Parliament.

Premier Mark McGowan has committed to ending over-breeding and the operations of illegal breeders.

The legislation will also track dogs throughout their lives using a central registration system and will give authorities power to shut down dodgy or illegal breeders.

“Dogs are an important part of many families in Western Australia. We want to make sure they are looked after and treated well throughout their lives,” Mr McGowan said in a statement.

“The new laws will mean dogs can be traced throughout their lives through a central registration system, allowing authorities to identify dodgy or illegal breeders and shut down their operations.

“We will also be providing assistance to pet shops to help them transition to dog and puppy adoption centres meaning they can re-home displaced and abandoned dogs.”
Maylands MLA and Puppy Farming Working Group chair Lisa Baker said the legislation will make the state’s dogs and puppies safer, reduce the opportunity for illegal puppy farming and encourage better welfare for all dogs.

“It supports good breeding practices and responsible pet ownership,” she said.

Western Australians will be able to trust that the dogs and puppies they are bringing into their homes have not come from illegal puppy farms, and, if necessary, can be traced back to the person who bred them.”

The RSPCA said the new laws were the biggest single improvement to animal welfare in WA for 20 years.

“It is now up to every dog lover in WA to let their local member of parliament know that these reforms are important to ensure the legislation is passed quickly,” the organisation said.

“The sooner the legislation comes into law, the sooner it will help prevent some of the suffering and cruelty to dogs.”


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Lucy’s Law: Vets reveal the true cost of puppy and kitten farms
‘Petfished’ campaign urges people to spot ‘red flags’ when buying a puppy or kitten ahead of ban on third party sales - ‘Lucy’s Law’ coming into force on 6 April

Stark new findings reveal that buying a pet from a low-welfare breeder could cost pet owners an extra £5,000 in vet bills over just 12 months, as a new government campaign is launched urging people to take simple steps to research the seller before buying a puppy or kitten.

More than half of vets surveyed (54%) said that the poor conditions of puppy or kitten farms can lead to illnesses and complications which would incur treatment costs of over £1,500 in the first year of the animal’s life.
In some severe cases, the costs could rise to £5,000 or even result in the pet being euthanised.

These new figures demonstrate the extent of suffering for both owner and pet caused by puppy farms and third party puppy and kitten sales as the trade relies on a high-volume, low-welfare model.

The government has already changed the law to ban commercial third party puppy and kitten sales, known as Lucy’s Law, and is going further to improve the lives of animals including supporting a Private Member’s Bill to raise the maximum penalty for animal cruelty from six months to five years, and consulting on tackling excessively long journeys for live animals.

Today’s launch of a government campaign will call on the public to also play their part to tackle the cruel trade of puppies and kittens by encouraging prospective owners to be aware of illegal, low-welfare breeders and look for ‘red flags’ when buying a new pet.
This will help to disrupt the demand for these animals and further suffocate the trade alongside the introduction of Lucy’s Law. The campaign, called ‘Petfished’, outlines the deceitful tactics pet sellers use to trick buyers and sell their animals to line their pockets.

Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, said:

Vets see the tragic effects of ‘Petfishing’ first-hand but so too do the public who may be put through the pain and cost of looking after, and even losing, a sick puppy or kitten due to the conditions it was bred in.

It’s vital that prospective pet owners take responsibility for where they get their pets from and avoid puppy-farms and unscrupulous dealers.
The campaign launched today sets out the simple steps that can be taken by the public to spot the warning signs and ensure their puppy or kitten is given the best start in life.

Animal Welfare Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said:

I am delighted that a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens is coming into force – it is a crucial piece of legislation that will help us tackle the abhorrent and heart-breaking trade of pets.

Our campaign will help raise awareness of the dangers associated with buying pets online and deceitful sellers. The animals reared on puppy farms are often in awful conditions which can lead to chronic health problems, behavioural issues, and, in the most tragic cases, death. This simply has to stop and the public can do its bit to help.

We urge anyone thinking about getting a pet to do the right thing.
Do thorough research and ensure you go to a reputable breeder in the UK – don’t get ‘Petfished’.

The poor conditions suffered by puppies and kittens include early separation from their mothers, huge numbers of animals cramped in unhygienic spaces, and the likelihood of long journeys from the place they were bred to their new home. All of these can contribute to an increased risk of disease and behavioural issues.

Our survey of vets showed the need to inform prospective pet owners of the issues attached with buying from disreputable breeders, with all questioned saying the public need clear advice on how to buy pets responsibly.

The campaign launched today urges people to ask themselves ‘Who’s the person behind the pet?’.
It introduces a new phrase ‘Petfished’ - much like ‘Catfished’, when someone is lured into a relationship by a fictional online persona, it refers to deceitful pet sellers who use a similar tactic to trick buyers, mistreating animals and selling them at high-volume to line their pockets.

On 6 April 2020, the ban on commercial third party puppy and kitten sales – known as Lucy’s Law – will come into force in England. The ban will help to crack down on puppy farms by disrupting the supply-chain of low-welfare breeders which relies on third party sales. This new legislation, married with the ‘Petfished’ campaign which seeks crack-down on the public’s demand for this trade, is further evidence of the government’s commitment to improving the welfare of the nation’s much-loved pets.

Anyone looking to buy a pet can get tips and advice on the new website: getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk

Claire Horton CBE, Battersea Chief Executive said:

Battersea strongly condemns the practice of puppy farming that puts profit ahead of basic animal welfare. Separated from their mother too early, sold for a vast profit and too easily bought on impulse, these pets can suffer lifelong health problems as a result of such early mistreatment.

No pet owner wants to find themselves taken in by ‘petfishers’ and end up having to make potentially heart-breaking choices, so we welcome Defra’s new campaign which will provide much-needed advice on how to buy a pet responsibly. We also encourage anyone thinking about getting a new dog or cat to visit their local rescue centre where they can also gain helpful advice about whether a puppy or kitten is the right choice for them.

RSPCA Inspector Callum Issit, who appears in the Petfished short film, said:

There’s always been a high consumer demand for puppies and kittens and sadly there are people out there who try and meet this demand by prioritising quick cash profits at the expense of animal welfare.

Puppy farming in particular is a disturbing industrial-scale attempt to meet this demand and the low-welfare conditions and animal illnesses this leads to are distressing.

Some of the worse cases I’ve seen have resulted from so-called ‘back-yard’ kitten breeders removing a kitten from its mother too early with little chance of survival or hundreds of puppies kept together in their own faeces with matted fur.

It’s important the public remain vigilant. If you suspect foul play at any stage when researching and buying your pet, report the seller immediately to the RSPCA or your local authority to help us stop this.
If you’re looking for a new pet to join your family please consider giving a rescue animal a new home.

People should follow these tips to help spot warning signs that a puppy or kitten has been raised in low welfare conditions:

Research. Have a look at the seller’s profile and search their name online.
If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.
Check contact details.
Copy and paste the phone number into a search engine.
If the number is being used on lots of different adverts, sites and dates then this is likely a deceitful seller.
Check the animal’s age.
Puppies and kittens should never be sold under 8 weeks old – do not buy from anyone advertising a puppy or kitten younger than 8 weeks.
Check the animal’s health records. Make sure the seller shares all records of vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and microchipping with you before sale.


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Officials probe arrival of 500 puppies, 38 of them dead, aboard flight from Ukraine
Canadians’ taste for exotic breeds fuelling global black market, say animal welfare advocates
Dave Seglins, Carly Thomas · CBC News · Posted: Jun 20, 2020 7:18 AM ET | Last Updated: June 20

Flight from Ukraine containing hundreds of dogs; dozens of them dead

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating after the gruesome discovery of dozens of dead and dying dogs aboard a recent flight from Ukraine.

The CFIA confirms that a Ukranian International Airlines flight arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport from Kyiv last Saturday with approximately 500 French bulldog puppies on board, dozens of them dead and dozens more dehydrated and seriously ill.

"Upon inspection, it was found that 38 were dead on arrival," a spokesperson wrote in a statement.

"CFIA officials are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident and will determine next steps once the investigation is complete."

Abby Lorenzen, a professional show dog handler, who happened to be at the cargo area of the Toronto airport to pick up a different animal, described the scene as a "horror show."

"It was just a nightmare," Lorenzen told CBC News.

"Canada and the federal government need to change the laws on the importation of these puppies," she said.

At the airport in Kyiv, witnesses at the loading area became suspicious last Saturday and recorded video of what appears to be men loading stacks of animal crates filled with puppies bound for Toronto.

That video is now circulating on social media, but the airline won't discuss why it allowed more than 500 animals on one flight

Ukrainian International Airlines declined to answer questions from CBC News but released a short statement Friday.

"Everyone at UIA offers its condolences for the tragic loss of animal life on our flight," the company said via social media. "UIA is working with local authorities to determine what happened and to make any changes necessary to prevent such a situation from occurring again."

UIA is a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association), which has voluntary codes that are supposed to restrict and ensure the safe transport of live animals. For instance, most Canadian carriers only allow two animal crates per flight and refuse to fly with caged animals if temperatures exceed 29.5 C.

Smuggling, fake documents
Animal welfare advocates say the Toronto incident is just the latest in a series where flights from Ukraine and Eastern Europe are crammed with very young puppies destined for resale to unwitting owners.

"These commercial operations are run by large puppy mills that house and breed hundreds and thousands of dogs every year in typically unsterile conditions where the dogs are crammed together," said Lucas Hixson of SPCA International in an interview from Slavutych, Ukraine, where he works with a rescue group Dogs of Chernobyl.

Mass puppy mills in Eastern Europe are thriving due to poor international regulations, says Lucas Hixson of SPCA International. (Submitted by Lucas Hixson)
"Traditionally for international animal transport you will not have space in the cargo hold for hundreds of animals," said Hixson, who believes the flight was organized puppy smuggling.

"This commercial operation specifically chartered this plane to increase their bottom line, thereby putting those animals at risk."

Officials in the U.S. have turned away flights and have documented numerous cases of mass imports by covert groups using faked papers and forged vaccination records to circumvent import restrictions.

News of puppy deaths on a crammed Ukrainian flight went viral after witness Abby Lorenzen posted images on social media. (Submitted by Abby Lorenzen)
CFIA insists "Canada has rigorous standards for animal imports in order to protect Canadian animals from the introduction of serious animal diseases. All import requirements must be met before an animal is imported."

However, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is studying the current federal regulations out of concern for diseases spread by exotic pet imports, says Prof. Scott Weese of the University of Guelph.

"We really have no idea [what] the scope of the issue is. We have no idea how many dogs come in, where they go, where they come from," said Weese, who is working with PHAC on the study.

Weese says based on online ads on Kijiji or Craigslist, there is a lucrative market for the sale of puppies that most buyers likely believe are bred here in Canada.

"It is a big industry. There's no doubt about it. And it's been looked at more in the U.S. and there's potentially some organized crime component of it, too, in some areas," he said.

"There are lucrative situations where you can buy large numbers of dogs fairly cheaply. You mentioned 500 French bull dogs. If those are going for sale at $3,000 to $4,000 a dog, that's a massive amount of money."


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
7 reasons to adopt your next best friend

The best thing you can do to combat cruel puppy factories just happens to also be the most rewarding.
Adopting is the most effective way to break the cruel puppy factory supply chain — and by offering your heart and home to a rescued animal, you'll not only be enriching your life — but saving theirs!

If you’re thinking about extending your family with a four-legged friend, here are seven great reasons to adopt from a rescue group or shelter:

1 They’ll help you find your soul mate.

All good rescue groups have an application process to ensure that you’ll be perfectly matched with your new friend — think of them as matchmakers! By finding out more about you, your living arrangements and lifestyle, they can match you up with the paw-fect candidate. The ultimate aim for pet rescue and adoption organisations is to find loving – and permanent – homes for the animals in their care. This means that both the animal and their new human companion need to be suited to each other. So the more information you can provide, the better you can assist in helping them help you find your four-legged soul mate!

2 You’re helping to break the cruel puppy factory cycle.

As long as animals are purchased from pet shops and online, cruel puppy factories will continue to exist. Don't let them take advantage of unwitting people — or subject dogs to lives of misery — in order to make a quick buck! Adopting from a rescue group or shelter is the simplest way to take a stand against puppy factory cruelty!

3 You’re saving someone who really needs it.

Rescue groups, foster networks and animal shelters help animals who have been forgotten, abandoned or given up on through no fault of their own. These animals ask for little more than the chance to share their lives with someone who loves them — especially those who have never been given the chance before. By adopting from a rescue group, you’ll not only be making a friend for life — you’ll be saving one.

4 They help every breed in need.

From border collies to bull dogs, burmese to british shorthair – not to mention rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and just about every companion animal you can think of ... you can expect to see more than just mix-breed dogs and cats behind the wire of your local pound or shelter. Tragically, all types of companion animals are victims of cruelty and abandonment. All dog and cat breeds (indeed, all companion animals!) desire – and deserve – a loving home. So make adoption your first option whenever you're in search of a new four-legged or feathered friend for life.

Due to the sheer volume of purebred and ‘designer’ dogs in need – many of whom would likely have come from puppy factories – volunteers have established groups with the aim of assisting these dogs with finding their forever homes. For a list of rescue groups facilitating rescue and adoption in Australia, check out Savour Life's 'Adopt a Dog' responsible adoption site, PetRescue’s rehoming directory, or head over to The Rescue Network to view listings of dogs (and cats!) across Australia.

5 Your adoption fee goes back into helping more animals.

Good rescue groups will ensure that any dogs, puppies, cats and kittens adopted out will come vaccinated, desexed, wormed and microchipped — all of which is included in the adoption fee. Often, animals are cared for by dedicated, volunteer foster carers until their forever home can be found. This allows for them to be properly assessed in a home environment — which can be really helpful if you already live with animals or children, as foster carers can provide helpful insight on the behaviour of animals in their care. So your money is not only going towards making sure your new friend is happy and healthy, but you'll be giving it back to an organisation so that they can save more lives. You can't get a better deal than that!

6 They give oldies another chance.

Older animals are tragically often the last to be chosen — and the first to be euthanised. Senior dogs and cats can find it particularly difficult to cope in strange environments like shelters and pounds, but thankfully there are rescue groups assisting in the transport and foster care of these special animals, with the aim of getting them into more suitable environments — and matching them with someone who can provide the love and friendship they are only too happy to return. We like to think of older dogs and cats as 'friendship experts' — after all, they've got years of experience behind them!

7 You’ll be saving more than one life.

Every time an animal is adopted to a forever home, a place is opened up in the rescue and foster care network for another animal in need. So when you take your bestie home from a rescue group, they’ll be able to start the rescue cycle over again with another lucky animal. One kind act = two saved lives!


Proud Member
Jul 25, 2011
Animals Australia
17 h ·
What happened to Strawberry should never have happened. But this callous treatment of mother dogs, seen as nothing more than breeding machines, will continue until the puppy farm industry is stamped out.
In a matter of weeks, a bill will go before WA Parliament to make the sale of puppies in pet shops illegal. Pet shops and online trading sites are two of the major income streams for cruel puppy farmers — so in addition to making sure you NEVER buy animals from pet shops or online, please join our friends from Oscar's Law in calling on politicians to support the bill �� https://bit.ly/302y7x0


Strawberry's story
She wasn't even a year old yet but to this puppy farm, she was just another production unit and she was impregnated anyway. Still a puppy herself, she gave birth to three pups who were sent across the country to a pet shop in a fancy WA suburb.
Strawberry was then left to languish with dead puppies inside of her. "She was basically rotting from the inside out".
If you know anyone thinking of buying a puppy online or from a pet shop— tell them Strawberry's story.