The Kennel Club has produced a film to show puppy buyers what to expect from a responsible breeder and the perils of buying a puppy from a disreputable source.
The material, said The Kennel Club, can be used during Puppy Awareness Week, which is taking place September 1-7. The annual week, said the club, aims to help people find a healthy, happy puppy, while raising awareness about the plight of overbred bitches and puppies born into puppy farms.
It is a growing problem, says the club, as up to one in four people are buying pups directly online, through social media, from pet shops or free newspaper ads, and these are outlets often used by puppy farmers. This means the majority fail to see the puppy with its mum or in its breeding environment, it said, while very few receive a puppy contract or relevant health certificates for the puppy’s parents, which indicate the likely health of the pup.
The film shows the consequences of buying a puppy farmed pup, which can include costly treatment for parvovirus, worms, gastroenteritis, kennel cough and pneumonia, and what a puppy buyer should expect to see when buying from a responsible breeder. The Kennel Club has also provided an animated film, with graphics, about the dos and don’ts of buying a puppy, which can be played in vets’ waiting rooms and is available through the Vets Channel.
The Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “We need to raise awareness among puppy buyers about the importance of not buying from rogue dealers, who are making money at the expense of their dogs’ welfare.
“The veterinary profession has a captive audience of animal lovers, who can then go on to be great champions of the cause, spreading the message about buying a puppy responsibly further afield.
“If we could spread one simple message people can easily remember, it would be ‘ABS is best’, as The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is the only scheme in the country that sets standards for and inspects dog breeders before they join the scheme and every three years, giving puppy buyers confidence in their credentials.”
Mr Abraham said: “People need to understand it is not acceptable to buy a puppy without seeing it interacting with its mum, without seeing the breeding environment, without a contract of sale or without health test certificates, and need to know how to spot the signs of a puppy farmer early on, as once people get to a pet shop, garden centre or an irresponsible breeder’s house, it’s often too late because they want to rescue the pup.”
Mr Abraham’s campaign Pup Aid has secured a parliamentary debate about banning the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops – which are often from puppy farms – after an e-petition received more than 100,000 signatures. It is to take place on September 4.
To find out more, and to order a PAW veterinary pack, visit the Kennel Club’s website.