Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

On 30th October, 2017 C.A.R.I.A.D. held a peaceful rally outside the Welsh Government Offices in Cardiff in support of Sue Rouhan’s Paws 4 Thought – 36 Hours of Action for Puppy Farmed Dogs.

Cardiff United Against Puppy Farming Rally

Sue Rouhan’s campaign began with a petition to Ceredigion County Council entitled ‘Help me free breeding dogs from convicted illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones‘.

We were thrilled and honoured to have been joined by such passionate supporters and voices for the dogs, and to have received so many statements to read out. Here are some photos, videos and statements from the day where we stood United Against Puppy Farming.


Cardiff United Against Puppy Farming Rally


Eileen Jones Speech

Neil McEvoy AM Speech

Dinah Mulholland Speech

Leigh-Catherine Salway Speech

Neil Pyatt Speech

Tribute to Violet

Phoebe Story

Eileen Jones

Personal Stories

Nicky - My Story

Lynda - My StoryLauren - My StoryStatements

Baroness Eluned Morgan AM Statement

Bethan Jenkins AM


Ben Lake MP Statement

Vicky Howells AM Statement

Ann Clwyd MP Statement


Here is a message from C.A.R.I.A.D. (pdf format) – C.A.R.I.A.D.

Here is a message from Canine Action UK (pdf format) – Canine Action UK

Here is a message from Boycott Dogs4Us (pdf format) – Boycott Dogs4Us

Here is a message from The Linton Pet Shop Protestors (pdf format) – Linton Pet Shop Protestors


This NOVEMBER we’re going to be saying NO to a number of activities surrounding the puppy trade, and we’re beginning by saying NO MORE PET SHOP PUPS AND NO MORE PUPPY DEALING. This simple change in the law will help put puppy farmers out of business and in doing so, help end the suffering of thousands upon thousands of breeding dogs and their puppies. It will also protect the public from the expense and heartbreak of buying a sick puppy.

Despite unanimous advice from the Government, leading animal welfare organisations, campaigners and others, people are still buying puppies from high street pet shops, garden centres, puppy superstores, residential pet shops and other types of third party puppy dealers … people are still buying puppies without seeing the puppy’s mum and littermates in the place they were born. Which means people are still buying puppies that have originated in puppy farms that, despite being legal and licensed, result in cruelty, neglect and abuse of breeding dogs.


DEFRA, leading animal welfare organisations and the Kennel Club are all saying the same thing …

DEFRA – “Some important tips to remember when buying a puppy:

•Always see the puppy with its mother
•Always, if possible, see the puppy in its natural environment
•Never buy a puppy younger than 8 weeks old”

RSPCA (Puppy Contract) – “RSPCA recommend that you do not buy a puppy from anyone other than the breeder so that you can see the puppy in the place where he was born.”

DOGS TRUST – “Newspapers/internet adverts, pet shops and pet superstores – just don’t go there!

•Never buy from a pet shop
•Do Not buy a puppy if you have any doubts about the breeder or situation – even if you want to rescue it.”

BATTERSEA DOGS AND CATS HOME – “Battersea is opposed to the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops, and has long campaigned against the practice.

We do understand however that some people may be determined to buy a puppy or kitten and raise it from a young age. For those that do so, they should make every effort to go to a reputable, licensed breeder, and should be sure they can see the puppy/kitten interacting with its mother.”

BLUECROSS – “If you do get a dog from a breeder, meeting the mother is vital, as the mother’s temperament contributes to that of the puppies. A fearful or aggressive mother may pass on these traits to a puppy.”

KENNEL CLUB – “The Kennel Club is against the sale of puppies in pet shops. A pet shop does not provide an appropriate environment for the homing, even on a temporary basis, of puppies. As such, good breeders should never sell their puppies via a pet shop. Pet shops are also commonly known to be outlets through which puppy farmers sell their puppies.”

(NOTE: Although the advice from Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea is clear, they do not support an immediate ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops and puppy dealers (third party puppy sales). Dogs Trust and Blue Cross  provided Government with a private joint briefing after the Government’s consultation on licensing had closed which helped persuade the Government to ignore the EFRA committee’s strong recommendation for a third party ban which they recommended based on putting dog welfare first.)


Reputable breeders never sell their puppies to pet shops or any other type of third party puppy dealer. This only leaves the disreputable breeders, those who put profit well and truly above welfare.


Approximately 80 individuals and businesses in the UK are actively selling puppies under a PET SHOP LICENCE. These LICENSED individuals and businesses have to get their endless supply of puppies from somewhere.

C.A.R.I.A.D. analysed the selling methods of LICENSED breeders in Carmarthenshire and found that 57 breeders sold their puppies to licensed pet shops and other types of puppy dealers. In many instances, these breeders never sell direct to the public, which means that these establishments are not open to public scrutiny. This enables puppy farming to continue behind closed doors.

Figs. Carmarthenshire licensed dog breeders selling through licensed pet shops 2014 – 2015: The columns show the number of breeding dogs e.g. BREEDER 10 is licensed for over 140 breeding dogs.




You can read more about Licensed Third Party Puppy Vending at the link below:


Breeding dogs are not only suffering in UK puppy farms they’re also suffering in Irish and Eastern European puppy farms. And what of the fate of their puppies? They are being imported and smuggled into the UK to be sold to pet shops and other types of puppy dealers. Significantly, it is being reported that the dogs being seized at ports destined for the UK are PUPPIES. This means in most cases people buying these imported puppies are not seeing the puppy with its mum.

Puppy importing/smuggling is enabled, even encouraged, by third party sellers such as pet shops and puppy dealers; vessels for irresponsible, low welfare commercial dog breeding whether it’s here in the UK or abroad, commonly described as puppy farming. Only an outright third party puppy sales ban will tackle the Irish and Eastern European puppy imports.

Puppy Smuggling

You can read more about third party puppy seller prosecutions at the link below:


There has been much talk lately of dealers using a ‘fake’ or ‘show’ mum when selling puppies they have not bred themselves. You can avoid falling into this trap …



The third party puppy trade can be both complex and misleading. It’s important to know that LICENSED pet shops come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re not all on the high street.


LICENSED PUPPY DEALER: Puppy dealers don’t sell puppies to the public, they buy cheap puppies in bulk from licensed puppy farms then distribute these puppies to other licensed pet shops and dealers.

LICENSED RESIDENTIAL PET SHOP: Residential pet shops operate from a house, which means on the surface these sellers can look like a breeder. They will often have a lot of excuses ready as to why mum isn’t present. Don’t fall for them.

HYBRID SELLER: Hybrid sellers breed their own puppies, but also buy in cheap puppies from elsewhere under their pet shop licence because it’s often cheaper to buy from others than to breed their own puppies.

HIGH STREET PET SHOP: Because reputable breeders won’t sell their puppies to pet shops, they rely on an endless supply of cheap puppies from puppy dealers or they themselves collect puppies from puppy farms.


One of the first questions you should ask any puppy seller is ‘Where’s Mum? If a puppy seller can’t or won’t show you the mummy, don’t show them your money. Don’t fall for their lies and excuses … walk away. show-me-the-mummy


Thousands of dogs and puppies are currently waiting in rescues right across the UK for a second chance at a first class life. Be a hero, open your heart and home to a rescue dog.



A Tribute To Violet

Violet – also affectionately known as Piggy – was one of those dogs that just took your breath away. The biggest, most gentle giant who made an enormous impression on people because of who she was and what she had endured as a breeding dog in her previous, sad life.

When people think about puppy farm breeding dogs they often think of small, vulnerable breeds but Violet was every bit as vulnerable at the hands of those who saw her as a cash cow and neglected her magnificent body, spirit and soul in the most heart-breaking ways.

Violet was found wandering near a suspected puppy farm in 2014. She bore all the hallmarks of such a deprived existence – teeth worn down from biting on a cage, muscle wastage on her legs from being kept in a cramped environment, patches of fur missing. And a deep sadness in her eyes as a result of having been recently parted from her puppies.

Wood Green animal shelter took her in and the rest, as they say, is history. Only days later Violet was being showered with love and attention at the Wood Green stall at Pup Aid. She took it all in her calm, slow, steady stride – being fussed over by dog loving MPs and the paparazzi. And that’s when an amazing lady called Donna Law came into Violet’s life and they were to become inseparable companions and best friends.

Everyone who met Violet fell in love with her. It was impossible not to. But Violet knew who she wanted to be with for the rest of her days and that was Donna and her family.

Suddenly all the love and affection this gentle giant had never known before was hers and she loved every minute of it

Violet Collage

Then, sometime later Violet needed serious surgery and it was touch and go if she would recover. But this brave girl did and in 2015 she was the poster girl for Wood Green highlighting the plight of thousands of unwanted and abandoned pets.

Last year Donna adopted a puppy from Cyprus as a companion for Violet and it was obvious that she loved having her around to mother and look after.

At the beginning of this year Violet again needed more surgery but came through it with her usual calm bravery and determination.

Violet came to Pup Aid every year with Donna from 2014-2017 and Donna told her story in the ex- breeding dogs parade so that the public could understand what these dogs are forced to endure at the hands of people who are only interested in them as breeding machines.

In our hearts we all feared that this Pup Aid would be her last and a few weeks ago, after falling ill and an emergency visit to the vet, Donna and her family knew that the time had come to make that one last heart-breaking decision; That final act of love and respect for their beautiful, brave girl. Violet was helped on her way by their vet to the rainbow bridge.

For those who had the honour of knowing and loving Piggy we will always be grateful that we had the chance to have her in our lives – even for a moment. We send all our love to our friend Donna and her family and thank them for everything they did for her.

Our time with our beloved dogs is never long enough, but for those who have endured what should have been the best years of their lives at the hands of those who have no compassion for them at all, our time with these survivors is always far too short.

Rest peacefully darling girl. You are so very missed and will never be forgotten.

Linda Piggy and Donna.jpg

As part of the ‘Paws 4 Thought – 36 Hours of Action For Puppy Farm Dogs’ event being held on 29th October – 30th October, puppy farm campaigner Sue Rouhan will be calling on dog lovers and campaigners everywhere to write to their Members of Parliament urging them to help write off puppy farming forever.

The Dogs Need You - Write To Your MP

Sue Rouhan’s campaign began with a petition to Ceredigion County Council entitled ‘Help me free breeding dogs from convicted illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones‘. This petition is now 33,976 strong and contains regular updates. We urge everyone to view and sign at the link below.

Here’s a message from Paws 4 Thought mascot herself, Blodwyn (click image).

Blodwyn Message

Let’s stand United Against Puppy Farming and with the help of our Members of Parliament, let’s write off puppy farming forever.

For details of your MP, please visit:

A sample email is provided below, but we do encourage everyone to add their own words and experiences where possible. We have also included links at the bottom of this post should you wish to include them in your email, or any images contained within them.

Dear (insert name)


As you’ll be aware, thousands of puppies and breeding dogs suffer and die needlessly as a result of low welfare, high volume breeding on establishments commonly known as puppy farms. Like me, you’ll be horrified this practice is still LEGAL in the UK as is the practice of third party puppy dealing – the selling of puppies through pet shops and puppy dealers – this activity was highlighted in the recent shocking Panorama documentary entitled ‘Britain’s Puppy Dealers Exposed.

As my serving Member of Parliament, I urge you to put pressure on Defra to include a ban on the third-party selling of puppies in the proposed new licensing regulations, and to push for stronger regulations than those currently being proposed. And further, to ensure Defra provides Local Authorities with the resources and expertise they need to enforce new regulations. Nobody wants to see the failings of the Welsh dog breeding regulations being repeated in England.

We all welcome changes to existing animal welfare legislation, and in fact the pending revisions to the Animal Establishment Licensing provides the ideal opportunity to introduce a third-party puppy sales ban, as recommended by the EFRA Committee at the end of 2016. As I’m sure you will agree, this will reduce the administrative burden for Local Authorities and meet its objective of high standards of animal welfare.

In terms of third-party puppy selling, the activity of carrying on a business of selling puppies a seller has not bred, it’s important to recognise that it is this puppy dealing activity which supports low welfare, high volume breeding (puppy farming) because reputable breeders will NEVER sell their puppies through a pet shop or puppy dealer.

Currently there are approximately 80 commercial third-party puppy sellers holding a pet shop licence permitting the sale of puppies. Only around a third are high street pet shops and the majority operate from a diverse range of premises including residential homes – meaning the type of operation may not be apparent to potential purchasers. There are no accurate figures for the scale of the trade, but an estimated 80,000 puppies may be sold annually by licensed pet shops and puppy dealers. Puppies are sourced cheaply from puppy farms (usually licensed) in the UK, Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe, which means it is impossible to ensure breeding dogs in these puppy farms are afforded even the minimum standards of welfare.

A third-party puppy sales ban is an essential first step to tackling the issue of puppy farming as well as imperative for the protection of puppies and consumers. It is the most cost-efficient solution to tackling issues of welfare and illegal trading – including the trafficking of puppies into the UK from Europe.

Enforcement is already demonstrably successful against illegal (unlicensed) traders and actioned by various agencies including local authorities, Trading Standards and the RSPCA. The trade is wholly dependent upon advertising to attract customers and therefore will remain visible to enforcement agencies. It cannot survive ‘underground’ and detached from its customers. I should highlight at this point that the RSPCA and the Kennel Club are fully supportive of this ban. And as previously mentioned, a ban was strongly recommended by the EFRA Committee citing numerous reasons for this recommendation.

There is much to add, but I respect your busy schedule, so I’ll end by saying … for too long dogs and puppies have been suffering unimaginable cruelty in licensed and unlicensed dog breeding establishments, enough is enough. If Defra and devolved Governments can’t or won’t protect the dogs sufficiently, then perhaps it’s time to create an independent Animal Welfare Task Force.

Thank you in advance of your support, and if you require further information please contact C.A.R.I.A.D. at

Yours sincerely,


We have also provided the sample email in Word document format below.

Sample Email Word Document: MP Sample Email


Below are a variety of links that you may wish to include in your email.



The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey Flyer

Stoptober Banner

Every year we run a STOPTOBER campaign to spread the message about not buying puppies in pet shops and via third party puppy dealers. This remains a most important message if we are to end the suffering of breeding dogs in the UK’s puppy farms because it is a mode of selling that enables the suffering of breeding dogs to remain behind closed doors.

However, there are of course a number of other things that need to STOP too and we thought you should know what this STOPTOBER is about from C.A.R.I.A.D.’s point of view. Here are some of the things we want to STOP now:

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want the pet and welfare industry and media to STOP making the public the scapegoats of a trade that has for decades been given a veneer of respectability through so called ‘licensing and regulation’. Public protection against the puppy trade is currently virtually non-existent.

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want Governments both national and devolved to STOP putting the onus on puppy buyers to educate themselves when there is no government funded education or awareness being offered – the only advice that is offered by governments is done so at no cost as it is online and extremely discreet.

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want Governments both national and devolved to STOP passing the buck when it comes to taking responsibility for enforcement of breeding and sales of dogs regulations to Councils and Local Authorities. STOP telling us that it’s not your responsibility. If you sign off these Regs then stand by them or stand aside.

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want Councils and Local Authorities to STOP pretending they have everything under control. You haven’t the expertise, manpower or in some cases will to ensure that licensing conditions are being met to the letter. If you did then we would not continue to see breeding dogs coming out of your licensed establishments in such appalling physical and psychological health. You know full well that the current regulations in Wales are unenforceable. Either you’re happy to continue looking inept and should therefore be held accountable by the public for the animal cruelty that is happening on your watch, or you accept that you are being expected by Government to do the impossible and tell Government that the situation is unacceptable right now.

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want the sickening level of hypocrisy to STOP by some very large organisations and charities who continue to advise the public not to buy puppies in pet shops but who don’t feel strongly enough about protecting the dogs, puppies or public, to want legislation changed that would end this practice. And we want you to STOP begging the public for donations on the back of your spurious campaigns of spin about how awful puppy farming is when you have done absolutely nothing to highlight or eradicate the cruelty of the licensed trade but instead conveniently continue to focus on illegal imports and puppy smuggling (ironically two areas where a third-party ban would have had an enormous impact.)

Puppy Farm Dogs

We want DEFRA to learn by past mistakes and STOP continuing down the same path they’ve always done by having policy and legislation influenced and determined by the usual subjects who will once again get it wrong for the dogs and for the public. Just as they have always done. You either want to fix the problem by looking at the hard scientific evidence and data, or you are prepared to allow the problem to continue on the basis of speculation and assumption with no basis in fact.

Protect The Dogs Protect The Public

We recently received the most amazing message from a wonderful lady called Anna who had not only completed our Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey, but had shared with us the poem she’d written for her puppy farm survivor rescue Labrador, Penny.

A Poem for Penny is a poem of survival, determination, hope, happiness and ultimately, LOVE. We are truly honoured to be sharing Anna’s poem as well as photographs of Penny and Anna’s other rescue, the adorable Scrappy. Are we in love … you bet!

Penny and Scrappy


Penny was a cocoa bean
The cutest one you’ve ever seen
But born in the dark
No heat, no sun,
No warmth, no light
No games, no fun.
A noisy box, a smelly bed
No human touch on her fluffy head

As months went by not much had changed
Still not a pet, still with no name
She thought this is what life’s about
She thought that without any doubt
Her life was all for giving birth
That raising babies was her worth
Until they left her for a home
and poor Penny would remain alone

Then one day Penny left that place
A sullen look upon her face
Her baby making days were through
What was she now supposed to do?
She found herself inside a cage
With other dogs around her age
With sunshine, food and different smells
That was clean and pleasant, for a cell
Humans passed and said hello
She wasn’t sure which way to go
People were not things she’d seen
She only knew that they were mean

Until one day a couple came
And smiled and gave her a new name
“Penny, you are coming home
To run and eat and play and roam
And make our couple up to 3
To turn us into a family”

4 years have passed, and Penny says
She’s not forgotten those early days
But now she’s happy, with daddy and mummy,
A comfy bed and a full tummy
A place where she can run and jump
Her coat is shiny and she’s plump!
A family to call her own
If only she had always known
That this is how a dog should live
With humans who have love to give
Not in a dark and lonesome place
Never seeing a kindly face

So next time when you see a pup
And cuddle him and pick him up
And think ‘so cute, I want a dog’
I’ll find an online catalogue
Of angelic faces, cute as ever
Puppy farm? Oh no, oh never!
Remember Penny, sad and lonely
In her box all skin and boney
Making puppies by the dozen
Along with her mum, sister and cousin
So that someone can make some money
And take a plane to somewhere sunny

Go find yourself a rescue page
There’s dogs of every size and age
All with stories that they cannot tell
Who’ll love you forever, just as well
As any pup you buy online
As long as you give them some time
To know you and to know you’re there
To love and hold, to feed and care
Cos rescue dogs aren’t bad or lame
They’re dogs, they’re pets, they’re not to blame
So Penny says “don’t shop, adopt”
And get the puppy farmers stopped

Penny and Scrappy 2

There’s not a moment in the day when we aren’t thinking about and working hard to end the suffering of the thousands of breeding dogs and their puppies still suffering in licensed and unlicensed puppy farms across the UK.

Today, we’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge the plight of other victims in the dark world of the puppy trade – the families caught up in an industry that is designed to pray on the emotions of people who just want to share their lives with a doggy companion. The families who opened their hearts and their homes to a puppy only for their hearts to be torn apart by an industry that doesn’t give a damn about dogs, puppies or families.

These are the often silent victims of the puppy trade, the victims often too scared and more often than not, too ashamed, to speak out. Today, we acknowledge the bravery of the families who have taken the decision to speak out.

Recently, investigative journalist Andrew Penman gave a voice to a number of families and their puppies by way of hard-hitting and revealing articles. For the purpose of this blog we’re focusing on the two brave families who spoke out in Andrew’s most recent article.



Pixie-Belle and Lily were very much wanted and very much loved puppies. Thankfully Lily remains a very much loved family member. Although the phrases ‘impulse purchase’ and ‘purchased on a whim’ are often used when describing the purchasing of puppies from licensed pet shops and puppy dealers, we recognise that it is more complex and goes much deeper than that. We know from experience that the entire puppy farming, puppy dealing and pet shop industry prays on our love of dogs and the joy sharing our lives with doggy companions brings. We also know of the often hard sell techniques used by the puppy trade to emotionally blackmail vulnerable puppy buyers, guilting them into a purchase. And what’s worse, this industry is licensed – an industry licensed to kill.

Pixie-Belle and Lily were purchased from a licensed pet shop currently under investigation by C.A.R.I.A.D.. At this point we should state that we do not undertake these investigations lightly, if an individual or business is under investigation, it is for good reason. We have reported this particular licensed pet shop and its vet to the authorities, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the RSPCA and yet here we are, still fighting for justice for the dogs and their families.

We were bitterly disappointed last week when the RSPCA told us they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed with any action against this puppy seller, despite C.A.R.I.A.D. having provided them with considerable documentation. But we are determined to get justice for Pixie-Belle and Lily and every other puppy and family affected by puppy farming and the third-party puppy trade.

One of the most telling things about the experiences of people who have bought puppies from licensed pet shops and puppy dealers is that the majority tell us that they’re too afraid to go public for fear of recrimination by the puppy seller, or that they have been threatened by them if they speak out. What an utterly shocking indictment of this ‘licensed and regulated’ puppy trade. But be under no illusions, this is an industry that has a lot to hide and a lot of money to protect.

This is a trade built on the notion that licensing means legitimate. And it continues to be given a veneer of respectability by those whose brands continue to allow themselves to be associated with it through ‘puppy packs’ and also by those who continue to be an embarrassment to the veterinary profession by being complicit with this vile industry. The late Pixie-Belle came with free Petplan insurance, a veterinary examination certificate from the onsite vet and the vacuous backing of a licensed pet shop. What Pixie-Belle didn’t come with was good genetics and the name of her breeder. To this day, the pet shop that sold her refuses to name Pixie-Belle’s or Lily’s breeders. Transparency simply does not exist in this industry. And without transparency there can be no public protection.

Governments both national and devolved stress time and again that ‘public education’ is the key. But it is very hard to educate members of the public when they believe that if something is legal and licensed it must be okay. How do you convince the public to stop doing something that is at present completely legal? Putting the onus on the public to ‘do the right thing’ but making it perfectly legal for them not to is not only a contradiction in terms, it is perverse.

In Wales this is exacerbated by the term Model Licence Conditions which sound impressive. But having been in force since 2015 and still not reviewed as promised by the Welsh Government, have proven to be as effective at protecting these exploited dogs as a chocolate fireguard. In fact, not only are they ineffective, they are largely unenforceable. Not just our opinion but also that of one of the Welsh Councils that is notorious for its sub-standard attention to dog welfare.

One look at the dogs that come out of these establishments – their compromised physical and emotional health – is the most incriminating evidence of all.

Stop Puppy Farming

In March 2017, Canine Action UK submitted a Freedom of Information request to DEFRA requesting specific information relating to the Government’s response to the EFRA inquiry into Animal Welfare: Domestic Pets.

In its published response to EFRA’s recommendation for a ban on the third party sale of dogs DEFRA stated:

“We have considered the matter very carefully including in light of the views of many welfare charities.” and “We note that a number of established welfare charities with experience and knowledge of the sector have ADVISED AGAINST a ban on third party sales.”

We wondered which welfare charities had offered views relating to EFRA’s recommendation and under what circumstances they had provided opinions – as no official consultation had taken place since the publication of the report that we were aware of. We were also concerned and surprised that ‘a number’ of welfare charities had apparently ‘advised against’ a ban, given that the 2014 Pup Aid petition had been supported by the major welfare charities.

The Freedom of Information request asked:

1. Which welfare charities provided views specifically relating to this recommendation? Please can you indicate whether the views of these charities favoured or opposed a ban and if they provided evidence to support their views.

DEFRA’s answer: We considered a number of responses to the EFRA enquiry. However, in October 2016 the Dogs Trust and Blue Cross provided us with a joint briefing on the EFRA enquiry, separate from their submissions to EFRA during their call for evidence. A copy of the joint briefing is enclosed.

Below is a copy of the joint briefing document, submitted by Dogs Trust and Blue Cross in October 2016 and separate from their evidence submissions to EFRA.

Joint Briefing Document Page 1


Joint Briefing Document Page 2

Joint Briefing Document Page 3

The joint briefing, issued to DEFRA ahead of the publication of the EFRA report raised concerns that a ban on third party sales of puppies was “not currently a practical solution” and suggested that the “most effective way to tackle and improve the breeding and subsequent selling of all dogs, not just puppies, is to introduce an effective registration and licensing system.”

We were also concerned that the Government’s decision seemed to be strongly influenced by one particular sector – ‘welfare charities’, therefore the FOI request also asked:

2. Did the Government consult stakeholder groups other than welfare charities specifically in relation to this recommendation? If yes, please indicate which stakeholder groups were contacted (e.g. BVA, Local Government Association etc.) and indicate whether these groups favoured or were opposed to a ban.

DEFRA’s answer: We did not consult any organisations, animal welfare or otherwise, in preparing the Government’s response to EFRA.

Website Banner

Following the success of The Great British Puppy Survey in 2016, and the significant data gathered about the puppy buying habits of the UK public, welfare groups C.A.R.I.A.D., Pup Aid, The Karlton Index and Canine Action UK officially launched The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey at Pup Aid in Primrose Hill on Saturday, 2nd September 2017.

This is the first survey of its kind that looks at the experiences of people who have adopted or fostered dogs when their breeding lives are over, regardless of which type of breeder or breeding establishment they have come from.

The survey will gather information about the physical and psychological health and welfare of the UK’s rescued or retired breeding dogs over the last 7 years and as with the Great British Puppy Survey, the results will be shared in a Report later in the year, with the wider canine welfare community.

The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey Flyer

We urge all rescues and breed clubs to share the Survey with their social media followers and members to ensure the widest range of experiences with ex-breeding dogs are included.

The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey will run until November 4, 2017.

Group Photo

LEGAL CHALLENGE: That a commercial breeding establishment licensed for 200 breeding dogs CANNOT comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (potentially setting a legal precedent).


In April 2016, Chancepixies Animal Welfare are a small, independent charity registered in England and Wales, dedicated to preventing abandonment and neglect of animals in our country and reduce the need for rescue launched a legal challenge against North Kesteven District Council and its decision to licence a commercial dog breeding establishment for 200 breeding dogs.

The legal challenge in the form of Judicial Review was on the grounds that the decision to licence ‘interested party, Little Rascals’ did not take into consideration requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In short, Chancepixies are challenging through the courts the legal requirement that all dogs, including dogs on commercial dog breeding establishments (puppy farms) be afforded the five freedoms of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and licensing authorities must take into account the full requirements of this act when assessing whether to licence an establishment for the purposes of breeding dogs.

Co-founder and Trustee Mrs Heidi Anderson says “Local authorities have control of dog breeding in their areas. They have the power to grant or refuse dog breeding licences and to set out conditions attached to licences. On 20 January 2016, North Kesteven District Council granted a license to a Lincolnshire puppy farm to keep 200 breeding bitches and 59 stud dogs, and in so doing they completely ignored the Animal Welfare Act 2006. We visited the establishment in 2013, the first year its licence allowed them to hold 200 breeding bitches. The puppies/litters on display were on clean wood-shavings and appeared outwardly healthy, but the sad truth is that this is not a suitable, natural environment for a domestic pet dog to live in; this was very much a farmyard environment. The premises is an old dairy farm; the buildings in use were designed to keep cattle. The public are not allowed access to the majority of the buildings, a small number of the 60 stud dogs were ‘on display’ (eight small males of various breeds in a small pen in the yard), [and] other than that there were no other adult dogs on view. The dogs are clearly not cared for, raised or treated as the domestic pets that they were designed for and are sold as, despite the basic rights of a suitable environment, ability to exhibit natural behaviour and to be free from suffering, pain or disease being protected under the AWA.”

If successful, this case will set a precedent by ensuring that all dogs used for the purposes of breeding are afforded the five freedoms of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and that councils will no longer be able to issue dog breeding licences to commercial dog breeding establishments (puppy farms) that currently operate outside the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.


On 25th April 2016, North Kesteven District Council submitted their response to the courts, which contained the admittance that ‘the license application needs to be considered afresh and a new inspection take place.’ Further contained within the council response was an accusation that Chancepixies did not have the standing to be able to launch such a case on the basis that ‘the small charity bringing the claim are not impacted by the claim and are based in Dover.’ This claim was strongly refuted by Chancepixies. North Kesteven District Council subsequently cancelled the existing dog breeding licence and reissued a new licence under new terms having corrected several mistakes.

Chancepixies challenged the re-determining of the dog breeding licence having already challenged North Kesteven District Council’s decision to grant a dog breeding licence to Little Rascals in January 2016.

On 28 June 2016, High Court judge Mr Justice Edis granted Chancepixies ‘Permission’ to challenge North Kesteven District Council having agreed that the flaws identified by the Chancepixies legal team in the licence granted by North Kesteven in January 2016 were arguable.



On 21st July 2016, Chancepixies appeared in court for a third time. The signs remained positive that North Kesteven District Council would concede the challenge to the January 2016 dog breeding licence.

On 5th September 2016, Chancepixies were rewarded with their first success – the Courts ruled that the dog breeding licences issued in 2016 by North Kesteven District Council were technically unlawful. The court hearing was vacated as all parties agreed to the quashing of the dog breeding licences issued in January 2016 and June 2016 respectively.

A sealed order was subsequently received granting North Kesteven District Council until 23.59 hours on 18th October 2016 to reach a decision on whether or not to grant a new licence to Little Rascals/Swindells Livestock Ltd/Key Lime Tree Ltd.

North Kesteven District Council were issued with a court order for legal costs.


On 18th October 2016, North Kesteven District Council granted Little Racals a dog breeding licence for 200 breeding dogs.

On 1st December 2016, Chancepixies submitted a 30 page ‘Pre-Action’ protocol letter to North Kesteven District Council following the council’s decision to relicense Little Rascals for 200 breeding bitches. Chancepixies challenged the council’s decision on animal welfare grounds and the council were given 14 days to respond.

Following the anticipated North Kesteven District Council response to the Pre-Action protocol letter, Chancepixies filed a Permission Bundle to the Courts for Judicial Review number two against North Kesteven District Council just before Christmas 2016.

On 4th May 2017, the Honourable Mr Justice Collins – High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division – in the matter of an application for Judicial Review, granted permission to Chancepixies Animal Welfare to proceed with their case against North Kesteven District Council. The Honourable Mr Justice Collins observed that regards the question as to whether a Commercial Breeding Enterprise of the size of that run by Little Rascals can comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is arguable that sufficient regard was not given in the decision to the requirements under the 2006 Act.

At the time of writing, despite being issued with a court order for costs during the September 2016 hearing, North Kesteven District Council have not complied with this order and costs remain outstanding.


Chancepixies Animal Welfare and their team of highly regarded lawyers from Bindmans LLP (Salima Budhani) and Matrix Chambers (David Wolfe QC) have been granted legal permission to proceed with Judicial Review against North Kesteven District Council and ‘interested party’ Little Rascals.

If successful, this case could set a LEGAL PRECEDENT in terms of the way commercial dog breeding establishments are licensed and the protections afforded to dogs on those premises. In short, this LEGAL PRECEDENT could signify the end of battery farming of dogs (puppy farming). Thousands of dogs currently housed in puppy farms are afforded none of the protections under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and were councils legally obliged to give consideration to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 when granting a dog breeding licence, then many of these puppy farms would be refused a dog breeding licence.

So, what happens next …

Legal challenges of this nature are costly, and as a result Chancepixies Animal Welfare – a small independent charity based in Kent – must raise in the region of £50,000 as a matter of urgency. Not only will these funds cover legal costs, but they will protect this small charity should they lose their case.

Although this is a huge undertaking by a small, independent charity, Chancepixies refuse to give up when thousands of breeding dogs in the UK are enduring unimaginable suffering on licensed commercial breeding establishments because those responsible for licensing these establishments deem these dogs to be less important than those we share our homes with.

Chancepixies are the only organisation to have taken on this mammoth undertaking, and it’s only right and just that we all unite with them against a system that puts profit before welfare.

North Kesteven District Council stated in one of their many responses ‘This is not such a grave case …’. We beg to differ!

Contact Information:

Chancepixies Animal Welfare
T: 01304 204429 / 07881888560
E: /
Txt: PIXI35£10 to 70070

Bindmans LLP was founded in 1974 by pre-eminent human rights and civil liberties lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon). Since then we have built a formidable reputation for our commitment to human rights and our ethical, creative and campaigning approach to legal issues. We often represent some of the most vulnerable people in society and champion cases which challenge the law.

For further information please contact:
Salima Budhani
Judicial Review and Public law
T: +44 (0)20 7833 4433
Bindmans Press Office
T: +44 (0)20 7833 4433

PRESS RELEASE & CASE HISTORY (PDF) – Chancepixies Press Release and Case History




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One of the counter arguments to banning the third party sales of puppies is that a ban is totally unenforceable because the illegal activity would be impossible to monitor and there aren’t enough resources to take action. We’re here to prove a ban is highly ENFORCEABLE.

Below are details of a number of cases where illegal/unlicensed pet shops and puppy dealers (third party sellers) have been successfully investigated and prosecuted. What this information shows is that not only is a third party ban highly enforceable, but that the authorities, the police and the RSPCA have a desire to investigate and enforce it.

WORD DOCUMENT: Unlicensed Illegal Pet Shop Prosecutions

PDF DOCUMENT: Unlicensed Illegal Pet Shop Prosecutions

Unlicensed Illegal Pet Shop Prosecutions

Counter this with the numerous investigations C.A.R.I.A.D. has undertaken, and continues to undertake into licensed pet shops and puppy dealers, and the fact that the authorities, the police and in some instances even the RSPCA have shown absolutely no will, desire or impetus to investigate let alone prosecute. Some such cases involve pet shop licence holders (third party sellers) Little Rascals, Richard Kendall, Peter Kendall, Stacey Hayward, Catwalk Pets, Willow Farm Kennels, to name but a few. What we have here is evidence that licensing legitimises the third party trade and protects those operating under it, whereas a ban would ensure that those operating illegally under a ban could easily be flushed out, investigated and prosecuted.

So when you hear that a ban won’t work, that there aren’t the resources to enforce such a ban and that licensing is the solution –  please refer these people/organisations to this blog.


Posted: March 29, 2017 in Diary

Not our usual sort of blog, but one that contains information that has been referenced in our animal welfare submissions and reports and which we hope you will find interesting.

Scientific studies have proven how detrimental puppy farming is on breeding dogs and on puppies sold away from their mothers in pet shops. Below are links to some really valuable sources of information on these subjects.

TITLE: Behavioral and psychological outcomes for dogs sold as puppies through pet stores and/or born in commercial breeding establishments: current knowledge and putative causes.

REFERENCE: Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM;

OBJECTIVE: To study the behavioral and psychological outcomes for dogs sold as puppies through pet stores and/or born in commercial breeding establishments: current knowledge and putative causes.


RESULTS: RESULTS: Pet store–derived dogs received significantly less favorable scores than did breeder-obtained dogs on 12 of 14 of the behavioral variables measured; pet store dogs did not score more favorably than breeder dogs in any behavioral category. Compared with dogs obtained as puppies from non-commercial breeders, dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and non-social stimuli; and greater separation-related problems and house soiling. Frank McMillan commented that the extent of the abnormalities in dogs sourced from large-scale breeders was a surprise. He said, “The problems span so many different types of behaviors, and the differences are rather extreme for some of the behaviours.”

The authors conclude that until the causes of the unfavourable differences detected in this group of dogs can be specifically identified and remedied, they cannot recommend that puppies be obtained from pet stores.

TITLE: Differences in behavioural characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from non-commercial breeders.

REFERENCE: Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM;  James A. Serpell, PhD;  Deborah L. Duffy, PhD;  Elmabrok Masaoud, PhD;  Ian R. Dohoo, DVM, PhD

OBJECTIVE: To compare the owner-reported prevalence of behavioral characteristics in dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores with that of dogs obtained as puppies from non-commercial breeders.


RESULTS: Pet store–derived dogs received significantly less favorable scores than did breeder-obtained dogs on 12 of 14 of the behavioral variables measured; pet store dogs did not score more favorably than breeder dogs in any behavioral category. Compared with dogs obtained as puppies from non-commercial breeders, dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and non-social stimuli; and greater separation-related problems and house soiling. Frank McMillan commented that the extent of the abnormalities in dogs sourced from large-scale breeders was a surprise. He said, “The problems span so many different types of behaviors, and the differences are rather extreme for some of the behaviours.”

The authors conclude that until the causes of the unfavourable differences detected in this group of dogs can be specifically identified and remedied, they cannot recommend that puppies be obtained from pet stores.

TITLE: Mental health of dogs formerly used as ‘breeding stock’ in commercial breeding establishments.

REFERENCE: Franklin D. McMillan, Deborah L. Duffy, James A. Serpell

OBJECTIVE: Numerous anecdotal reports have suggested that after removal from CBEs many of the former breeding dogs display persistent behavioural and psychological abnormalities when compared with the general pet dog population. The purpose of this study was to determine if this anecdotal evidence could be confirmed empirically.


RESULTS: When compared with a convenience sample of pet dogs matched for breed, sex, age and neuter status, former CBE breeding dogs were reported as showing significantly higher rates of health problems (23.5% versus 16.6%, P = 0.026). With respect to behaviour, CBE dogs displayed significantly higher rates of fear (both social and nonsocial; ordinal GLM models, P < 0.001), house-soiling (P < 0.001), and compulsive staring (P < 0.005); and significantly lower rates of aggression (toward strangers and other dogs; P < 0.0001), trainability (P < 0.0001), chasing small animals (P < 0.0001), excitability (P < 0.0001), and energy (P < 0.0001).

By demonstrating that dogs maintained in these environments develop extreme and persistent fears and phobias, possible learning deficits as evidenced by lower trainability, and often show difficulty in coping successfully with normal existence, this study provides the first quantitative evidence that the conditions prevailing in CBEs are injurious to the mental health and welfare of dogs.

TITLE: Association between prospective owner viewing of the parents of a puppy and later referral for behavioural problems.

REFERENCE: C. Westgarth, BSc(Hons) PhD1, K. Reevell, BSc(Hons) MSc(CABC) KCAI CCAB1 and R. Barclay, BSc(Hons) MPhil CCAB2

OBJECTIVE: A case-control study was designed to test whether there is an association between the owners seeing the mother of a puppy, and later development of behavioural problems.


RESULTS: After adjustment for confounding factors using multivariable logistic regression, case dogs were more likely to be younger than controls (P < 0.001); less likely to be obtained at six (OR = 0.27, 95 per cent CI = 0.09 to 0.85, P = 0.03), nine (OR = 0.22, 95 per cent CI = 0.06 to 0.80, P = 0.02) or 10 weeks (OR = 0.35, 95 per cent CI = 0.12 to 1.01, P = 0.05), than eight weeks; more likely for the owner to have seen only one parent (OR = 2.49, 95 per cent CI = 1.15 to 5.37, P = 0.02) than both parents, and more likely to have not seen either parent (OR = 3.82, 95 per cent CI = 1.12 to 12.97, P = 0.03) than both. Advice to ‘see the mother’ has been shown to be partly scientifically accurate in relation to future unwanted behavioural problems among dogs; in fact, it may be better for prospective owners to be recommended to view both parents.

TITLE: The Domestic Dog – Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People

REFERENCE: James Serpell (contributors – James Serpell, Juliet Clutton-Brock, Raymond Coppinger, Richard Schneider, M. B. Willis, Benjamin L. Hart, J. A. Jagoe, Chris Thorne, John W. S. Bradshaw, Helen M. R. Nott, Randall Lockwood, Roger A. Mugford, Valerie O’Farrell, Lynette A. Hart, Robert Hubrecht, D. W. Macdonald, G. M. Carr, L. Boitani, F. Francisci, P. Ciucci, G. Andreoli)

OBJECTIVE: This unique book seeks to expose the real dog beneath the popular stereotypes. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive, state-of-the-art account of the domestic dog’s natural history and behaviour based on scientific and scholarly evidence rather than hearsay.


RESULTS: ‘… is not just for dog lovers but also for the curious. With enough detailed studies to interest specialists, this book is readable and stimulating. It ranges from the psychology of pets and their owners to the fascinating history of dogs’ domestication and diversification as a species.’ New Scientist

TITLE: Puppy socialisation and the prevention of behavioural problems.

REFERENCE: Irish Veterinary Journal 2010 Vol. 63 No. 10 pp. 630-633

OBJECTIVE: Establishing the importance of socialisation in ensuring a puppy is friendly and well-adjusted.


RESULTS: The most common cause of fear and aggression is lack of socialisation and behavioural problems often originate from fearful dogs. Indeed, behavioural issues are the most common cause of euthanasia in dogs under two years of age.

TITLE: Relationship between aggressive and avoidance behaviour by dogs and their experience in the first six months of life.

REFERENCE: Appleby, D., Bradshaw, J. and Casey, R

OBJECTIVE: To test behavioural signs for association with the dog’s maternal environment, the environment it experienced between three and six months of age, and the age at which it has been acquired.


RESULTS: Non-domestic maternal environments, and a lack of experience of urban environments between three and six months of age, were both significantly associated with aggression towards unfamiliar people and avoidance behaviour. Aggression during a veterinary examination was more likely in dogs from non-domestic maternal environments.

TITLE: Human directed aggression in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris): Occurrence in different contexts and risk factors.

REFERENCE: Rachel A. Casey, Bethany Loftus, Christine Bolster, Gemma J. Richards, Emily J. Blackwell. School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

OBJECTIVE: The consequence for dogs of showing aggression towards people is often euthanasia or relinquishment. Aggression is also a sign of compromised welfare in dogs, and a public health issue for people. The aims of this study were to estimate the numbers of dogs showing aggression to people in three contexts (unfamiliar people on entering, or outside the house, and family members); identify whether these co-occur, and investigate risk factors for aggression in each context using multivariable analyses.


RESULTS: These data suggest that although general characteristics of dogs and owners may be a factor at population level, it would be inappropriate to make assumptions about an individual animal’s risk of aggression to people based on characteristics such as breed.

TITLE: Prevalence of owner-reported behaviours in dogs separated from the litter at two different ages.

REFERENCE: Pierantoni L1, Albertini M, Pirrone F.

OBJECTIVE: The present study examined the prevalence of behaviours in dogs separated from the litter for adoption at different ages.


RESULTS: These findings indicate that, compared with dogs that remained with their social group for 60 days, dogs that had been separated from the litter earlier were more likely to exhibit potentially problematic behaviours, especially if they came from a pet shop.

TITLE: Owner-Reported Aggressive Behavior Towards Familiar People May Be A More Prominent Occurrence in Pet Shop Traded Dogs.

REFERENCE: Federica Pirrone, Ludovica Pierantoni, Giovanni Quintavalle Pastorino, Mariangela Albertini

OBJECTIVE: There is longstanding recognition of the adverse effect of stressful experiences during early critical developmental periods and the later association with problematic behavioral issues in dogs. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the origin/source of puppies (pet shop vs. breeder) was associated with later potential problematic behaviors.


RESULTS: The odds of displaying owner-directed aggression were significantly greater for the dogs that had been purchased from a pet store as puppies than those purchased from a breeder (control group). We also found an association between a dog’s pet store origin and other potential problem behaviors, including house soiling, body licking, and separation-related behavior, but this relationship was confounded by the effect of a set of owner-related factors. These findings indicate that obtaining puppies from pet stores may predispose them to potentially exhibit owner-directed aggression as adults. We suggest that further research in prevention of problem behaviors in adult dogs should be aimed at identifying the root causes of pet store-related behavioral issues, without ignoring confounding at a household level.

WORD VERSION: Supportive Evidence – Science Papers

PDF VERSION: Supportive Evidence – Science Papers


Posted: March 28, 2017 in Diary

It’s hard to believe that it was way back in 1978 when “A dog is for life. Not just for Christmas” was born. Clarissa Baldwin OBE came up with the most famous slogan in the dog world for The National Canine Defence League (NCDL). In fact, this catchy slogan was so famous it was even entered into the Oxford English Dictionary of Quotations.

In October 2003, the NCDL changed its name to Dogs Trust and Ms Baldwin stated that reasons for the name change included: “… Defence has negative connotations, and league is just desperately old-fashioned.”

Of course, predicting the future is always a gamble but as the Dogs Trust’s then Chief Executive, Ms Baldwin said: “Change is always a difficult thing to manage but sometimes you have to do what you believe to be right and not what is easy.” How very true.

When the charity became Dogs Trust it stated that its mission was: “working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.” Certainly, nobody can argue that this is every dog lover’s ideal world scenario.

Fast forward to 2017 and Dogs Trust is now the largest dog welfare charity in the UK. The slogan remains in place 39 years on. But, despite its simple genius, it’s incredibly sad that today even Dogs Trust admit that it has failed to achieve its intended goal.

Today, the real world for dogs has changed unrecognisably.  Although we would all ideally like to see a time when the public can buy healthy happy puppies from healthy happy parents, the possibility of this happening is now further away from becoming a reality than at any time in history. Ironically, in part, due to the charity’s own recent actions.

There are thousands of dogs in the UK who will never “enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction” because of an industry that some of us call puppy farming. If “A dog is for life” was intended for the public moral conscience, then now it should surely extend to the life expectancy of dogs as well.

For breeding dogs in puppy farms, life limiting health conditions are the norm. Should they remain in puppy farms until they can no longer breed they can look forward to being ‘disposed of’ at the whim of their keeper. Some are relinquished to smaller rescues that are prepared to take the time and raise the money for their rehabilitation and are then adopted by kind and compassionate members of the public who understand their special needs. But for the majority, they are the ‘disappeared’. I’ve even seen a licensing inspection report that states the method of retirement for the establishment’s ex breeding dogs is ‘incinerator’.

For these legally exploited dogs no amount of licensing and regulation has or will ever help. They are nameless, unaccounted for victims of a greedy industry where corruption is rife.

The pictures with this blog are all that physically remains of five magnificent dogs who crossed the bridge too soon over the last seven years. Boomer, Cariad, Amy, Gwennie-bear and sadly Flora, passing so unexpectedly just a few weeks ago: Mast cell tumours, lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, alveolar carcinoma – just some of the evil diseases that claimed all my sweet, gentle friends – the youngest being just six years old. Like so many others, Flora’s life of freedom outside the licensed puppy farm that sold her puppies to licensed pet shops, lasted less than 3 years. So unfortunately, ‘A dog is for life’ is inconsequential to ex puppy farming breeding dogs who have been rescued, as well as the hundreds of thousands of nameless dogs who have died over the years in these establishments without ever knowing human kindness, let alone love.

Doggie montage (2)

Only when you’ve shared the pain and suffering of these exhausted and broken dogs can you truly understand the horrors that puppy farming inflicts on man’s best friend. You try to make up for the shameful neglect and abuse they are forced to endure so that the supply of puppies can meet public demand. But when they leave you – always too soon – you can’t help but feel cheated that what should have been the best years of their lives were stolen from them.

It’s hard to comprehend why ‘meeting public demand for puppies’ should ever be more important, more valuable and more passionately fought for, than the lives of the breeding dogs themselves. And yet for some it is.

A recent comment by Dogs Trust in The Independent stated: “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 …”

There are a great many problems with this statement, but here are just three: 1) It isn’t a ‘simple fact’, 2) it appears that the supply of puppies to meet demand is the priority here and not the welfare of the breeding dogs producing them. And 3) if Dogs Trust ever want the supply of puppies to come from responsible breeders rather than being ‘woefully short of meeting the demand’, this will only happen if responsible breeders don’t have to compete with low welfare, high volume breeders continually churning out cheap puppies from dogs used as breeding machines.

The charity has also argued that a shortage of puppies could lead to pups becoming more expensive. But surely a good quality, healthy puppy should be something to strive for and if that means puppies become more expensive, that would be no bad thing. The fact that puppies can be bought so cheaply and in such high volumes, sold in a way that relegates them to being nothing more than goods and commodities, is exactly why so many people don’t value them as lifelong companions and sentient beings. In fact you could argue that to make ‘A dog for life’ a reality, this would be one of the most significant solutions to the problem.

Something else that has escaped the public’s attention is that because the gene pool of puppy farm breeding dogs is so poor, the puppies they give birth to are predisposed to being poor quality themselves and are unlikely to live to what is considered the average life expectancy of a dog – regardless of breed or cross breed. So again, the chance of the puppy buying public being able to even have a dog for life is diminished. And that’s just the physical health toll. The behavioural issues of puppies originating in puppy farms is a blog all in itself.

my girls

Failure to address the problem of poor welfare breeding and selling of puppies is like saying to the public, “you don’t deserve to have a healthy puppy or a long-lived healthy canine companion”. And as excellent as the charity’s Dog School concept is “to help thousands of dogs overcome training and behaviour problems”, it is like applying a band-aid to an arterial bleed.

The RSPCA, IFAW, the Mayhew and every other welfare charity – with the exception of Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – wholeheartedly agrees with the recent EFRA Committee’s strong recommendation for a ban. They understand that the puppy farming problem will continue to get worse while the third party selling channel, i.e. pet shops and dealers, continues to enable it. And as long as it does, whether bought at Christmas or any other time of year, a dog is unlikely to be for life.

It is regrettable that Dogs Trust have put the proposed ban on puppies being sold in pet shops in their ‘too hard’ file. Perhaps now would be a good time for their current CEO to revisit the wise words of his predecessor and remember that “sometimes you have to do what you believe to be right and not what is easy”.  After all, it was during Clarissa Baldwin’s reign that Dogs Trust itself campaigned for this very ban!

It’s sad to think back to 2003 when the NCDL changed its name because “Defence had negative connotations.” Never have the exploited dogs of this country needed Dogs Trust more than they do today – not only to defend them, but to fight for them and instead of vehemently opposing a ban on the selling of puppies away from their mothers in pet shops, to do the right thing for all dogs by admitting they got it wrong.

Linda Goodman

Founder – C.A.R.I.A.D. (Care And Respect Includes All Dogs)

Following the announcement that Neil Parish MP, Chairman of the EFRA Committee has secured a Commons Main Chamber debate this Thursday 30th March, 2017 at 11.30am, we are urging rescues – those who work day and night to save, rehabilitate and rehome the victims of the cruel puppy farm trade – to tell the Government their side of the story.

In order to reach them in time before the debate, emailing them is the preferred route.

These are the Defra Ministers responsible for animal welfare in the UK who need convincing that the third party selling of puppies i.e. in pet shops and by dealers is what enables puppy farming to flourish, and must be banned.

Andrea Leadsom –

Lord Gardiner –

In your email, please cc in the members of the EFRA Committee who undertook the inquiry into animal welfare and made such a strong recommendation to the Government to ban puppies in pet shops. They visited a puppy farm in Wales that sells puppies via pet shops and needed no further convincing that the trade must be banned.

Neil Parish –
Chris Davies –
Simon Hart –
Dr Paul Monaghan –
Ms Margaret Ritchie –
David Simpson –
Angela Smith –

Because we understand the pressures on your time, we have provided a template letter for your convenience. You can use this to base your email on and we suggest adding your own personal message to it.

As someone who understands the problem so well, please also write to your own MP urging them to attend Thursday’s debate and supporting the EFRA recommendation. You’ll find your MP’s contact details at the Find Your MP link, alternatively you can write to your MP via the automated Write To Them website.



As a rescue that often takes in ex puppy farming breeding dogs, we see first hand how poorly so many of these dogs have been treated – whether they have come from licensed or unlicensed establishments – you would be hard-pressed to spot any difference.

Too often the condition that these dogs arrive in are heartbreaking. They require a great deal of time and patience because they are psychologically shut down and afraid. They also require costly veterinary treatment to either make them more comfortable or to alleviate health conditions that have been left untreated during their time as breeding dogs. We then need to find foster homes to take them in until they are well enough to be adopted by caring members of the public who understand their special needs.

Puppy farming is being enabled by the ability for these establishments to sell poorly bred puppies to the public via puppy dealers and pet shops. If puppy farmers had to sell directly to the public, they would never get away with housing breeding dogs in such terrible conditions.

The sale of puppies by licensed third parties including pet shops and by dealers in 2017 is unacceptable, as it has been scientifically proven to be detrimental to their physical and behavioural health – leading to long term problems for owners.  The third party trade is also the primary reason for the existence of cruel puppy farms – where dogs are produced as a cash crop with no thought for their wellbeing; again this link is indisputable. Retailing puppies through licensed pet shops reduces our most valued canine companions merely to the status of commodities, encourages irresponsible impulse purchasing and is impossible to regulate to an appropriate standard. This leaves animals and consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous sellers and simply cannot be justified on any grounds.

Equally, because these dogs are so often genetically challenged, they are producing high volumes of puppies that will inherit poor health and behaviour issues that will predispose those puppies to being surrendered to rescues or dumped in council pounds by members of the public who are unable or unwilling to keep them for life. It has become a viscious circle and one that is left to small, cash-poor rescues like ours to have to pick up the pieces.

I urge DEFRA to reconsider its previous decision to dismiss the calls from the EFRA Committee to ban the selling of dogs by third parties. We understand that a clause allowing rescues to continue adopting dogs and puppies to the public will overcome any obstacles for our rescue work and is very easy to write into the new legislation.

The situation is dire for the dogs and for rescues who are working so hard to help so many dogs today. It is a situation that only you have the power to change right now.

Yours sincerely,