Charity issues puppy farm warning

PUBLISHED: 09:10 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 21:52 07 July 2010

THOUSANDS of new dog owners have been duped into buying 'farmed' puppies, which is putting pressure on rescue centres, a charity warned.

THOUSANDS of new dog owners have been duped into buying “farmed” puppies, which is putting pressure on rescue centres, a charity warned yesterday .

Officials from the Dogs Trust warned animal lovers to be on their guard after a survey revealed that as many as 900,000 people may have bought a pet from a puppy farm without knowing it.

Staff from the charity's Norfolk rehoming centre spoke of their concern about the impact of people buying “battery farmed” dogs, which are more likely to suffer from genetic disorders, health, and behavioural problems.

In a recent survey of almost 900 owners carried out by the national dog welfare charity, 95pc said they would not buy an animal from a puppy farm.

But when asked where they had bought their pet from, 15pc said they had got it from a newspaper advert, the internet, a pet shop or a pet superstore - all of which are often supplied by puppy farms, the charity said.

The Dogs Trust has called on the government to review its breeding licensing legislation and for people to check a puppy's history and medical background before buying it.

The charity said breeding bitches at battery farms were kept like prisoners in small pens, with little exercise, and their puppies were not always vaccinated.

Barbara Emons, support relationship officer at the Dogs Trust centre in Snetterton, said: “It is a massive problem because there are people who are selling puppies from puppy farms and do it through all sorts of guises through newspaper adverts and it is a problem right across the region.”

“The breeding bitches are kept in appalling conditions and the puppies themselves have lots of genetic disorders and health problems and are more likely to develop behavioural problems. We get a lot of calls from people rehoming their dogs because they cannot afford the vets bills,” she said.

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