Submitted by GSPCA on 19:11, 17th Nov, 2011 | 0

The GSPCA has had recent reports of not only individuals that may have received puppies from puppy farms in the UK but also individuals that have been deceived online from websites advertising puppies for sale.

The GSPCA always encourages responsible pet ownership and by purchasing animals on line or from a puppy farm is far from helping animal welfare.

The GSPCA totally condemns puppy farming, the practice where dogs are bred purely for profit, often with no license and with no concern for the health or welfare of the dogs. The GSPCA also condemns animals that are bought online as both do not consider the welfare of the dogs, puppies, their mothers as well as the other species that this affects.

The best advice that we can offer the public is to never buy puppies through advertisements in local papers, on the internet or from pet shops. Once the demand dries up, the puppy farms cannot provide the supply.  Also with animals bought through the internet you can never be sure that they are well cared for or that is suitable for your home.

Points you MUST consider when buying a puppy

  • Make sure that you see the puppy interacting with its mother and if possible visit the father also.
  • A puppy should NOT leave its mother before it’s 8 weeks old.
  • You should have easy access to the puppies and be able to handle them. Do not allow the breeder to show you just 1 puppy.
  • Make at least 2 visits to the breeder to view the puppies before the final collection.
  • Make sure that you see the puppy with the rest of the litter.
  • If you are unsure about buying the right puppy, make enquiries with the local vet to see if he would be willing to attend the viewing to check the puppy for any visible health problems – this could save money and upset in the long term.
  • If possible request a written agreement that purchase is subject to a satisfactory examination by your veterinary surgeon within 48 hours of purchase.
  • Check that the puppies have regular access to human contact, ideally with more than one person. It is better if the puppies are being raised in a home environment rather than in a kennel, as this will help them get used to the everyday sights and sounds of the home.
  • Check that the facilities are clean and that the puppies appear alert and healthy.
  • Ensure all the relevant paperwork is available for inspection when you visit the puppy. This should include: a vaccination certificate, a health check report from a vet and Pedigree/KC certificate.
  • Check to see if the puppy has been regularly wormed and vaccinated. Some breeders will have the puppy vaccinated at eight weeks of age before releasing it to its new home.
  • Remember a Kennel Club registration/pedigree does not guarantee a perfect puppy. It is up to you to carry out the appropriate checks.
  • Ask if the puppy will be covered by insurance for any illness during the first six weeks in your care (most good breeders subscribe to this scheme).
  • Ask the breeder questions about the puppy’s feeding regime. Good breeders will supply you with a diet plan.
  • Check the puppy has no discharge from its eyes or nose and that there are no sores, bald patches or scabs on the skin.
  • Ask about the parents and grand parents health and of any ailments.
  • Make sure that the puppy is alert and responsive to sounds and is showing no obvious signs of illness, such as coughing.
  • If a puppy appears unwell on collection, do not take it; arrange with the breeder to return another day. If you have any doubts, choose another breeder.
  • Set a plan on how you will transport the animal home.  It is very stressful transporting animals especially young ones long distance and this can lead to illnesses developing.
  • If it is a breed or type you have not owned before ensure that you research the history and characteristics of the puppy

In a study it was found one fifth of people in the UK who bought a puppy in the past two years no longer have their dog.  Many of these end up in rescue centres and are in need of homes.
Dogs can live for around 15 years or more so owning one is a big and long term commitment.  

The GSPCA would also like to remind people with the run up to Christmas NO animal should ever be given as a present.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said ‘A pet is a family member not a surprise present.’  ‘Buying animals through the internet or through means that could mean that they have come from a puppy farm only encourages cruelty.’  ‘We at the GSPCA are concerned about how animals are brought into Guernsey as animals from puppy farms or the internet could easily carry diseases that could put the animals of Guernsey at risk.’  ‘I have seen puppy farms and the death, illness and cruelty that it entails and the GSPCA condemns any action that encourages this.’

Anyone with any questions or concerns about this or any animal welfare issue can call the GSPCA on 01481 257261.


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