The root of all evil


I watched Panorama on BBC1 yesterday (Britain’s Puppy Dealers Exposed) and it was disturbing but it wasn’t revealing or even surprising. If, however, it’ll stop even one person from contributing to the puppy trade, the documentary was worth making.

The solution to the puppy farms problem is very simple: if there’s no demand, there will be no supply. The puppy dealers love money, the love of money makes them ignore the suffering of animals, the love of money makes them deceive people, the love of money that would make them do anything.

Dogs from puppy farms have it hard-not just in puppyhood. They might have various health issues. As they’re not socialised in the most vital period of their lives, they will have problems with other dogs, or people, or both. If you’ve ever seen a dog with behavioural problems caused by fear and anxiety you’ll never forget it. It breaks your heart and yet, to help, you need to control your emotions first. The socialisation/rehabilitation process never ends and it’s hard work. You pay with money, time, emotions. IMG_1988.JPG

Lily had a bad start in life. She’ll never be fully ‘normal’. She’ll never be a family dog. Everything we do needs to be thought about in terms of ‘training’. One silly, thoughtless decision that results in exposing her to too much uncontrolled stress can set us back weeks or months. I love my dogs, but they are not for everyone.

So, check before you buy, see the mother, visit the pups at home a few times, interact with them, don’t buy from people offering more than one breed at the same place, beware of some clear signs something is wrong: bitches said to be mothers but looking too young to possibly have had litter, puppies brought to be seen one by one (not with siblings and mother), the seller not asking questions about you and your circumstances, no proper contract and so on. If something seems wrong it usually is. If you think the ‘breeder’ is really a dealer and the puppies might be from a puppy farm, if the conditions in kennels are bad, report them to RSPCA or CARIAD (Wales)

If you feel lost, ask a professional for help. It’s cheaper than the vet’s and behaviourist’s bills and will save you tears later as well.


13 thoughts on “The root of all evil

  1. Thank you for watching the programme and sharing. There are so many back yard breeders as well who keep bitches in dreadful conditions and whose puppies are far from healthy, yet people keep on buying from them. When I contacted DEFRA for background research they advised that anyone can breed up to five litters in the UK without a licence. Anyone concerned in Scotland about unscrupulous breeders can contact the SSPCA.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s why I think the surest way is to stop buying if there are any concerns about the animals’ welfare. I wouldn’t buy a puppy from a ‘breeder’ whose bitch is scared of him or looks unwell. We have the most power as it’s us, who pay. Similarly, with charities/shelters: see the conditions animals are kept in, talk to the carers, respectable shelters will always help with finding the right dog for the particular person/family. Buying from some dodgy place it’s not worth the risk. Oh, well, the more people understand it, the sooner this cruel trade will end.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I didn’t see the show but unfortunately puppy farms are a huge problem here in Australia too. It makes me feel physically ill when I think of how some of these animals are kept. My Molly was a ‘breeder’ before she came to me four years ago. I had never had a rescue dog before (my other two girls I have had from puppies) and it was definitely a challenge. Molly still has all sorts of issues which may never be resolved, but every now and then I get glimpses of how she could have been all the time had she had an easier start in life. Every one of those tiny moments makes me so glad she came into my life-for her sake as well as mine. We need to shut these places down and I agree, the only way to stop it is to make people more aware.

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  3. We have puppy mills over here in Canada. The conditions in which the dogs are kept can be horrific and, as you say, the dogs can be scarred for life. The secret is to buy from breeders who are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, in our case. These breeders often show their dogs as well and visiting dog shows and talking to knowledgeable people helps educate the potential buyer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dog dealers here are quite clever – as the advice for years now has been to always ask to see the mother when buying a puppy, they often have a female dog to show (not the mother, usually a young bitch who doesn’t look as miserable as the real one), they can even sell sick puppies as ‘rescues’.


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