Try This When Someone’s Looking For A Puppy
A little while ago a friend of mine asked me about a breeder in the south of England. A contact of hers had set their heart on a puppy of the ‘non-allergenic’ fashionable cross-breed type and had seen a pup at this particular kennel on a couple of occasions. Or at least they’d assumed it was the same pup each time, no way to tell for sure as the breeder is a busy bee and has plenty of pups for sale at any one time.
They also believed at the time that they’d met the puppy’s mum, but again, couldn’t be certain, she’d been brought in ‘from the back’ for a short time during their visit. Not long enough to gauge anything much at all. But they said all dogs – and apparently there were quite a few of different breeds milling around – looked decent and not unhappy.
My friend duly explained to her contact what she knows about how the puppy business today operates, she herself has adopted ex-breeding dogs and did her best to encourage adoption as at least a consideration. It wasn’t to be, and it isn’t for everyone, their heart was set on a puppy from this kennel. Except, there was enough of a niggling doubt for them to ask my more knowledgeable friend her thoughts. The niggle niggled mainly over the different breeds of dogs and numbers present.
So I looked up the breeder on this handy resource:
and reported back to my friend that they are licensed for over 40 adult dogs.
And that was the jolt the potential buyer needed to walk away. My friend explained what it means for puppies to start their lives in this kind of operation: however smart and legal, and well kept in husbandry terms the dogs might be, they are not starting their lives from parents who are family pets. Their parents are not snoozing on sofas in the living room, or cuddling up on laps when the family settle down, there is simply no way that number of dogs could be living as regular dogs in a normal home environment. Now whether that’s important or not, or whether so long as the dogs are well kept in a physical sense that’s reassurance enough, is down to how each of us views and values the lives of dogs. But it is at the very least misleading for anyone breeding and selling dogs this way to give the impression they’re living in a family home.
But, back to my friend, the sales pitch almost had her contact; the cute puppies and professionalism of the breeder almost hooked them in. But when they knew the numbers of adult dogs that this business was licensed to keep, the quiet niggle became a screeching foghorn and they knew that there was no way, despite claims, that their much wanted puppy would be starting life in a normal home environment. And, all credit to them, thoughts of how the parent dogs would be living their years out did impact on them.
I remembered it this week as I’ve followed a developing story concerning another commercially driven, large scale breeder now facing scrutiny following reports of the death and serious illness of several puppies they’ve sold.
One aspect of the case – which can be followed on the Puppy Love Campaigns Facebook page and website – which made me recall my friend’s experience, is the sheer size of the breeding operation in question: licensed for over 30 adults dogs (that’ll be a lot of puppies too). With their slick, impressive marketing and website they clearly give the impression the puppies and dogs live happily in the home. Once again,mpossible!
It’s a ruse often used by breeders. They’ll say the pups are born in the house – which may indeed be true in some cases – but that doesn’t mean the adults live there as regular dogs, it would be a practical impossibility. These are just some of the deceptions used to lure puppy buyers. And then there’s the testimonials. Ooodles of them in this particular case. All glowing. Hundreds of happy puppy buyers and happy, healthy puppies. Of course, what business is going to fanfare their negative reviews?
So what can we do to help clear the smoke and mirrors used by commercial breeders who like to pretend their dogs and puppies are much loved family pets rather than commodities? One easy way is to do as I did, look up the numbers of dogs a breeder is licensed for and spell it out to whoever is thinking about buying a puppy from them.
Then let them make their choice from a better informed position. One where the whole truth is out there, not just some of it, or a sanitised version of it. For some people, it may not be a concern to them so long as the kennels are perfect, the dogs well cared for and looked after diligently. But for others, knowing puppies are bred from this background and the breeder is making a living from that – and in many cases it will be several thousands of pounds a month being made – that will be enough to make them look elsewhere.
Honesty is seriously lacking in the puppy business. Transparency is hard to come by. Knowing which sources to trust is a nightmare for puppy buyers and especially novices without the experience or knowledge of not only what to look out for, but how to see beyond the sales spin of breeders who want to make those sales.
This is where Puppy Love Campaigns excels. With their many years of collecting evidence and using it to inform the public and authorities they can be trusted to have the facts. It’s timely to remember that if they put things into the public domain you can be certain they have solid evidence supporting everything that’s published. They’re not selling anything, they don’t have to care about their business or immaterial things like reviews.
They have absolutely no reason to put out anything but the truth. Their track record of being instrumental – for over a decade now – in the successful prosecution and closing down of puppy farmers and breeders of all descriptions stands as testament to their diligence and attachment to the truth. Refer people to their website when you hear them wanting to buy a puppy, it’s a mine of information.
I for one will always put the truth out there and people can then do what they choose with it. Truth is the only commodity I’m interested in when it comes to the puppy trade.
Here’s the link again if you want to look up how many dogs a breeder is licensed for (this will change this year when the Westminster Government brings in changes to licensing requirements, but for now it’s a good resource)