Earlier this month, the Jersey Dog Forum Facebook page wrote a post highlighting how easy it had become to purchase animals from the UK without viewing them first – a practice said to support unscrupulous puppy farms.
The JSPCA has also now spoken out about the practice and has issued advice to prospective owners of imported animals.
The charity’s animal behaviourist, Kari Lees, said: ‘As an animal welfare organisation that often deals with dogs being handed in due to poor health or behaviour problems that can be traced back to poor breeding, it is concerning reading about the ease with which it appears to be possible to get a puppy from a breeder with a person that will not own the dog doing the collecting.
‘A reminder for anyone purchasing a puppy is that you need to be aware that there are many unscrupulous breeders that run puppy farms in the UK.
‘Unfortunately the welfare of the dogs, mothers and puppies, are not a priority for these breeders and they are kept in terrible conditions. This can have lifelong effects on the health and temperament of the dogs bought from these places.’
Meanwhile, a message on the Jersey Dog Forum Facebook group announced this month that it was restricting the number of posts being made on its page by pet transport companies.
And it said that the group had been told about some animals showing signs of illness and having come from puppy farms, shortly after arriving.
They also noted a recent change in UK laws to ensure that a puppy cannot be bought unless their mother is present – a move aimed at cracking down on unscrupulous breeders.
The post said: ‘We have been watching the arrival of puppies in the Island via pet transport companies for some time. While we are pleased that there are regular options for transport, we are concerned that these options are in some cases making it far too easy to order pups online, as if they were something off Amazon.
‘The law has changed in the UK to require the pups to be seen with their mother and we support that view, so it feels wrong that breeders are happy to break these laws by sticking the pup on transport.
‘It may cost more to have to go and see the pup but that is just part of buying responsibly.’
Tips on finding a responsible breeder
– Gives lots of information in their adverts about the puppies
– Is likely to have a waiting list for puppies
– Insists you meet your puppy before taking them home
– The puppies and their mum are kept in a clean and safe area in their home
– Will ask you lots of questions about why you want a puppy and this particular breed
– Will expect you to ask lots of questions about the breeder and their puppies
– They should be able to give you their vet’s details so you can ask the vet questions and you can check their worming and vaccination status as well as any health tests the parents have had
– Will keep in touch after you’ve taken the puppy home – ask them if they are still in contact with previous litters
– It is a legal requirement to have the puppies microchipped
– You should meet the puppies and mum and see that they are obviously happy in the environment they are kept in
– Be happy for you to meet the parents of the puppies so that you can be sure of their temperament
– Understands the importance of and has started a socialisation program (see http://www.thepuppyplan.com )
Signs you may be using an unscrupulous breeder
– They will not give much information in ads
– They say that they can get you any breed of puppy you want
– They will not let you meet the puppy at their home before you purchase him/her and will not let you meet the mother or the other puppies. Be wary of made up excuses
– They will meet you in a public place or have the puppy dropped off at your house
– They do not provide you with a vet’s contact details and have not had the puppies wormed or vaccinated