Friday, 20 February 2009

Rogue Traders on BBC 1…

Last night I watched ‘Rogue Traders’ on BBC 1 which was billed as being about puppy farmers. Click the link to see the programme if you missed it.

I was very disappointed. I don’t think the two presenters took the situation seriously enough. Puppy farming is a BIG problem and there really ought to be a law against it. There are some restrictions but people get around these laws easily.

The programme did nothing to inform people of where or how to look for a puppy. It was just casually mentioned. It was more like watching a comedy programme on what I consider a VERY serious subject.

The link is an article from the RSPCA about the programme. They say they were there, but I am sure the reporters said that no RSPCA inspector was available to attend when they called the police. I may be wrong. I haven’t looked at the programme for a second chance to make sure. I understood that they attended afterwards… Bit late for the filming in my opinion!

RSPCA advice to consumers:

· Always see a puppy with its mother in the place where it was bred, and pay attention to the mother’s size, health, personality and reaction to the puppy – is it the real mother? Ideally see the father too. If you can’t see them, be suspicious

· Try to find out as much as possible about where the puppy has come from, and beware if the breeder is from outside the UK

· If you are told the puppy has been vaccinated, check the vaccination cards carefully. Be wary if the vet’s contact details are not visible, or have an address outside the UK

· Pedigree certificates are never a guarantee for the condition of your puppy, and may not even mean you are buying a pure-bred dog

· Never buy from someone who offers to deliver your puppy or arranges to meet you somewhere

· As hard as it will be, never buy a puppy just because you feel sorry for it

· If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t – use your common sense, and walk away

· If you are concerned about how you were sold the puppy, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06

· If you have welfare concerns about puppies you have seen, contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

· Always consider instead adopting a rescue dog from an animal welfare organisation.

I will add that if you are contacting a reputable breeder there is a good chance that you will NOT be able to see the sire (or father) of the pups. The reason being that the breeder will have studied the pedigree of the bitch (intended mother of the pups) and will have found a dog suitably out-crossed (no close in-breeding), and may well have travelled half the country to mate the bitch to the right dog.

It is common practice that you take your bitch to the dog. Not the other way round.

I would also advise that you check that the sire and the dam have had the available health checks for that breed. Do your research on the Internet before you visit a breeder. A good place to start in the UK is The Kennel Club.

There are links on the page with further advice. Look at the breeds of dogs you are thinking about. Check what health tests they should have.

The Kennel Club web site will have a list of puppies available from their registered breeders. After making an appointment with a breeder, go and visit. There is a good chance you will see several dogs in the place. Some may be related to your intended pup. You will get an idea of how your puppy will end up.

I would advise that you do not buy the first puppy you see. Never buy a puppy if you can’t see the mother with it.

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