Rescue and rehoming charity National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) is trying to help pets owners avoid buying puppies from unlicensed breeders or puppy farmers with the launch of the NAWT Puppy Pledge.
The NAWT Puppy Pledge is designed to be signed by anyone who is interested in animal welfare issues – whether they are buying a puppy or not.
It calls for people to do three things:
1. Read the NAWT’s Puppy Buyer’s Checklist that offers advice on how buy a happy, healthy puppy.
2. Make sure people check the puppy is microchipped and registered by the breeder on an approved database before they go to visit and walk away if not.
3. To promote the NAWT Puppy Pledge by sharing the campaign.
Whether buying pedigree dogs like Labradors and Pugs or ‘designer’ cross-breeds like cockerpoos and labradoodles, the source of the puppy should always be thoroughly researched first.
People don’t always give much thought to where their puppy is coming from, especially if choosing online. The growth of internet selling has resulted in new ways for these defenseless animals to find their way into our homes, often with a host of physical ailments that create an emotional and financial burden on the new owners.
Figures from RSPCA’s 2016 Sold a Pup report estimate around 770,000 puppies are sold in the UK each year. Four hundred thousand of those puppies come from unlicensed breeders, many of whom are thought to be ‘puppy farmers’.
NAWT CEO Clare Williams said: “Although National Animal Welfare Trust would always prefer people to rehome a rescue dog, we also recognise that sometimes it is the right choice for a family to buy a puppy.
“No one can resist an adorable puppy, which is why it is so important to ask all the right questions before you even go to visit it. It’s very hard to walk away from a purchase once you are holding a cute, fluffy bundle - especially if you think you are ‘rescuing’ it from a miserable environment.
“In reality you could be lining the dealer’s pockets and sentencing an exhausted breeding bitch to yet another litter of puppies.”
For more information on the campaign please visit www.nawt.org.uk /puppy-pledge.