NEARLY 600 adverts for puppies being sold in Worcestershire via sites such as Pets4Homes and Gumtree were from illegal breeders, a new report has shown.
An intelligence report carried out by Worcestershire Regulatory Services has identified several illegal dog breeders related to locations across the county including Kidderminster, Worcester, Stourport-on-Severn, and Evesham.
In all 581 adverts were found to be from illegal breeders.
Regulatory Services say the risk of buying a puppy from an unlicensed breeder is that the animals will have health problems and potentially will have been raised in poor conditions, leaving the buyer with a poorly puppy.
Pip Singleton, senior dog warden and animal welfare officer at WRS, urged buyers to reconsider when rushing to bring a pet home for Christmas – or anytime.
“I would advocate ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ every time and encourage people to give a loving home to an unwanted dog at a rescue centre, where they would have received the right treatment, vaccines and be microchipped,” she said.
Here are Pip’s top tips for buying pets and ensuring they’re from legal breeders:
Consider getting a rescue animal from a reputable UK rehoming organisation – you can check if the organisation is a member of the Association of Dogs and Cat Homes
View the animal and its documentation before you buy – if it was born outside the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate.
Ask to see the local authority licence details for commercial dog breeders.
Licensed dog breeders must show puppies with their mothers to prospective buyers.
Speak to your vet if you have any doubts about an animal
Never buy a puppy or kitten younger than 8 weeks old.
If anyone has any concerns about a breeder, contact Worcestershire Regulatory Services on 01905 822799.