Our campaign against the battery farming of dogs highlights the fact that the UK dog-owning public is being duped into buying dogs from puppy farms, inadvertently fuelling the cruel trade and potentially landing themselves with huge vet bills.
In a recent survey, we asked dog owners if they would consider buying a dog from a puppy farm. Although almost 95% said no, when asked where they had got their dog from 15.1% - potentially 900,000 dog owners – admitted they had got them from an advert in the newspaper, the internet, a pet shop or a pet superstore, all outlets often supplied by puppy farms.
In the past six months we have seen a marked increase in calls from concerned dog owners whose pets have suffered illness and in some cases died as a result of having been bred at puppy farms.
We've introduced the term ‘battery farming of dogs’ to associate the practice with the battery farming of chickens. We want dog lovers to be informed about how to find a 'cruelty-free dog'. If you are interested in buying a dog and are worried about how to tell the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy farm, please read our Buying a Dog section.
We are also calling on the Government and Local Authorities to review existing breeding licensing legislation.
Breeding bitches at battery farms:
- Are kept in small pens without natural daylight or contact with other dogs
- Suffer the mental cruelty of having little contact with people and having no space to exercise or opportunity to play
- Are bred from continuously in these conditions until they are too old, then discarded
A battery farmed puppy could have genetic or other health problems relating to its poor breeding conditions. It could also have behavioural problems as a result of being taken from its mother at too young an age.
What you can do to help
We're asking people to tell us about their experiences and write to their Local Authority about suspicious vendors. Please read more about this in our Support the Campaign section.
Our celebrity supporters have come out in force to say ‘NO’ to the battery farming of dogs.
TV Presenter Graham Norton
Madge and Bailey, my two dogs, mean everything to me and I can’t imagine life without them. When I got them, Madge from Dogs Trust and Bailey from a reputable breeder, I did plenty of research and was pleased that both Dogs Trust and the breeder also asked many questions about me to ensure that their dogs were going to a loving home.
It is hugely shocking to know that there are hundreds of places advertising puppies for sale purely for profit, some even offering to arrange delivery as if the puppy was part of a weekly shop. Battery farming of dogs is a horrible, horrible practice and I hope that the Dogs Trust campaign will highlight to future dog owners how to avoid fuelling this trade.
TV Presenter Jenni Falconer
My dog, Alfie, is now 2 and he is very much a loved member of our family. However before we found him, we did look around at the pups that were available and we were appalled to discover so many people out to make a fast buck.
It's incredible and shocking to see dog lovers being not only exploited but more importantly it's devastating to learn that on these so-called 'puppy farms', dogs themselves are being bred purely for profit.
Throughout this process, they are starved of affection and not looked after properly.
It breaks my heart that people can be so callous to treat any animal in such a manner and at a time when puppy sales are higher than ever I urge you to be cautious when it comes to buying a dog, particularly when following up on an ad, in a local paper or on online.
We visited the family selling our dog beforehand and they showed us around so we knew they were respectable, looked after the animals and were not out to exploit us.'