Hertfordshire puppy farm reports increase by 222 per cent in last decade
PUBLISHED: 11:35 01 August 2019
Reports of puppy farms in Hertfordshire have increased by 222 per cent in the last decade, according to the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity is urging families thinking of getting a puppy over the summer holidays to consider adopting a rescue pet as new figures indicate a rise in puppy farms.
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In 2008 the charity had 18 complaints in Hertfordshire of "unscrupulous breeders and dealers" that seek to cash in on the growing puppy market - where dogs of certain breeds can sell for hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
But this has since increased to 58 in 2018.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: "It is distressing that we are still seeing so many reports about puppy farms, but part of this increase is probably due to people being more savvy about what to look out for when getting a pet.
"We know there's a spike in people searching for puppies and buying dogs at the beginning of the school holidays but we'd urge families to carefully consider whether getting a dog is right for them.
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"Dogs are a huge commitment and need lots of time and attention, even once summer is over and the kids are back at school.
"If you do have the time and money for a dog then we'd urge you to consider rescuing instead of buying a puppy.
"Not only will this give a rescue dog a chance at finding his forever home but it'll also save any potential heartache caused by unwittingly buying a dog from a puppy farm."
Last year the Government introduced tougher licensing regulations around the selling of animals - including breeding and selling dogs - in order to crackdown on this multi-million pound industry.
"The Government has also committed to a ban on the third-party sales of puppies and kittens which, alongside tougher licensing conditions will also help to tackle puppy farms and dodgy dealers," Lisa continued.
"However, we also need to educate the public to ensure that they only buy puppies from responsible breeders who prioritise the health and welfare of their dogs over profit."
To offer a rescue dog a new home, you can go online to rspca.org.uk/findapet.
To help the RSPCA investigate the puppy trade and resuce dogs go to www.rspca.org.uk/give.