What you should know about pet shops and pet shop licence holders that sell puppies.

Every puppy purchased from a pet shop leaves a space for another to take its place.   The trade in pet shop puppies is consumer led.

As the purchaser you have a choice, the puppies do not.  If you did not buy puppies from a third party outlet the puppy farmers and commercial breeders who supply the pet trade would not have these outlets to sell to.  

Many puppies become ill soon after purchase, some even die. 

Please think carefully before you buy a puppy without seeing it with its mother in its natural surroundings.

You are the consumer - make a wise choice.

Pet shop licence holders - Pet shops and Dealers. 

Pet shops require a licence under The Pet Animals Act 1951(amended 1991) to enable them to 'buy in' and resell puppies.

The local Council Environment Health Department are responsible for licensing and inspecting premises selling puppies. With a new application the Council may appoint a vet to inspect, alongside the officer responsible for licensing.  A licence is re-newable on a yearly basis  but  in the future the licence may be valid for a period of three years.

Pet shops selling pedigree puppies are quite varied, some are a typical small, high street shop that can be seen in any town.  Puppies are usually accommodated in small cages within the shop, more puppies can usually be found 'out the back'. 

Pet Superstores, these are much larger premises with puppies on display, often in larger glass fronted units, giving the impression that the puppies on display are of a superior quality. 

Dog Boarding Establishment or Dog Breeding Establishment that have in addition to their boarding and dog breeding licenses a Pet Shop licence. These are the premises that the public find most confusing when they advertise pedigree puppies for sale. The reason for this is that they are kennels and often the public is mislead into thinking they are purchasing a puppy that was bred on site and the seller owns the dam.

This is not necessarily the case, as a Pet Shop Licence allows the owner to 'buy in' puppies to resell.  They may bring out a bitch alongside the puppy to show you and say it is the mother of the puppies they are selling, to secure a sale.  Do not be fooled into thinking that the puppies were bred on the premises, they may not be the case.  Ask to see their licenses issued by the Council which should be on public display. 

Contact the Council before you even visit the premises to view the puppy and ask what type of licence they have to trade. If they have a Pet Shop Licence they are buying in puppies to resell.   

If you still decide to visit to look at the puppy, ask to see all written documentation first, this should enlighten you as to where the puppy was bred and by whom.  If the puppy is offered without any paperwork or you cannot see the breeders details, then walk away.  Remember the paperwork may not be authentic.

Do not be misled, ask questions or better still do your homework before deciding to view a puppy advertised for sale. Remember, the local Council in the area the puppy is being advertised for sale will be able to advise you if the property where the puppies are being sold from are Licensed as a Pet Shop,  Dog Breeder or Dog Boarding Kennels, they may even have a licence to trade under all services.

If when you speak to the person selling the puppies you are not comfortable with the answers you are given,  or do not like the condition of the premises that the puppies are being sold from, then walk away. 

Private Houses.  Pet Shop Licenses have also been granted to persons who live in  private houses and operate a business of selling puppies from their home.  Some advertising themselves as 'kennels.' Again, you will not be able to see the puppy with its mother.  It would be wise to check with the Council asking if they have a licence, they maybe operating illegally.  Again the seller should have their licence on display in public view.

A new twist has occured in pet shop selling, an online shop, offering various breeds of puppies delivered to your door.  Do not get fooled into buying a puppy by this method however 'classy' the web site and advertisements look.  This is the shop window of puppy farming.  

Be aware you will not be able to see the puppies interacting with their mother at any of the above traders premises.

Remember, no responsible, ethical breeder would ever sell litters of puppies to a pet shop licence holder. 


Where else do Pet Shop licence holders advertise and sell their puppies? 

Many in Free ad papers, local newspapers and the Internet they all carry adverts offering puppies for sale.  Some will be licensed pet shops with a land line telephone number.  Others advertise with a mobile number or a protected number offered by some advertisers to protect the sellers privacy. Some  offer multiple breeds of puppies under one number, others use various mobile numbers from different locations but they can all be part of one cartel involved in buying and reselling puppies, usually from puppy farms or back yard breeders. 

They could also be dog breeders or individuals that 'buy in' litters of puppies to sell on and licensed as a pet shop.   They may also be operating illegally, buying puppies from equally undesirable places and selling them cheaply or even at highly inflated price, to entice you or fool you into thinking you are purchasing a well bred puppy. 

Be aware, ask questions of the seller. Do not purchase a puppy from an arranged meeting place such as supermarket or petrol station car park or agree to have the puppy delivered to your door unless you have seen the puppy at the breeders premises first.  It is very important that you see the premises where the puppy is bred together with its mother and littermates. 

Puppies sold from premises with a Pet Shop Licence, can advertise  for sale as many as fifteen to thirty six or more different breeds of puppies, from toy to giant breeds and now the fashionable cross breeds and handbag puppies. Some will advertise the puppies for sale with a pedigree, a registration document,  and say Vet checked, vaccinated, pet insurance, wormed and sometimes offering a guarantee.

A guarantee offered by sellers of puppies are very misleading, it is a sales gimmick.  Remember the person selling you the puppy is a salesperson, they want to secure a sale.

A guarantee will not take away your consumer rights if you have purchased a puppy that later becomes sick or dies.  You will still be able to use the Sale Of Goods Act 1979 to seek redress against the seller of your puppy through the Small Claims Court at your local County Court.  

It is very unlikely when buying a puppy from a pet shop that they will be interested in whether you have chosen wisely and the puppy is the best choice of breed for your lifestyle and family circumstances.

Disclaimer.  Do not sign a disclaimer as this will take away all your rights as a consumer to seek redress against the seller through the Small Claims Court should your puppy fall sick or die shortly after purchase. 

See Link

Pet shops, check before you buy 

Where do pet shops purchase their puppies from?

Pets shops can buy their puppies from anywhere and anyone.  Most acquire their puppies from both licensed commercial breeders and unlicensed breeders, both commonly known as puppy farmers.  Most pet shops buy from Wales, N Ireland, Republic of Ireland and now Eastern Europe.   Breeders  sell their puppies to agents and dealers (dealers  should be in possession of a pet shop licence too if they buy litters of puppies from breeders and sell them onto pet shops). Dealers should also have Authorisation 1 or 2 this enables them to transport puppies as part of a business under the Welfare of Animals Transport Order 2007.  Many do not and operate illegally.

A breeding bitch from a Licensed breeding establishment

that sells puppies to dealers.

This Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (above) or Scottie (below) could be the mother of your puppies. Both are very sweet dogs but they are not in good health. The breeders were more interested in producing litter after litter of puppies for monetary gain than giving their dogs the care they required by receiving veterinary  treatment.

This Scottie was from a Licensed breeding establishment that sells puppies to dealers. 


How could a breeder ignore the fact that this breeding bitch needed veterinary treatment?

How many litters has she produced?   No one is ever likely to know. 

Did you purchase one of their puppies from a pet shop near you?


Reasons why you should think carefully before buying a puppy from a pet shop.

  • Reputable breeders do not sell litters of puppies to dealers and pet shops.
  • You the purchaser will not be able to see the puppies interacting with their mother or litter mates or be able to judge the parents temperament.  
  • You will not be able to speak directly to the breeder to ask important questions. Such as are the parents health screened for known hereditary conditions for the breed of puppy you are interested in purchasing?
  • You will not be able to see where the puppy was reared and the living conditions at the breeding establishment.
  • The puppy will not be socialized with the family or children and have experienced household noises.
  • The seller may not be knowledgable in the breed of puppy they are selling or whether suitable to your domestic circumstances.
  •  Many puppies sold from pet shops become sick soon after purchase.
  • You may incure hefty veterinary expenses if the puppy becomes ill shortly after purchase.  

Some other points you may not be aware of but could be useful if you have already purchased a puppy from a trader:

  • Puppies are classified as trade when sold as part of a business. They are termed as ‘a commodity.' A person buying a puppy from a retail outlet is covered by the terms of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This is regardless as to whether the outlet selling the puppy offers their own guarantee and state that you must return the puppy to them to be examined by their own vet should it become ill.
  • Whenever goods are bought they must "confirm to contract." This means they must be as described, fit for the purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale).

  •  If you have already purchased a puppy from a pet shop and the puppy is sick, has died, is suffering from a hereditary disease or incorrect paperwork then please contact Puppy Alert  with the full details:      puppyalert@btinternet.com


  • Reputable, responsible breeders do not sell puppies to dealers and pet shops.
  • A responsible breeder would need to meet you and all of your family before parting with their puppy.
  • Yes, they will ask you lots of questions, they need to be certain that their well bred puppy is going to a good home. Some will request a home check and vet report too.
  •  If you have purchased a puppy from a retail outlet that has become ill or has died shortly after purchase please email:


It would also be in your puppy’s interest to contact the local Council Environmental Health Department for the area that you purchased your puppy. They are responsible for licensing dog breeders, dog-boarding kennels and pet shops.  They need to know who are selling sick puppies in their area as some diseases are highly contagious to other puppies on their premises.  Some puppies carry diseases that are zoonosis transferable from animals to humans.

Councils can also refuse to renew the Licence if premises repeatedly sell sick puppies. Councils can place addition conditions on a licence if it is expedient to the purpose of the Act. Such as an unannounced inspections  in addition to the normal once a year inspection before the licence is due for renewal.

Please contact your local Trading Standards or Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06, www.consumerdirect.gov.uk

They can advise you of what action you maybe able to take if you have purchased a puppy that has fallen sick, has died or if you suspect that the puppies paperwork is incorrect.

Remember make a considered choice, do not let your heart rule your head.  













If the seller is offering a puppy for sale from Eastern Europe or the Republic of Ireland the puppy must be at least 15 weeks of age, be microchipped,  rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age and a current Passport. The importer and seller must comply with the EU Legislation the *Balai Directive*
Pet Shops and Dealers

ANIPALS Pet Centre, Chadwell Heath, London

ANIMAL MAGIC, Bromley, Kent

also import puppies from Eastern Europe.

LONDON PRESTIGE PUPPIES, West Ham, London. Previously traded as East London Puppies, and Simons Pets,



T & C PETS Ltd, London

K-9, London

SYLVESTERS Pet Shop, Hanwell, London and Long Elms, Middlesex

PEDIGREE PUPPIES, Middlesex, also known as www.prestigepuppies.co.uk



DOGS4US, Manchester

DOGS4US, Leeds 


WILLOW FARM KENNELS, Lincs, also known as www.K9puppies.com



LITTLE RASCALS The Dairies, Lincs have a dogs breeders licence and a pet shop licence.   

PETS INPARTICULAR, Grays Thurock, Essex

PUPPY PAWS, previously called Peoples Pets, Wokingham, Berkshire and Swindon, Wiltshire.
Richard Kendall  and brother Peter Kendall own the above pet shops but Richard Kendall is also connected to
Red Lion Pets Ltd, Tidivale, Oldbury, West Mids formally
Regents Pets, Oldbury, West Midlands.
Richard Kendall has also supplied Stacey Hayward of
Wickford Pets previously called Puppies World, Chadwell Heath.  Now selling from private address Crays Hill, Billericay, Essex.

BLUE GATE PET STORE, Nr Dunmow, Essex 

CAT WALK PETS, Barkingside, Ilford, London.

OAK TREE FARM Kennels,  Wilts



PET EATS, Isle of Dogs, London 



JUMANJI PET SHOP, Kilburn, N London 




SOLWAY PET SUPPLIES, Workington, Cumbria
WITHY PATCH, Lancing  West Sussex (selling from private property). 
OAKDENE HOUSE, Partridge Green, West Sussex,(selling from private property). 

WICKFORD PETS, Crays Hill, Billericay, Essex    
BORDER KENNELS LTD previously known as Lakeside Kennels, Bala, N Wales
JAMESMOR KENNELS LTD also trades under Cottage Kennels, Cardigan, Wales.
NATUREWORLD, Rotherham and Sheffield, S Yorks
CAPELLA COCKAPOOS (Taylor Direct ltd) listed as being a farming concern and trading as a pet shop under the name of Taylor Sales Ltd which is also listed as being a farming concern.  Charles and Lisa Taylor run Taylor Sales Ltd and Taylor Direct Ltd (Kennels and pet shop) from the travellers site but list both against a PO Box holding address to avoid people linking them to Capella Cockapoos. Previously called Cremella Kennels,  Willow Park Kennels and Ella Kennels, Mildenhall, Suffolk
TOP DOG PET SHOP, Market Harborough, Leics
SPRINGTIME NURSERY, Crews Hill, Enfield, Middesex.
POSH PAWS PET SHOP, Waltham Cross, Herts.
This is not a comprehensive list. If you know of any premises 'buying in' and reselling  puppies and think it should be added to this list then please contact Puppy Alert.


If you are a trader and your name appears on this list offering puppies for sale and you cease trading in puppies, please advise us. Your name will  be removed when comfirmation is received from the Council that the current licence has expired and the licence holder has not requested it to be renewed.