What you should know about pet shops 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 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 and more 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. But remember this may be not be authentic.
Do not be misled, ask questions or better still do your homework before even thinking of viewing a puppy advertised for sale. Remember, the local Council in the area the puppy is being advertised for sale from will be able to advise you if the property where the puppies are being sold from are Licensed as a Pet Shop, Dog Breeders, 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 with their mother, you cannot view he puppies before purchase with online selling unless you make an appointment to view the puppies (where they are held whilst awaiting sale) as suggested on their web site. Do not expect to see the puppies with their mothers they were left hundreds of miles from the selling point in puppy farms in Ireland. Although their web site says 'local breeders' and they refer to themselves as 'licensed kennels' they are not, do not be fooled, they only have a pet shop licence enabling them to buy in puppies to resell.
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 be dog breeders or individuals that are buying litters of puppies in to sell on and be licensed as a pet shop to do so. But 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.
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, and Eire. 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' to enable them to transport puppies as part of a business. This is very questionable therefore many operate illegally.
A breeding bitch from a Licensed breeding establishment
that sells puppies to dealers.
This Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 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 this breeder ignore the fact that this breeding bitch needed veterinary treatment?
How many litters have they produced, no one is ever likely to know.
Did you purchase one of their puppies from a pet shop near you?
See link: Puppy Farming
See link: Puppy Farming update 2008
See link: Dealers and Agents
Some reasons why you should think carefully before buying a puppy from a pet shop.
Some other points you may not be aware of but could be useful if you have already purchased a puppy from a trader:
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.
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.
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Outlets that have a pet shop licence to enable them to 'buy in' puppies to resell. Some are dealers selling to other pet shop licence holders. Some offer an export service.
Anipals Pet Centre, Chadwell Heath, London
Animal Magic, Bromley, Kent
Aardvark Kennels, East Ham, London
also import puppies from Eastern Europe.
London Prestige Puppies, West Ham, London. Previously traded as East London Puppies, and Simons Pets,
Petsville International, London
Premier Puppies, London
Central Puppies, London
T & C Pets Ltd, London
Sylvesters Pet Shop, Hanwell, London and Long Elms, Middlesex
Pedigree Puppies, Middlesex, also known as www.prestigepuppies.co.uk
Charlton Pet Supplies, Middlesex
Hamilton Pet Supplies, Middlesex
Interpups (online ordering and delivery. Web site no longer online)
Pixieland Puppy Nursery, Sussex
Coronet Kennels, Derby
Willow Farm Kennels, Lincs, also known as www.K9puppies.com
Nutshaw Kennels, Lancs
Kottage Kennels Ltd.
Manchester Puppy Kennels, Cheshire
Dogs about Town, Notts
The Dairies previously known as Little Rascals, Lincs
Runwell Kennels previously known as Hot Dog Kennels, Essex. No longer in possession of a pet shop licence or dog breeders licence.
Pets Inparticular, Grays Thurock, Essex
Puppy Paws, previously called Peoples Pets, Wokingham, Berkshire and Swindon, Wiltshire.
Regents Pets, Oldbury, West Midlands.
Wickford Pets previously called Puppies World, Chadwell Heath. Now selling from private address Crays Hill, Billericay, Essex.
Blue Gate Pet Store, Nr Dunmow, Essex
Linton Pets, Berks
Cat Walk Pets, Barkingside, Ilford, London.
Oak Tree Farm Kennels, Wilts
The Paddocks, Surrey
Select Puppies, Kent
Pet World Ltd, Kent.
No longer selling puppies from these premises but maybe elsewhere.
Pet Eats, Isle of Dogs, London
Meresborough Oast Farm, Kent
Doggie Style, London
Jumanji Pet Shop, Kilburn, N London
Ivyleaf Kennels, Durham
Elm Park Pets, Essex
Pets Galore Ltd, 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).
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
Cremdella Kennels formally Willow Park Kennels and Ella Kennels, Mildenhall, Suffolk
Ladds Garden Centre, Hare Hatch, Berks
Top Dog Pet Shop, Market Harborough, Leics
Springtime Nursery, Crews Hill, Enfield, Middesex.
Posh Paws Pet Shop, Waltham Cross, Herts.
Whitton Pet Centre, Middlesex.
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.
Please do not buy a puppy from a pet shop.