Huge spike in puppy farms across Staffordshire and Cheshire

There has been a 964 per-cent increase in calls over the last ten years in the number of puppy farms in Cheshire.

The RSPCA received 117 last year compered to just 11 back in 2008.

It is the second largest increase across the country with neighbouring Shropshire seeing the highest rise.

In Staffordshire, there was a near 700 per-cent increase after the animal charity had 135 calls last year.

The RSPCA is urging families thinking of getting a puppy over the summer holidays to consider adopting a rescue pet instead.

The UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity is issuing advice to prospective dog owners as new figures, released today (Thursday 1 August), reveal that puppy farms continue to be a growing problem - with a 390% increase in complaints across England.


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. 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.”

“After the RSPCA campaigned for years, the Government last year finally introduced tougher licensing regulations around the selling of animals - including breeding and selling dogs - which we hope will help 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. 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.”

Top tips for families buying a puppy this summer

Do lots of research and make sure you can commit to a new dog before looking for your new family member;

Adopt don’t shop - visit your local centre to see if you can offer a rescue dog a home;

Use The Puppy Contract - a guide to how to responsibly source a puppy which can help you find a happy, healthy dog;

Always visit more than once and the see the mum and puppies interacting together. Be wary of any breeder who won’t let you or pressures you into buying;

If you’re concerned about something you see at a breeder then walk away, do not buy the puppy and report your concerns to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, police on 101 or your local council. 

There are lots of benefits to adopting a rescue dog from a reputable organisation. Giving a rescue pet a second chance is extremely rewarding, and all pets are fully assessed before being put up for rehoming so you can be sure that you will be matched to the right dog for you. 

Puppies and dogs will also be fully vet-checked, vaccinated, microchipped and - often - neutered so you needn’t worry about the costs of all of these extras. They may have also had some basic training already in kennels and you will receive ongoing support and advice if needed, while RSPCA centres also offer six weeks of free pet insurance.  

To offer a rescue dog a new home visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet. To help the RSPCA continue investigating the puppy trade and rescuing dogs please donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give. 


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