Puppies aren’t presents – let’s end puppy farming at Christmas

As we’re nearly approaching Christmas, it’s the time when many people might be thinking of buying a puppy as a present. The demand for puppies at this time of year means thousands of puppies are bred in illegal puppy farms up and down the country, with thousands more trafficked in horrendous conditions from EU countries.

Tricolour Border Collie pup

RSPCA are urging people to write to their MP and help stop these unscrupulous traders before even more puppies and dogs suffer and die. Puppies are not presents – having a dog in your life might be a gift, but that doesn’t mean they should be bred to order so they can be unwrapped at Christmas time. A new Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament which calls for an overhaul of breeding legislation and systems of enforcement within this lucrative yet damaging ‘trade’. The EDM asks the government to “introduce modern comprehensive laws to cease the illegal trade in animals, with improved enforcement, monitoring and a legal accountability set in stone to ensure proper welfare conditions apply to any breeder.”

To contact your MP and ask them to help clamp down on puppy farming by signing EDM 381, visit this campaign page: http://campaigns.rspca.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=143&ea.campaign.id=33580

If you do decide to give a puppy or kitten this Christmas, a great way to do it is to give a card with a puppy on, or even a fluffy toy that looks like a puppy, along with a note that says after Christmas you will all go choose the puppy together. This will give you and your family enough time to come to terms with the imminent arrival, as well as testing the waters as to how the idea of a puppy will be received. RSPCA say around three pets an hour are abandoned each year as unwanted Christmas presents. That great idea of a puppy might just not go down as well as you think. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have said they tend to get most animals dumped on their doorstep around March or April, when the puppies have grown up and are no longer thought of as small and cute. This is desperately sad and shows a worrying lack of awareness around dog ownership and the massive responsibility it entails. Many dogs will live up to 20 years old and it’s worth giving some thought to the fact that little ball of fluff could very well turn into a huge, slobbering, adorable mess.

And please remember, don’t buy ANY animal online from an unregistered breeder and encourage all your friends and family to follow suit. Millions of gorgeous creatures are languishing in animal shelters up and down the country – why not give one of them the gift of a lifelong, loving home? Or if you do choose to buy a pedigree, please ensure you do so from an established breeder who is registered with either the Kennel Club or Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Always insist on seeing the puppy or kitten’s mother and ensure a valid certificate of registered pedigree accompanies any purebreds you get. Let’s clamp down on these greedy, oblivious money grabbers by eliminating this market altogether. We have the power to prevent thousands of puppies suffering – let’s start now.

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