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An appeal has been launched to find responsible dog breeders in Glasgow while puppy ownership is cracked down on.
Bad breeders have taken advantage of a surge in puppy demand via lockdown and put “profit on puppy welfare”.
Often times, young puppies were taken from their mother prematurely, plagued by diseases and kept in appalling conditions.
For this reason, the Scottish SPCA has launched a new campaign calling on breeders to come forward in exchange for supporting the animal welfare organization to stamp out continued misconduct.
The Scottish SPCA says: “We appeal to dog breeders in Glasgow to join the Assured Puppy Breeder Scheme. The free program was introduced as part of their ongoing efforts to combat the puppy trafficking of low welfare.
“Scotland’s animal welfare organization has seen a seismic surge in public demand for puppies due to lockdowns. Unfortunately, this resulted in poor breeders taking advantage of the situation and making profits on the welfare of the breeding dogs and puppies they sold.
“In many cases, puppies were taken away from their mothers prematurely or were plagued by infectious diseases that were caught due to a lack of vaccinations or unsanitary conditions in which they were raised. Unfortunately, this resulted in many puppies dying in their new or new homes Owners have to pay for expensive veterinary treatment.
“Many puppies rescued from the low-income trade arrive with little experience outside of a kennel environment under-socialized. A sensory garden was created at the Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow to incorporate as many different sensory experiences as possible, dogs as well as one safe, calm environment in which to relax. This will help improve behavior and increase the chances of finding a home forever. “
Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Director of Education, Policy and Research for the Scottish SPCA said, “Now more than ever, we need to reassure the public that they are buying a puppy from responsible breeders. The general public can view the members of the program through our “Say No to Puppy Dealers” website and try to safely buy a puppy from them.
“We do not currently have any breeders in the Glasgow area so we are very keen to see reputable breeders in the area sign up to address the low welfare puppy trade.”
The voluntary program is available to any dog breeder in Scotland. The Scottish SPCA has developed a framework for responsible breeding and inspectors will review applications and visit kennels annually to ensure high standards of welfare are in place. The program is free and the society does not benefit from the sale of puppies, but receives a small commission from Petplan Ltd for registered litters.
Gilly continues, “Our mantra is ‘adopt, don’t buy,’ and we will always work to save instead of buy. But as long as the pups suffer from this industry, we will do everything we can to end this despicable trade.
“The pandemic and public demand for puppies has led to further reports on our animal hotline about unscrupulous dealers who want to earn money quickly without regard to animal welfare.
“Unfortunately, public demand for next day delivery of a puppy remains sky-high and this is driving the multi-million pound low-welfare trade.
“We will continue to crack down on dealers and shady dealers, but we would also like to highlight breeders in Scotland who prioritize parent and puppy welfare. We know there are thousands of breeders across the country doing just that and we hope that many of them will join this program. The program is part of the wider resources we have made available to educate the public on how an appropriate breeder should guide them through the rehoming process.
“We are very pleased to have the support of Trading Standards Scotland. This gives the public one more opportunity to report concerns, especially if they discover advertisements on online sales pages that they believe are fraudulent.
“Our goal is to save puppies and dogs, and to keep owners from buying a sick puppy. No animal deserves this life, if it can be called that, and we will do everything we can to prevent it. “
Trade Standards Scotland urges online consumers to ensure they are buying puppies from legitimate sources and do their research before buying a puppy online.
Julie McCarron, Director of Intelligence and Coordination for Trading Standards Scotland said, “We support the Scottish SPCA Assured Puppy Breeder Scheme because it gives consumers the opportunity to ensure that they are getting a puppy from a reputable source.
“It gives consumers peace of mind that their puppy is likely to be healthy and will not require costly veterinary care. It also helps avoid the emotional distress of buying a sick pet that might die shortly after buying it. “
The Scottish SPCA Assured Puppy Breeder Scheme offers one-on-one inspector assistance and an annual visit. Members have year-round access to support and guidance and receive a welcome pack for each new owner. Members can send puppies to their new homes with Petplan’s 4-week free insurance and claim a 15% discount through the Canine Health Scheme. These benefits add to the fact that the low welfare puppy trade is approached as a certified responsible breeder.
The SIU team at the Scottish SPCA spearhead Operation Delphin, a multi-agency task force charged with bringing illegal puppy traffickers to justice. It is supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council, ISPCA, RSPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, Stena Line, Police Scotland and others.
Disrupting the multimillion-pound industry is a top priority for society, and its #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign has received widespread public and bipartisan political support. More information can be found here: www.saynotopuppydealers.co.uk.