#poutforpuppies – See Them Suckling!
The trade in puppy farm puppies is accelerating at a terrifying rate. A recent report from the RSPCA* has shown that imports from Europe have increased exponentially since the change in the PETS scheme in 2012, an estimated 30,000 were brought in in 2015 (a figure possibly much higher due to illegal trading) and over 400,000 pups are bred for the UK market every year by unlicensed establishments.
These puppies are bred in truly awful conditions, with little to no human contact, ripped from their mothers far too early and then are transported hundreds, possibly thousands, of miles to be sold as ‘family’ pets by completely shameless charlatans.
Make no mistake, you have met, or quite possibly own, one of these dogs. They are being taken to the vets in their droves to have their infections and their inherited issues treated, and their behavioural problems take a huge toll on their families. All of which is contributing in no small part to the enormous numbers that are being abandoned to rescue centres or worse, euthanised.
Even if a person is lucky enough to own a puppy farm bred dog without any problems; the bitch is still living in a hellhole, simply a breeding machine, denied opportunity of any sort of normal life, as are thousands like her.
Although much of the general public are aware of the standard advice for buying a dog; always see the puppies with their mother and only buy from a family home, an equal, or greater, number do not or simply don’t care. A remarkable 16% (1.5million) of the dogs in the UK were purchased in a pet shop and of all puppies sold 41% of purchasers didn’t see the bitch and 53% didn’t view the environment in which the litter was bred.**
However, even when prospective dog owners do try to buy responsibly they are often faced with unscrupulous traders showing litters with stooge bitches, even going so far as to rent family homes for short periods from which to sell the litter.***
When you realise the sums involved for the dealers and traders, thousands of pounds every month, completely tax free, you can see why such efforts are made.
‘See Them Suckling’ is a new campaign set up by myself, Cat Henstridge, a Veterinary Surgeon and Companion Dog World magazine. Our message is to encourage people to only consider purchasing a puppy from a seller who will allow them to view the litter, with their mother, well before they are mature enough to be re-homed. Something which the puppy farmers will find impossible to provide.
This way they will;
- definitely see the real bitch,
- view the genuine environment in which the puppy has been bred and, vitally,
- be unable to make an impulse purchase, which is so often later regretted and only serves to fuel the puppy trade.
Our aims are;
- To increase public awareness through campaigning that they should see a puppy young enough to be dependent on it’s mother before considering a purchase.
- To ensure prospective puppy buyers visit a litter at least once before making a purchase.
- To raise awareness in the veterinary profession, so they are giving this advice to their clients.
- To make outlets advertising puppies for sale to ensure this advice is displayed prominently on their pages
On Monday 15th August 2016 we are launching a viral campaign on social media to raise awareness of this issue by asking people to post pouting selfies with their dogs (if it is safe to do so), use the hashtags #poutforpuppies and #seethemsuckling, tag their friends and link to our website https://seethemsuckling.com .
Please join us and our campaign!
Together, as dog owners and animal lovers, with this movement we can really make a difference to the welfare of dogs and puppies here in the UK and across Europe, now and in the future!
* RSPCA ‘Sold a pup’ report
** Kennel Club PAW survey 2014
*** AWF 2015 – 40 minutes in – David Martin MRCVS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apqm5AmR9nw