Animal charity warns of puppy farms

MEET Mac – a healthy puppy with boundless energy and a loving nature.

However, life could easily have been very different for Mac, as it was born in a puppy farm.

For many puppies born in puppy farms, their stories do not always have such happy endings.

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Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS) took on the three puppies after their original owners bought them off puppy “dealers”, and found them to be too much of a handful.

The charity has noticed a rise in the sale of puppies born in puppy farms, and is warning those looking to buy a puppy of the consequences of such a sale.

Senior animal rescue officer Billy Elliott said the puppies tended to come from puppy farms in Wales.

“What is happening is that these dealers are bringing van loads of puppies back from these farms – some of which are unlicensed – and then selling them, either out of the back of their vans or through advertising,” he said.

“In many cases, these puppies have been brought up in appalling conditions and can have conditions such as kennel cough and worms.

“People do not know what they are letting themselves in for.

“Some of the puppies come with vaccination certificates that don’t match.

“It’s like buying a car with a wrong MOT or is breaking down – trading standards wouldn’t allow it, why should we?”

Mac is 16 weeks old, and is looking for a new home after his original owner bought it from a dealer.

Billy said: “Mac’s original owner was a lady who worked long hours and had many work commitments. She had realised she could not devote the time Mac needed to be looked after properly, and found she could not return him to the dealer, so we took him on.

“What I often find when I visit people to pick up the puppies is they are completely distraught at their situation – some people are in tears because they just cannot cope. The guilt can be too much for them.”

Mac is now waiting to be rehomed through WADARS, but an owner is yet to come forward.

“Mac is looking for a good home,” said Billy. “He is timid, but a very good dog. We urge people to think about their decision before they rehome an animal, because they do not want to be back here again.”

Billy said the dealers are not concerned about the welfare of the puppies, and are in it for a quick sale.

He said: “What is often the case is that the new owner hands over the cash, the dealer hands over the puppy and that’s the last you will see of them. As well as a lot of care and attention, these puppies often need veterinary treatment, which some people cannot afford, which is when they realise they’ve made a mistake and cannot return them. I recently picked up a puppy from a girl in a block of flats in Southwick, and the dealer had told her it was toilet trained.

“She could not train it herself because she had no garden, and although she really tried, she had to give it up.”

Billy said if someone is looking to buy a puppy, they should go to a Kennel Club-certified breeder.

For more information on WADARS and rehoming, call 0300 3030999 or visit For a full report on puppy farms, see this week’s Herald (May 10 edition).