Fighting the illegal puppy trade

The Scottish SPCA is determined to put an end to the illegal puppy trade. This multimillion pound industry is fuelled entirely by greed and profit with little to no consideration for the welfare of the dogs they sell.

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We have been vocal about this horrific trade for some time now, and have received MSP support from Emma Harper and Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham.

Our Special Investigations Unit spearhead a mutli-agency taskforce who work tirelessly to bring puppy traders to justice through Operation Delphin which includes support from Dumfries and Galloway Council, ISPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, RSPCA, HMRC Trading Standards, Stenaline, Police Scotland Port unit and APHA.

Alongside this vital investigatory work, we're also running an online campaign #SayNoToPuppyDealers to help spread awareness about the horrific puppy trade.

But we want to do more.

Shutting down individuals in this cruel trade helps hundreds of puppy’s and dogs who are exposed to unsanitary living conditions.  As a result of the breeding regimen and the conditions the pups are kept in before being sold, a large number suffer from diseases and infections such as giardia and parvo virus. Not only does this result in high vet bills for unsuspecting new owners, but it causes a great deal of unnecessary suffering to the dogs and in some circumstances can result in death.

Whilst Operation Delphin helps identify traders and sellers, we want to continue building on its success and bring the entire trade to an end.

We brought together experts from across the UK on 9 November at our K9 Conference in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Clinical and Health Psychology department. The aim of this conference was to help produce a strategy to combat the puppy trade and the illegal import of dogs.

Multi-agency input is essential to bringing an end to the suffering of hundreds and thousands of dogs.

At the conference we also released the findings of our research project "Research on the Effects of Puppy Farming on Dog Behaviour". Our research has now proven that dogs from puppy farms have more behavioural issues and are more likely to have medical conditions impacting their long-term health compared to dogs from other breeding backgrounds.

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How can you help?

Like us, if you feel strongly on this issue we would urge you to contact your MSP.

For further information on your MSP please click here or visit:

http://www.parliament.scot/msps/current-msps.aspx

We believe public awareness is at the heart of the solution. Please don’t help fund more illegal traders whose only concern is profit. You can also help us spread the word using the hashtag #SayNoToPuppyDealers on social media.

You can also download our posters for display in your local community.

Top tips when looking for a new puppy:

  •  Consider rehoming from your local shelter or alternatively only go to reputable registered breeders.
  • Make sure you can see the mum, and if possible, dad too.
  • Don’t let someone bring the puppy to you, you should be able to see the conditions they are being kept in.
  •  Responsible breeders will be open and honest about the health of the pups they are selling, you should be able to ask questions.

If you do have any concerns you can call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Dog rescued by the Scottish SPCA with new family

Please help

You can help save abused, abandoned and injured animals in Scotland by making a monthly donation to the Scottish SPCA