Dorset fights to stop illegal sale of puppies

Over the past two years, the number of dog owners has increased, but people should be careful when buying a new pet.

That’s the message from Dorset Council, which has become a driving force in preventing illegal puppy breeding across the county. He’s asking people across the county to “stop and think” before buying a puppy.

Dorset Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams are working together to raise awareness of the multi-million pound puppy breeding trade that is taking place right under our noses.

With more people working from home, owning a dog has become more attractive and easier. This very lucrative market means that puppies are sold by unlicensed breeders, too often without any consideration for the pup’s welfare and environmental needs.

An unlicensed puppy breeder is someone who does not have a dog breeding license but earns over £1000 a year selling puppies.

Dorset Council has updated its website facilities to allow users to check if breeders are licensed, report unlicensed breeders and advice on what to look for and check when buying a puppy, including:

  • No puppy should be sold before the age of 8 weeks and the puppy must be microchipped
  • Always see the puppy with its mother
  • Never buy/collect a puppy from petrol stations, pubs, car parks or any other public area, the puppy must be with the breeder
  • If your puppy is announced with a “passport”, it could mean that he was imported
  • Check if your puppy has been vaccinated and socialized before bringing him home
  • Buying from an unlicensed breeder could mean that your pup may not have the correct medical records and could have hereditary health issues that could result in hefty vet bills in the future.


Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for customer and community services, said: ‘We hope residents will support our efforts to bring about change in the illegal dog breeding market. Many families in Dorset have dogs, myself included, and the idea of ​​them being abused is awful.

“If we can work together to better understand what to look for when buying a puppy, then we can work to banish any potential harm that happens to our innocent pets.”

Learn more about spotting the signs of a deceptive pet seller –

Read more about best practice when buying a puppy –

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