Do your part in stopping the illegal sale of puppies in Dorset

Dorset Council has become a driving force for the prevention of illegal puppy breeding across the county. Asking people across Dorset to ‘Stop and Think’ before buying a puppy.

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

Do you know who you are buying your dog from?

Covid 19 has brought a significant increase in both the selling of illegal puppies and the cost of puppies. With more people working from home, dog ownership has become more attractive and easier. This very lucrative market means that puppies are being sold from unlicensed breeders, too often without any consideration of the welfare and environmental needs of the puppy.

An unlicensed puppy breeder is someone who does not have a dog breeding licence but who earns more than £1000 per year from selling puppies.

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

  • – No puppy should be sold under the age of 8 weeks and the puppy should be microchipped
  • – Always see the puppy with its mother
  • – Never buy/collect a puppy from service stations, pubs, car parks or any public area, the puppy should be in the home of the breeder.
  • – If your puppy is advertised with a ‘passport’ this could mean they’ve been imported
  • – Check whether your puppy has been vaccinated and has been socialised before you take them home
  • – Buying from an unlicensed breeder could mean that your puppy may not have the right medical records and could have hereditary health issues which could lead to heavy vet bills in the future.

Visit the website at Animal welfare licences – Dorset Council

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:

“We hope that residents will support our efforts to make a change in the illegal dog breeding market. Many families across Dorset have dogs, including myself, and the thought of them being mistreated is awful.

“If we can work together to grow understanding of what to look for when buying a puppy then we can work to banish any potential harm that comes to our innocent pets. “

Learn more about spotting the signs of a deceitful pet seller – Petfished – Learn how to spot the signs of a deceitful pet seller (

Find out more about best practice when buying a puppy – What To Think About When Buying a Puppy | RSPCA

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