Pet Shop Puppies(6 Posts)
Not sure if there is anything I can do about this, advice would be appreciated. Pet shop in my local shopping centre, always been a bit dirty and a bit of a bad reputation for not really looking after the animals in stock. Walked past yesterday morning 8am and could hear puppies howling. Last night coming back from work went past to see if it was open so I could see how many puppies were there and what their living space was like, but it was closed. However could hear them crying still. This was about 5.30. This morning walked past again and little mites crying again. Is it right that they can be left on their own for over 12 hours? Is there anything I can do, or is this just standard pet shop practice?
Didn't think pet shops normally sold puppies, I've only ever seen them selling hamsters, rabbits etc. But no the idea of puppies living in a shop rather than in a breeders home is horrid - no idea if its illegal.
Sure more knowledgeable people will be along shortly!
Sadly, it is legal to sell puppies in a pet shop. However, the pet shop must be licensed by the local authority, usually the Trading Standards Department. You have the right to view the licence, and see previous inspection reports/correspondence. I would report your concerns to them, as the length of time the pups are left may well be one of the conditions of the licence. Usuallly, you can look up the licence conditions on the website too.
Unfortunately, dogs being left like this is also a feature (unbelievably) of licensed dog breeders. One of the improvements I suggested in the recent Welsh consultation on puppy farming was on exactly this issue. A cosy fireside in the breeders' home is unfortunately not the common experience of many pups in the UK. Far more likely, a dark, filthy, stinking, farm building with a frightened, stressed, unhealthy mum, with little water and poor food.
The bigger picture of course is that this pet shop is selling pups which are almost certainly from puppy farms and that there is a market - must admit I am cynical and can't believe there is anyone out there who still believes this is an appropriate way to buy a pup, but you might want to get together with local groups and start a campaign to educate local people/persuade the shop to stop selling live pups.
Do you think its worth phoning the rspca and telling them my concerns?
In a word, no. The RSPCA will almost certainly refer you in the first instance to the licensing authority, ie. Trading Standards. If you had tried to get them to act with no effect and there was an immediate and severe problem, then it might be worthwhile, but in this instance no. The RSPCA are very unlikely to act if the pet shop is acting within its licence, no matter what your views are on the legitimacy of the trade itself, if you see what I mean. In the same way, they rarely get involved for example in policing/monitoring abbatoirs since these are, in theory, policed by different bodies.
There is a separate and different argument about the effectiveness and policy of the RSPCA but that is a different issue. For many people, including myself, I would not count on them in a case of cruelty and in some cases would be very concerned about their involvement.
The local authority as a licensing authority, can issue improvement notices, can take prosecutions, and can withdraw the licence so I would focus on that as my primary target initially.
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