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I think I know the answer already but do Pets4Homes use puppy farms?

(62 Posts)
AllergicToNutters Thu 22-Mar-12 22:27:59

My friend has pointed me in the direction of pups available on Pets4Homes several times now. I have told her that I am sure they are farmed pups but she is convinced they aren't (she got a Bichon Frise through them). Her pup has had no health issues and seems gorgeous and well socialised which is why she is convinced I am being overcautious and a bit 'precious' about the origins of any dog I will bring into our family. Out of curiosity I rang a 'breeder' this evening who is selling a litter of yellow lab retrievers for £195 each!!!!!!!! I asked a few pointed questions and he was clearly a twat and only in it for the money. Well, that's the impression I got anyway. But I don;t have any real facts. Another friend has bought a labradoodle from them about a year ago and she seems fine too. Anyone got any real information on them?

InAnyOtherSoil Thu 22-Mar-12 22:33:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scuttlebutter Thu 22-Mar-12 22:34:22

The short answer is yes of course they do. They are the subject of regular demonstrations by anti puppy farming protestors.

Ask yourself this simple question. Would any REPUTABLE breeder supply them with pups?

Bichons and Labs are among the most commonly farmed pups. By going anywhere near this place you will be putting money straight into the hands of puppy dealers, and puppy farmers, mostly in Wales.

AllergicToNutters Thu 22-Mar-12 22:38:41

Oh I am not intending to buy from them. I just wanted to make sure that I was right in my suspicions which is why I rang them. I suspected that was the case.
Inanyother - i am on waiting lists for lab retriever pups and regularly look at rescues for a dog to join our family. I wouldn't subscribe to the puppy farm industry in any way shape or form - just wanting to know for sure

Scuttlebutter Thu 22-Mar-12 22:39:22

Another good test is to look at the phone number of any of the adverts and then google it. You will often it being repeated across a number of sites, including other similar internet sites, and often with multiple dog breeds.

charlearose Thu 22-Mar-12 22:49:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlearose Thu 22-Mar-12 23:09:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scuttlebutter Fri 23-Mar-12 01:16:56

Here's what I've just done. I've looked at Cavs - a popular breed with puppy farmers and the general public, and sadly also one with very well known and serious health issues. I've just looked at the first two pages on Pets4Homes for this breed. Of the first seventeen ads I saw (for some reason one ad was for a poodle) - there were:- pups - six Cavs, two Cavapoos, five Cavochons, one cav/springer, an adult Cav being sold, and three stud dogs.

Only two of the eighteen mentioned BVA/KC health checks for eyes, heart etc. One stud ad mentioned eye testing but gave no mention of syringomelia or heart. One stud ad was adamant in wanting cash only (hmmm, that sounds reputable then).

The sad thing was googling each of the advertised phone numbers. Time after time, more ads would come up either for other cav crosses, or other small breeds such as yorkies. The saddest was one advertiser who were also getting rid of a seven year old bitch on gumtree - nice way to reward her after making all that money off her.

Of course, all of them had lovely pics (clearly many stock photos), and all offered the obligatory puppy pack and first vax. None mentioned if they were registered breeders, and none claimed to be members of breed club.

I'm sure this snapshot could be repeated for many small popular breeds. On the basis of the absence of health checks info, these sellers are falling at the first hurdle - that of selling healthy dogs. The stud ads were dreadful - clearly only motivated by cash with no care for the serious, heriditable diseases they could be spreading around.

What I saw tonight has not persuaded me - in fact quite the reverse. Buying via this website is not a responsible way to source a dog.

yesbutnobut Fri 23-Mar-12 08:11:06

Pets4Homes does not 'use' puppy farms as it is simply a website where you can place adverts. However it is used by a lot of puppy farmers as the other posters have said. When I was looking for my pup I did look on it and to be fair, some reputable breeders did also advertise on it and they often give links to their own websites. The main thing is to find a responsible, health testing breeder and there are better ways to do this than via Pets4Homes.

I was surprised at my puppy class that 2 people had pups where they hadn't even met the mother of the puppy. That is a sure sign they've brought from a puppy farm or BYB. The internet offers anonymity and that is why websites like Pets4Homes are popular with unscrupulous people. Not all who use it fall into that category though and if something catches your eye make sure you google etc - if reputable breeders do post on Pets4Home they will always give their own details/website and you can then research then properly.

AllergicToNutters Fri 23-Mar-12 09:13:35

so, you can find reputable breeders on that site but you have to be careful who you choose? I am not going through that site for my breeder but I have been quite adamant to my friend that they use puppy farms. blush I guess both of us were right.

charlearose Fri 23-Mar-12 11:56:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AllergicToNutters Fri 23-Mar-12 18:37:10

fortunately I am registered with a couple of breeders in my area who are very reputable and so I will wait with bated breath to see what comes my way later in teh Summer.

yesbutnobut Fri 23-Mar-12 19:15:07

You're being very patient Allergic! Your pup will be all the more special for it I'm sure smile, I had to wait a long time until I could cut down my working days and get a puppy. She was worth the wait (except when she eats cat poo)!

AllergicToNutters Fri 23-Mar-12 19:35:26

yesbutnobut - I figured if we can wait 9 months for a baby to arrive,thisi should be no different. Gives me a bit of time to mentally prepare! And get hte children geared up grin. Well, that's the plan anyway smile. Believe me, have been soooo tempted so many times to get a puppy NOW but if nothing comes my way in the next week or so from breeders I have enquired after who have current litters, then i will simply have to wait a bit longer for the breeders who have bitches pregnant about July time.

carol66 Tue 03-Apr-12 17:31:03

Hi, in answer to your original question, no Pets4Homes dont use farmed pups. Im not sure if you understand, but Pets4Homes is a free pet classifieds site which is used by pet owners, breeders and rescue centres to advertise their pets for sale or adoption. Pets4Homes dont actually sell pets themselves, they are just an advertising platform for people to use.

This means that there possibly could be puppy farmers who use the site, but I think the site does try to prevent this, as they are one of the better pet classified sites out there.

There are lots of reputable breeders on the site also. So I would advise if you use the site to do your research and im sure you can find a good breeder on the site.

I know several friends who have bought dogs and cats from the site, and I myself have bought a beautfiful bengal cat from the site years ago, from a very good bengal breeder. So I would recommend the site.

AllergicToNutters Tue 03-Apr-12 18:06:28

thankyou carol. useful post smile

2kids2dogsnosense Mon 15-Oct-12 17:18:52

Agree that pets4homes is not a puppy-farm site per se - just an advertising site. We bought our staff from an advert on there. Picked her up from the vendors' home, saw mammy staff with all of her lovely puppies (big litter - 9!) and she is a healthy, energetic five year old dog with the shiniest coat you can imagine (okay - so I french polish her every now and then - what's a mother for?)

I think it's being sensible that's important - don't go anywhere that they won't let you see the mother with her pups (fair enough not seeing the dad - he could live anywhere) and never have a pup delivered. The other hard bit of advice is NEVER buy a puppy who looks ill because your heart aches for the poor little mite (writes the woman who has done that twice in the past). One of those puppies lived for nine years and cost a FORTUNE in vet's bills. We were lucky with the other - still have her and she is now healthy and spoiled rotten. That is why I say that if the vendor won't let you see pups with their mother, don't go to look, because the odds are you'll get one, especially if you take the kids with you.

ZippeeeeayeA Sun 21-Oct-12 17:04:56

Op you really cannot afford not to be "overcautious and a bit 'precious' about the origins of any dog" in this day and age. There is plenty of footage on youtube of the horrific evil suffering that dogs and pups are forced to endure. Puppy farmers and back yard breeders are the sort that sell via pets4homes, and other websites. A decent breeder will not have the need to advertise on such sites.

countrygirl956 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:17:20

We recently bought a border collie pup through pets4homes.Saw him,with mum and siblings,in breeders home.Lovely person,keep in touch via phone and email.Had vaccinations/health check with our own vet who says he's fit and healthy.
Personally,as with all our other animals,horses excepted,I would never buy any puppy or kitten without seeing it with mum.
Although I did call one ad and was told " oh,I think it's mum is here,somewhere!"

Rhinestone Sun 25-Nov-12 12:06:44

What exactly is the point of your post?

Everybody knows Pets4homes is a front for puppy farms. "Mum" and siblings were probably transported there for the day. Even if they weren't a puppy farm, they were a back yard breeder. A responsible breeder has buyers for the pups before the mum even gets pregnant.

Your post is utterly ignorant and will harm the cause of dogs by encouraging other ignorant people to buy from sites like pets4homes because some idiot person on the internet said it was ok.

RoverQuestion Sun 25-Nov-12 13:39:40

Can I ask a question? We're currently looking for a (small, family friendly) dog, and finding it very difficult tbh.

Do 'reputable breeders' only breed really expensive pedigree dogs?

You do see lots of ads for small crossbreeds, which at around the £200-£300 mark are considerably cheaper than the £1000 mark for a purebred pedigree of similar size. Are ALL those ads likely to be 'back street breeders'? I'm not bothered about a dog being a pedigree, but am confused about the alternatives.

We have been (unsuccessfully) looking for a rescue dog and so have been resisting the puppy ads, but surely a lot of the rescue dogs are likely to be from 'dodgy' sources as well? Does that matter in terms of the health / nature of the dog you're likely to end up with?

Scuttlebutter Sun 25-Nov-12 14:08:11

Rover, do you mind if I ask why you are finding rescue difficult? I'm involved in rescue and know that rescues have a wide selection of family friendly small dogs and pups - do you have particular requirements? If you share these, there are several rescue people on the board who'd be only too glad to point you in the right direction. smile

As far as sources for rescue dogs goes, it varies considerably by rescues. Some rescues are breed specific e.g. greyhound rescues or national breed rescues like Scruples Whippet Rescue (have you talked to them by the way? Whippets are gorgeous family dogs and Scruples are very reputable) so will take on dogs from a much narrower pool e.g. many greyhound charities will have close links with local trainers/owners and local greyhound stadium. A local all breed rescue will take on owner surrenders, dogs from pounds and abandoned dogs.

However, many of these will be pedigrees. A recent Kennel Club survey of pedigree puppy purchasers found that after a year, over 20% no longer owned the dog (and that was after paying eye watering pedigree prices). A lot of these dogs end up in rescue.

With regard to health, it helps to choose your breed carefully. There are a number of sources for info on breed health but they do vary considerably. Again, if you tell us what you are looking for, we may be able to help you.

RoverQuestion Sun 25-Nov-12 14:57:20

Thanks for the reply Scuttlebutter smile

The problems I have encountered with rescues:
- one didn't respond at all to a general query by email about whether they rehomed in our area (it wasn't one I had heard of, think it's an independent one)
- local RSPCA won't rehome with children unless the dog has a proven track record of being good with kids, but were helpful and said to keep an eye on their website (which appears to be updated about once a month). Most dogs they will rehome with kids stipulate that kids must be older (over 10)
- Blue Cross were helpful, we applied for one dog (a 5 year old terrier) but someone was ahead of us in the queue, we're on the list to be contacted if anything suitable comes up. Nothing so far, and not many dogs local to us seem to come up on their website
- Many Tears - have applied for two (youngish terrier, and an older terrier that badly needed a home), we had a message back about one saying that someone had already applied for it, and didn't hear back at all about the other. Maybe just unlucky with our selection.

I think we're reasonably good candidates apart from the child-friendly problem - we own our own house and have a large garden, and I'm at home all day.

Would consider a whippet as I think they're gorgeous - would be slightly worried about the fact that both our neighbours keep rabbits in the garden, might that be a huge temptation for the dog to escape?

We're in the south of the country. Got to dash off now, but will be back later. Thanks again.

Scuttlebutter Sun 25-Nov-12 15:31:16

Hi Rover, oh dear, I can see what you mean. Most rescues will insist on a homecheck and as part of that will want to check that you have a secure garden - many dogs would chase next door's rabbits for instance not just whippets! Indeed many terriers would be after them like a shot.

I'd strongly recommend a look at Scruples - there are quite a few MNetters here who have young families and whippets. Come over to the thread about Pointies/Sighthounds - and you'll get to see and hear all about their whippetty ways.. smile Even some lovely whippy pics..

Personally I wouldn't recommend Many Tears for a number of reasons, but mostly because they charge for behavioural advice and support after adoption - something no other rehoming organisation does.

Many smaller rescues have a more flexible attitude to children than the bigger charities. It affects the other end of the age scale too - a friend's grandmother, very healthy with excellent family support was turned down flat recently by Dogs Trust on the basis of her age - apparently they have a ceiling of 70 to adopt dogs. hmm Such a shame, and took no account of her particular circumstances.

SpicyPear Sun 25-Nov-12 17:23:59

Hi rover. Just wanted to address the last points you make about rescue dogs being from dodgy sources as well. I have two myself, one adopted as an adult and one as a 9 week old puppy.

With an adult dog, a good rescue will have fully assessed the dog from a health and temperament perspective, so even if badly bred, you will have a good idea what sort of dog they are, unlike with a puppy.

With a rescue puppy, yes there might be the same risks with health and temperament as one bought from the puppy ads, but the key difference is that you have not given any money to someone who abuses dogs for profit. My puppy, for example, is a cross-breed and parents weren't health tested etc, but adopting through rescue doesn't in any way encourage this vile industry. Buying a pup from a puppy farm or back yard breeder does.

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