Sir Mike Penning, Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead, is backing the Justice for Reggie campaign to end illegal puppy farming.
Reggie was a 12-week-old Labrador sold via a reputable website. He fell ill 12 hours after arriving home with his new owners and after three days at the vets he sadly died of parvovirus. It was found that Reggie’s microchip details did not match the documentation. Sir Mike is backing the campaign after a constituent contacted him having had a similar experience.
Sir Mike said: ‘This is a very sad case. The new owners are naturally traumatised. The puppy was bought via a reputable website which advertises thousands of puppies for sale.’
Lucy’s Law, which bans third-party puppy and kitten sales in the UK, came into force in April 2020. This means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.
Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.
Sir Mike added: ‘Sadly, it appears that Reggie’s story was not a one-off and it would appear illegal puppy farming continues.
‘Lucy’s Law was a great achievement, but we need to make sure that it is clear exactly who is responsible for enforcing it and that they have sufficient funding to do so.
‘There are also concerns about illegal imports, third party websites not conducting sufficient background checks and failing to vaccinate at the right time.’
For more information visit: www.justiceforreggie.co.uk
The Government website urges anyone looking to buy a puppy or kitten to look for these warning signs:
- Have a look at the seller’s profile and search their name online. If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.
- Check contact details. Copy and paste the phone number into a search engine. If the number is being used on lots of different adverts, sites and dates then this is likely a deceitful seller.
- Check the animal’s age. Puppies and kittens should never be sold under 8 weeks old – do not buy from anyone advertising a puppy or kitten younger than 8 weeks.
- Check the animal’s health records. Make sure the seller shares all records of vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and microchipping with you before sale.
- Make sure the mum is present – if mum is not available to meet, it’s unlikely the puppy or kitten was bred there. Beware of the seller making excuses as to why mum is not there e.g. she’s at the vet’s, asleep, or out for a walk.
- Check there isn’t a ‘fake’ mum – most fake mums don’t interact with the puppies as they fear the real mum returning.
- Watch out for puppies or kittens labelled as ‘rescue’ but with much higher than expected price tags.
- If you feel rushed or pressurised into parting with cash, this is a red flag.
- Health problems observed at purchase are not normal and don’t be convinced otherwise.
- Beware of offers to meet somewhere convenient e.g. car park or motorway services, or ‘shop front’ premises, common with rented properties just to make sales, and ‘sales rooms’ kept separate from nearby or onsite puppy farm.