“If people saw behind the scenes at a puppy farm they would be shocked.”
TV presenter and ambassador for dogs calls for stiffer penalties for puppy farmers
Animal loving TV presenter Paul O’Grady has spoken out at his disgust at the shocking conditions puppy farms dogs are forced to endure.
Paul spoke about the horrors of puppy farming and the imported puppy trade at the RSPCA Animal Hero Awards, ahead of the launch of the charity’s #NotAPresent campaign this week.
Paul, known for his work on ITV’s For The Love of Dogs, said: “The puppy farms that exist both in this country and abroad are just shocking. They are harrowing and dreadful.
“The RSPCA do wonderful work and all I can say is thank God for them. They are fighting a battle, really fighting a battle.
“Through my work I see the good side of people as well as the bad side and believe you me there are things we wouldn’t dare show on TV because it is just too harrowing. It is just dreadful.”
He added: “We have got a responsibility to animals and we are here to care for them, not to abuse them. Until the judicial system changes and starts giving out stiffer penalties, puppy farmers and the like will get away with murder and we have to stop it.”
The RSPCA has already taken 30% more calls concerning puppy farms and the puppy trade so far this year, compared to the whole of 2013.1
The RSPCA this week launched the #NotAPresent campaign, which warns people against buying puppies as presents as it could fuel the trade in farmed and illegally imported puppies by people who put making money before animal welfare.
Violet Owens, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “Many puppies are bred purely for profit and the sad fact is that while there continues to be such high demand for puppies, particularly the desirable pure-bred or fashionable crossbreed puppies, there will be puppy traders willing to exploit this fact.
“Puppy traders often go to extreme lengths to make their illegal operations appear legitimate to unsuspecting buyers. Some rent houses to make it appear as if the puppies have grown up in a home environment. Others post multiple adverts on the internet sites while using separate mobile phones for each breed advertised to disguise the huge numbers they are selling.”
The RSPCA is now calling on MPs in England to develop legislation that tackles the root causes of the problem by cutting off the illegal trade and ensuring increased accountability and monitoring of anyone who breeds puppies.