Our charitable remit and workload

A number of enquiries have been made to the charity regarding our charitable remit and the increasing workload. It is important to clarify the position of the charity and our workload position.

Our charitable remit is to prevent and suppress cruelty to animals, in particular by investigating allegations of organised animal cruelty and bringing prosecutions against the perpetrators. As such, we can only investigate organised animal cruelty. This includes:

  • Badger baiting,
  • Animal fighting,
  • Puppy farming and sick puppy sales,
  • Illegal trapping and snaring,
  • Wildlife crimes, and
  • Bird of prey persecution.

The charity must make sure that it is carrying out the purposes for which it is set up, and no other purpose. This is guidance by the Charity Commission.

We investigate animal welfare issues without fear or favour. Our prosecution decisions are based on evidence alone, not the person who reported it.

Dog theft related matters

We do not investigate dog theft related matters. It is the responsibility of the local police forces to investigate theft. As such, we would recommend that you contact the local police forces to investigate any alleged incidents of dog theft.

The only exception to this rule would be where there are validated and genuine concerns for the welfare of animals. As such, you should not contact us with regular dog theft related matters as you may be wasting valuable time that may be spent on serious animal welfare issues.

Investigation Updates

Due to data protection legislation, we are unable to provide investigation updates. We understand that this is frustrating but rest assured that we will investigate any reports of serious animal cruelty.

Should we require a witness statement from you, we will ensure that this is communicated from the outset. Your statement(s), including your name, will be disclosed to the defence however your personal details such as your address will not be disclosed.

If you are unable to provide a witness statement, we may not be able to progress the matter any further due to the rules of evidence. This is entirely out of our control. Your statement could make a massive difference to an investigation. Please think about your ability to make a statement before contacting us.

If your email is only providing intelligence on a subject, you may not receive a reply. Please rest assured we will always pursue all lines of enquiry in relation to intelligence however we may be unable to communicate the outcome(s).

Investigation Backlog

Due to COVID-19, our charity is experiencing a backlog of complaints regarding the sale of sick puppies. We completely understand that this is an emotive issue and incredibly frustrating.

Please rest assured that where there is a validated complaint, we will respond to you in due course. This may take a matter of weeks and we may place you onto a “non-urgent waiting list”. This will be communicated to you; do not be disheartened as this communication means that we have accepted the case.

Should you have concerns about an immediate risk to the welfare of an animal, please make this known to us so we can escalate the concern.

We wish we could help everyone but this is simply not possible. We receive 10+ serious reports of organised animal cruelty every single day with a small team of investigators working on a number of large-scale investigations at any one time. As such, please do your research that we are the most appropriate organisation for you to contact with your concern as you may be wasting valuable time.

Thank you!

Buying A Puppy: A Welfare Guide

Always buy a puppy from a licensed breeder or re-home from a reputable rescue centre.

A responsible breeder should be happy to be asked plenty of questions, and will ask a few themselves. They will invite you for a visit, or be accommodating when you request visits. They will want to ensure you can offer a good home.

Call the breeder before you visit – it is very easy to get distracted when you are face-to-face with cute puppies!

Prepare a list of questions, which should include:

  • Who are the parents? Are they both healthy? Have they been screened for inherited diseases? What were the results?
  • Are the puppies healthy? Have there been any health issues?
  • Have the puppies had routine veterinary treatments (e.g. wormer).
  • Will the puppies be vaccinated, or have they already been vaccinated?
  • Will they be microchipped?
  • Will the puppies receive any training, such as house training?
  • Will the puppies be well socialised?
  • Where do the puppies live? Are they in a home or kept separately? Are they used to people coming and going? Are they left alone or around people all day? Consider your own lifestyle here – is the puppy growing up in an environment similar to the one you can offer?

Try and make a note of the answers, or ask the breeder to email you with any answers and paperwork. If you have any concerns about a puppies health or you’re not sure about test results, please do consult a vet.

Visit the puppy where they have been bred

You should visit the puppy more than once at the place he/she was bred. Never agree to meet halfway or at a random location such as a different home or a motorway service station. And never buy the puppy after just one visit.

Check the area where the puppy has been reared – there should be evidence of a whelping pen (an area where the mother has given birth to and is raising her puppies). There should be plenty of bedding and food/water bowls.

meet the parents!

It is crucial to meet the puppy’s mother and siblings. It may not be possible to see the father, so in this case make sure to at least talk with his owner over the phone.

Look for signs that the bitch is the puppy’s real mother. Does she have large mammary glands ready for her pups to suckle? Is she accepting their attempts to suckle? Some breeders may try to pass another bitch as the mother, and this dog will likely try to avoid suckling attempts.

Ask about the parents. Have their been any health issues, or are there any now? What are their personalities like? What was their background?

Check Your Puppy’s Health

Watch your puppy and look for any signs of poor health or care.

The following are things to look out for, but this list is not exhaustive:

  • Skin (patches of sore or thickened skin, stains around their bottom indicating diarrhoea)
  • Fur (bald patches, dull coat, scruffy, black flecks that could be a parasite)
  • Eyes (red, runny, or crusty)
  • Nose (runny or sore patches)
  • Breathing (noisy, laboured, coughing)
  • Posture (crouching, hunched)
  • Body condition (very thin with ribs showing, limping or awkward movement)
  • Energy levels (weakness, fatigue, can’t play for very long)

If you have any concerns, check with a vet prior to purchasing your puppy.

Do not buy a puppy because you are concerned for their welfare. Please call us on 0330 120 0909 as soon as possible.

Ask to see the relevant records for any veterinary activity such as check-ups, screening tests, worming treatments, vaccinations, and microchipping.

Don’t choose a puppy just based on their looks

Choose a puppy from a responsible source who is healthy, well socialised, and happy!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Enjoy your new puppy and have a wonderful life together!