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Crackdown on unlicensed breeders: Paws before you buy a puppy

News release 10335, published on 01 Feb 2023

Beware of unlicensed dog breeders – that’s the message to people thinking of welcoming a puppy into their family.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council carries out stringent checks and visits before issuing licences to dog breeders to ensure that the welfare of the dogs in their care is of the highest standard. Anyone who breeds over one litter a year should be licenced and the council’s checks include an assessment by an approved vet on the condition and fitness of the dog to breed. Unlicensed breeders are not subject to this scrutiny. 

It comes after a rise in incidents of dogs used for breeding, being abandoned in the borough with significant medical problems.

This includes a two-year-old pug cross called Polly, who was picked up last year in a very poor state. Her behaviour and injuries suggested that she had been kept in a cage her entire life and used solely for breeding.

Cabinet Member for Resident Services Cllr Rebecca Bean added: “There are many checks that people should do before buying a puppy including asking to see a breeder’s licence issued by the local council and paperwork from the vet confirming the puppy has had its injections, health check and been microchipped.

“They should also ask to see the puppy’s mum, who should look clean, happy, alert and well cared for and observe the relationship between the mother and the breeder and finally, never buy a puppy away from the breeder’s home such as a layby or a carpark.

“Our dog warden is seeing more and more cases of dogs being abandoned because they can no longer breed and many have significant medical problems which have been left untreated. It is easy to check the licence status of a dog breeder by making a quick call to the council’s licensing team and I would urge everyone to take the time to do this to help stamp out unlicensed breeding.”

For more information on dog breeding visit:

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