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Justice for Dogs: “You can’t sell puppies anymore”

Hanwell Pet Store has finally been banned from selling puppies following investigations by Naturewatch Foundation together with other anti-puppy farming groups including CARIAD and Hidden-in-Sight.

Hanwell Pet Store in Ealing was previously denied an application to increase the number of puppies on the premises from eight to 40.

Following a string of complaints from the public about Hanwell Pet Store, we launched an undercover investigation and submitted extensive evidence to prove they were in breach of many conditions associated with their pet shop licence. The council officials welcomed our evidence and presented it at the hearing.

But customer complaints continued to stream in, and in April 2016 Ealing Council finally banned the shop from stocking and selling puppies on the basis of inadequate record keeping, misleading customers and stocking more puppies than their licence allowed for.

Over the years they sold puppies, inspectors recorded many animal welfare problems with the store, including:

  • Puppies being sold from Ireland with no record of passports
  • No place to isolate sick puppies – isolation rooms were being used for storage instead
  • A puppy who had kennel cough was returned to the store and sold again two days later - still sick.
  • A puppy was sold with a hernia and an eye infection which was contracted by members of the family who bought him.
  • Puppies sold with parvo virus, a highly contagious and often fatal condition for dogs. There was no evidence of measures being taken to avoid the spread of the disease.

Joanna Randall, Campaign Manager for Naturewatch Foundation, said:

“Cases like this highlight how a puppy’s welfare should never be put in the hands of someone who would sell them for a quick profit. While this outcome sets a fantastic precedent, we still have a long way to go to break the chain of cruelty to dogs treated like objects for sale in unsuitable environments.”

A legal deception

Around 400,000 puppy farmed puppies are sold to unsuspecting UK families each year. Every major animal welfare group in the UK condemns the sale of puppies in pet shops. The Kennel Club insists responsible breeders will never sell puppies through a pet shop.

Dog behaviour experts agree that a pet shop environment is not suitable for the crucial early stages of a dog’s mental and physical development.

Pet shops do, however, provide a perfect environment for puppy farmers to use as a front for their cruel businesses.

Without seeing the conditions the puppy was reared in or meeting the pup’s mother (and seeing them suckling) you can never be sure whether your purchase is supporting puppy farming.

Pet shops also encourage impulse buying, which sees thousands of animals ending up in shelters each year. 

Despite this, both the sale of dogs in pet shops, and puppy farms, are legal in the UK.

Health and welfare

The Great British Puppy Survey 2016 found 1 in 5 puppy buyers experienced either a welfare or a health issue shortly after getting their new pup home.

The awful conditions puppies and their mothers are reared in mean heartache is often the result of buying a puppy farmed pup.

The foundations of a puppy’s future welfare are laid in the first few months of their life. But in a pet shop setting, puppies are taken from their mothers all too young – often from unscrupulous breeders – and marketed as an impulse purchase to unprepared buyers.

We believe ALL dogs deserve a safe start, long life, and a happy ending. But this will never be possible while puppy farms exist. One way to break the chain of cruelty is to never purchase a puppy from a pet shop.


Thinking of getting a dog? Click here to find your perfect match!

Learn more: How to spot a puppy farmer

Read Ealing Council’s Notice of Decision 29 April 2016