Do your part to stop the illegal sale of puppies in Dorset


Dorset Council has become a driving force in the prevention of illegal puppy breeding throughout the county. Asking people across Dorset to ‘stop and think’ before buying a puppy.

Dorset Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams are working together to raise awareness of the multi-million pound puppy breeding trade that is taking place right under our noses.

Do you know who you buy your dog from?

Covid 19 has caused a significant increase in both the sale of illegal puppies and the cost of puppies. With more people working from home, owning a dog has become more attractive and easier. This very lucrative market means that puppies are sold by unlicensed breeders, too often without any consideration for the pup’s welfare and environmental needs.

An unlicensed puppy breeder is someone who does not have a dog breeding license but earns over £1000 a year selling puppies.

Dorset Council has updated its website facilities to allow users to check if breeders are licensed, report unlicensed breeders and advice on what to look for and check when buying a puppy, including:

  • – No puppy should be sold before the age of 8 weeks and the puppy must be microchipped
  • – Always see the puppy with its mother
  • – Never buy/collect a puppy from petrol stations, pubs, car parks or any other public place, the puppy must be with the breeder.
  • – If your puppy is announced with a “passport”, it could mean that it has been imported
  • – Check if your puppy has been vaccinated and socialized before bringing him home
  • – Buying from an unlicensed breeder could mean that your pup may not have the correct medical records and could have hereditary health issues that could result in hefty vet bills in the future.

Visit the website at Animal Welfare Licenses – Dorset Council

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said:

“We hope residents will support our efforts to change the market for illegal dog breeding. Many families in Dorset have dogs, myself included, and the thought of them being abused is dreadful.

“If we can work together to better understand what to look for when buying a puppy, then we can work to banish any potential harm that happens to our innocent pets.”

Learn more about spotting the signs of a deceptive pet seller – Petfished – Learn how to spot the signs of a deceptive pet seller (

Learn About Best Practices When Buying A Puppy – What To Consider When Buying A Puppy | RSPCA


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