Norfolk: Demand for Covid-19 stranded puppies remains high


6:46 PM January 3, 2022

Demand for puppies is still at higher levels than before the first lockdown began, according to Norfolk dog breeders.

Due to Covid, some dog breeders have decided to stop selling puppies, which has led to a surge in pet prices and a surge in illegal puppy farms.

Michaela Betts, who runs Shelpet Cavalier King Charles Breeders near North Walsham, is an amateur breeder but has not raised puppies for two years due to the pandemic.

“Reasonable people were charging around £ 2,000, but I’ve seen prices as high as £ 6,000,” she said.

Puppy prices have increased significantly due to the arrival of illegal puppy farms.
– Credit: Clay Hall Kennels

“There were puppies without any health tests or proper documentation.”

However, Ms Betts hopes to start breeding her two Cavaliers again later this year.

“I can’t see it going back to pre-lockdown levels so we’re going to have to follow everyone to a point,” she added.

“I have increased the prices a little, but not to the level of the others.

“Real breeders are more interested in the welfare of puppies – they are my family first.”

Antonio Skaboullous, of Covehithe Coonhounds near Lowestoft, said he was keeping his prices at the same level despite the surge in demand.

“We’ve had people ask us why ours are cheaper,” he said.

“We’re not here for the money – we love our dogs. A lot of people think dogs are inferior, but they’re not.

“These people who charge a fortune don’t take the right health tests and follow the rules.

The demand for puppies exploded during the first lockdown.

The demand for puppies exploded during the first lockdown.
– Credit: Clay Hall Kennels

Gary Fielding, owner of Clay Hall Kennels near Diss, said the boom was reduced to “supply and demand”.

“People couldn’t have vacations and were on leave and at home, so they had money and time available,” he said.

“Everyone who thought they had a puppy but rejected it due to the circumstances suddenly had an opportunity.”

Mr. Fielding believed the market was going to collapse and was therefore “pleasantly surprised” by the increase and decided to raise prices to meet demand.

“The surge in puppy prices has been closely followed by a surge in scams and even dog theft,” added Mr. Fielding.

“We had a number of people who came to us after we got caught or got some money up front, before we even saw a puppy. It was good for us, which was good because people were ‘were more oriented towards buying from an approved breeding farm.

“It has been a bit of ‘the wild west’ for a while.”


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