Defamatory 'blogs' taken down




Readers will know that in November 2012 a new 'blog' appeared under the title Puppy Love Exposed. According to the anonymous publisher, it had no connection with Dogs4Us.

Strangely though, its objective of attacking the same individuals and groups opposing the support Dogs4Us gives to the puppy farm trade, was identical to the original Love Your Puppy site, as were the lies it contained.

However it was hosted on the Blogger platform, owned by Google. As an international organisation, Google takes its responsibilities and potential liabilities for content infringing local laws very seriously. Complaints alleging such infringements are investigated by a dedicated team and if upheld, the offending post is removed.

Five notices were served on Google regarding content in posts on Puppy Love Exposed which contained false malicious claims in contravention of the Defamation Act 1996. All were upheld by the Google team and the posts removed.

In spite of Google's actions, the anonymous publisher was both arrogant and stupid enough to re-publish them, in the case of one of them after it had already been removed twice. Consequently on 12 January 2013 the whole 'blog' was removed by Google.

Incidentally, this site is also hosted by Blogger. Although there have been literally hundreds of claims by Dogs4Us that it is falsely maligning them and their owner, Raymond McCadden, not one of our posts has been removed for containing defamatory material.

Update
In a desperate attempt to continue the libellous attacks on those campaigning against Dogs 4 Us, the entire content of the failed Blogger site was copied to a new Puppy Love Exposed 'blog' on the Tumblr platform on 25 January 2013. However following representations to Tumblr, the account was terminated after less than 24 hours, on the same grounds that it was based on malicious false content.




















We're sure it's just another of those strange coincidences, but in the two months since the Puppy Love Exposed 'blogs' were removed, Dogs 4 Us have made an additional FOUR posts about publisher Peter Gane. That compares with six in the previous six months. Funny that.


Dogs4Us marketing hype


In this page, we'll take a look at the key claims made by Raymond McCadden's latest company, Pet Planet Superstore Ltd trading as Dogs 4 Us, to promote their business, and give you our views on them. Raymond McCadden left at least £1.96 million owing to HMRC and other creditors when seven of his previous companies went into liquidation.

DOGS4US:

"We have been trading for over 45 years, are licensed to sell puppies by our local authority and have announced and unannounced inspections."

The Crazy Gang say:

Without wishing to split hairs, the business has been through several changes of name and ownership since it began life as the late and unlamented Mayfield Kennels Ltd in 1965, but we accept that regrettably, production line puppies have been sold here for a long time.

To the best of our knowledge, Dogs 4 Us operates within current laws and we do not suggest otherwise. However, the current law governing the sale of animals in pet shops is the Pet Animals Act 1951. That’s right, it was introduced over 60 years ago and apart from a few minor amendments, remains as it was then.


In 1951 the ownership of pedigree dogs was relatively rare and most people’s pet pooches were mongrels, fondly known as Heinz 57s. Neutering was not the common practice it is today and many homes found themselves with puppies either by accident or design. If someone couldn’t sell all the puppies themselves, or didn’t want the bother of selling an unwanted litter, the local pet shop would take them off their hands.

Fast forward to today and that local supply of hybrid puppies has gone and the vogue is for pedigree dogs. Since responsible pedigree breeders will only sell direct to vetted buyers, the principal source for pet shops is large scale commercial breeders who are operating purely for profit. To their credit, the vast majority of pet shops do not wish to be part of this trade and no longer sell puppies.

Although it's obviously possible for pet shops to be successful without the sale of puppies, a few, of which Dogs 4 Us is the largest, continue to take the view that if the law permits it, extra profit opportunities are much more important than moral and ethical considerations.

Even with the outdated law, local authorities have the opportunity to introduce their own pet shop licence conditions which would effectively limit puppy farms as a source of supply. We applaud the few which have listened to local opinion and done so, but without legislative pressure, most of them, including Salford and Leeds, do not regard this as a priority.

When the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) introduced the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it undertook to bring in detailed secondary legislation within 5 years to address a number of issues, including the replacement of the Pet Animals Act 1951 with regulations more appropriate to the 21st Century. It has so far failed to do so and we will look at what is being done to bring pressure to bear in our next published topic.


DOGS4US:


"Our wide selection of pedigree puppies are mostly from licensed breeders which are inspected at least once a year by their local authority."

The Crazy Gang say:

It’s no coincidence that there are more breeders licensed to keep 10 or more breeding bitches in Wales than in any other part of the UK. And by far the highest concentration of those breeders are located in the counties of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

In spite of years of protests and volumes of evidence of poor welfare standards, these authorities seem happy to hand out breeding licenses to any farmer with no experience of dog breeding, but who has a cow shed or some pig pens going spare and wants to add another cash crop to their business.

On more than one occasion, Carmarthenshire has licensed dog breeding premises for years without even bothering to check whether their colleagues in the Planning Department had granted permission for that use. Needless to say, once they were found out, retrospective planning consent was granted, in spite of substantial opposition from welfare groups and the public.

When it comes to the annual inspections which are supposed to take place in order to maintain a licence, with at least 14 days prior warning, the breeders have plenty of time to clean up their act. In some cases though, the evidence of conditions obtained by investigators was so dreadful that 14 weeks would not have been sufficient to bring the premises up to a reasonable standard, yet licenses were not revoked.

We can only assume that in these circumstances, the inspection was based on the officer winding down their car window whilst parked at the farm entrance and waving cheerily to the farmer before ticking the boxes on their form.

Three guesses where the pedigree charts for the puppies purchased from Dogs 4 Us, and reported to welfare groups as having developed severe health problems, showed as their breeders’ locations.


DOGS4US:


"All our puppies come with a six month congenital defect guarantee. That is something you would NOT get from a breeder."

The Crazy Gang say:

If you assume this means Dogs 4 Us will pay your vet bills in the event that a puppy purchased from them displays a congenital defect within six months, think again.

They will offer a replacement, and in some circumstances your money back. That’s fine if the purchase was of a washing machine or TV, but most of us would just want the puppy we had come to love to have the best possible life, not to be replaced and quietly destroyed.

In reality, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives you far more protection, whoever you purchase the puppy from, and may well enable you to claim for the veterinary costs which Dogs 4 Us would like to deny you by promoting their much vaunted, but largely worthless guarantee.

Of course the best option is follow HM Government's advice and not purchase from a pet shop in the first place.


Made in Wales - sold by Dogs 4 Us


Why is it that Raymond McCadden, owner of the Dogs 4 Us brand, who left at least £1.96  million owing to HMRC and other creditors when seven of his previous companies went into liquidation, won’t answer a simple question?

“What percentage of the total number of puppies sold by Dogs 4 Us in the past 12 months show the breeder’s location as being in Wales on the pedigree chart?”

It doesn’t require him to disclose any commercially sensitive or confidential information, but he remains silent.

The fact is that most puppies sold in UK pet shops, of which Dogs 4 Us is by far the biggest still selling puppies, are bred in Wales or Ireland. And the majority of them are bred in a production line operation to maximise the profit they will bring to their breeder. Plus the others in the supply chain, like Dogs 4 Us.

Raymond McCadden doesn’t want potential buyers to know about the squalid, cramped conditions so many of the cute bundles of fur on display in his stores were born into. Or that the mothers and fathers of these cuties will spend their lives in a dark, unheated concrete pen, with barely enough room to swing the proverbial cat.

If they’re lucky, when their breeding days are done and there’s no more profit to be squeezed out of them, they will be sent to a rescue. The odds are in their favour that a true dog lover will give them their first real home, and with kindness, time and patience, overcome the fear they have of all humans. For what’s left of their lives they will give and receive the affection and loyalty that’s in the nature of all dogs.

They’re the lucky ones. The others will just be killed.

Careless breeding ruins lives

But that’s only part of the reason Raymond McCadden and Dogs 4 Us don’t want buyers to know where so many of their puppies come from.

With no concern for little matters like checking both parents for genetic defects, screening for known breed specific conditions, making sure the parents are not closely related, limiting the number of litters for each bitch and ensuring that she receives the highest standard of nutrition, care and hygiene during and after pregnancy, the potential for serious health issues in their offspring skyrockets.

Here are just a few stories of how careless breeding in Wales, mostly by licensed breeders, meant heartache and often huge expense for owners of puppies purchased from Dogs 4 Us.

Tyke's story


Tyke is a Staffie. At 8 months old, he developed a limp. After tests and X rays his vet diagnosed a severe luxating patella in his left hind leg and signs of the same condition in the right. He had his first operation just after his first birthday and the vet found his knee joint was badly deformed.

The condition is genetic and the severity was such that one or both of his parents must have displayed the symptoms and should never have been allowed to breed.

Tyke has had further surgery and may well need more. He will also need medication for the rest of his life. His vet believes other less serious conditions which have surfaced are due to over breeding.

Made in Wales - sold by Dogs 4 Us

Jacka's story


Jacka was the first puppy of a 10 year old boy. 

After just four months he was put to sleep due to intra-hepatic shunts and possible extra-hepatic shunting vessel cranial to the renal cavity, a congenital condition present from birthHis vet stated the most likely cause was over breeding of his mother.

He had been examined by the Dogs 4 Us vet and signed off as fit for sale.

Made in Wales – sold by Dogs 4 Us



Bella's story

Bella was a Yorkshire Terrier and much loved by her owners. After months of complications she had a massive seizure and despite her vet’s best efforts, died.

She was just 7 months old.

Bella was bred on a puppy farm featured in Jason Farrell’s exposé of Dogs 4 Us on Channel Five News.



Made in Wales– sold by Dogs 4 Us 


Dilly's story

Shortly after Dilly’s new owners took her home she was very sick and would not eat or drink.

For most of the next few weeks she was at the vets, on a drip and not expected to live.

She had Coccidiosis, a parasitic infection of the intestinal tract, usually passed to puppies though the mother’s faeces. Not difficult with the appalling lack of hygiene in puppy farms.

Dilly was lucky and survived her ordeal, but at huge cost to her owners.

Made in Wales – sold by Dogs 4 Us


Izzy's story

Izzy’s owner soon discovered she had deformed ribs, breathing difficulties because her nasal passages weren’t properly developed, an enlarged heart and other problems.

Issues easily identified by a competent vet, but Izzy was signed off as fit for sale by Dogs 4 Us.

She has also been diagnosed with serious hip dysplasia, but her loving owner will not give up on her.

Made in Wales – sold by Dogs 4 Us


Don't worry, there's a six month guarantee

Dogs 4 Us make much of the 6 month guarantee offered against puppies sold by them being diagnosed with a defect which can be proved to have been present at birth. Many such issues will not become apparent until 6 to 12 months anyway.

That doesn't mean they will arrange or pay for veterinary treatment. They attempt to exclude liability for those costs in the purchase paperwork. No, they will offer to replace the puppy, or in some cases give you your money back. 

How many of us would want to exchange the puppy which has quickly become a part of our family for another, rather like a defective TV, so that it can be quietly destroyed?

In reality, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives consumers far more protection than the much promoted guarantee, and may well enable them to claim compensation for veterinary costs as well.

No-one can completely eliminate the possibility that any dog will suffer from health issues, any more than they can for humans. But buying a puppy from a pet shop like Dogs 4 Us, sourced from breeders purely in the business of making money from a cash crop, massively increases the risk that they will.

Responsible breeders don't supply puppies to pet shops


Weasel words from Dogs 4 Us

Llwynfallen Farm mother and puppies
In 2009 Channel Five News at 7 commissioned a report by Jason Farrell into the source of puppies sold by Dogs 4 Us. The film was also broadcast on Sky News and has been watched on YouTube over 69,000 times. You can see the first part of the report here.

The investigation focused on the conditions at three puppy farms in Carmarthenshire known to be suppliers to Dogs 4 Us. One of those was Llwynfallen Farm, owned by the Morgan family, where images of appallingly squalid conditions were captured.

Vet Marc Abraham views the footage 
Vet Marc Abrahams was shown the footage obtained from the farms investigated. Describing what he had seen, he said these were "The most horrific conditions I've ever seen animals kept in." He continued, "There's absolutely no care for these animals whatsoever, apart from to keep them alive to get more puppies out of them."

Carmarthenshire County Council which licences all these establishments was also shown the film and invited to comment. They declined to take part in an interview but issued a statement saying officers would discuss the issues revealed with the persons responsible. Head of Public Protection, Philip Davies, later said that after their investigation, cleaning and repairs were found to be needed, but no offences were noted. 

Really Phil? Hard to imagine that the 5 Freedoms required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and so abysmally lacking in the video evidence could be remedied by a bit more corrugated iron and a spot of mopping!

Does this sound familiar?
And what of Dogs 4 Us? Well, initially they issued the same statement we have seen so many times when they are challenged on the source of their puppies.

But that wasn't the end of it. Channel Five News ran a follow up report the next day, by which time they had received hundreds of outraged messages from viewers.

Dogs 4 Us realised their original effort wouldn't hold water and faxed the following revised statement to the Channel Five team which read it on air.
"We found it appalling to watch these puppies subject to these conditions and can assure the public that we will not purchase or wish to be associated with breeders who are seen to contravene the terms of their local authority's licensing procedures."
Wow, pretty convincing stuff. Except that this is a carefully crafted piece which like so much from Dogs 4 Us is actually meaningless. Note they will only avoid those breeders who are SEEN TO CONTRAVENE LICENSING PROCEDURES. As we've already shown, it's impossible for any member of the farming community in Carmarthenshire to do anything which can't be put right by a bit more corrugated iron and a spot of cleaning.

Are we being a little too harsh on Dogs 4 Us who claim they have nothing to do with puppy farmers today?

The evidence

During the past month a rescue has been contacted by two separate individuals asking if they could assist in the re-homing of their dogs purchased in 2012. In both case the owners provided registration certificates issued by The Dog Lovers Registration Club showing the dogs were supplied by Dogs 4 Us and the breeder was none other than H B Morgan of Llwynfallen Farm.

That would be the same family which owns one of the premises where Dogs 4 Us claimed to have been appalled to watch the conditions dogs were kept in.

What's more, the paperwork shows that one of the puppies was sold at less than 7 weeks old, meaning it must have been separated from its mother even earlier and much younger than the recommendation of every expert body!

Still want to claim you have nothing to do with puppy farmers Raymond McCadden?

You can see the full five minute follow up report by Channel Five News by clicking here

Dogs 4 Us pedigrees


We’ve discussed at length why the 6 month guarantee against congenital defects promoted so vigorously by Dogs 4 Us as a major benefit of buying from them is actually worthless.

Now we’ll turn our attention to another Dogs 4 Us spurious claim which appears in the Love Your Puppy fantasy ‘blog’:

“All Dogs 4 Us puppies are sold with a three generation pedigree and supplied with the name and address of the breeder. We have nothing to hide.  All the puppies mothers are documented on our computer files and those of the registration club, to ensure that the mother of the pups has not bred more than six litters.
This is the standard set down by the government.  So there is no overbreeding from breeders who supply us.  From time to time we inspect the breeding establishments and we can assure you that these are all up to a good standard.”
Wow. That makes it sound like the breeders are registering their dogs on a checkable database with a recognised registration body like the Kennel Club.
Actually no. Puppies sold by Dogs 4 Us are registered by them with a company called The Dog Lovers Registration Club (UK) Ltd. Most people assume that a club is an organisation with a membership, governed by a committee or board which is elected by its members and operating strictly under the terms of a formal constitution adopted by the membership.
The Dog Lovers Registration Club (UK) Ltd is a club in name only. It is a commercial business operated purely for the benefit of its two shareholders who are also its directors.
As to the claim that the files kept ensure a bitch has not bred more than six litters, it is complete nonsense. The only certain record kept of a puppy is if it is actually bought by Dogs 4 Us and registered by them. The breeders supplying them are all commercial businesses who mostly supply a number of retail sources. 
They are under no obligation to register litters sold elsewhere with anyone, and unscrupulous breeders are known to breed from a bitch every time she comes into season. What's more, Dogs 4 Us are wholly reliant on a breeder's honesty in declaring the true ancestry of a puppy. Since these people operate in the shadows and have no public reputation to protect, honesty may not always be a primary concern.
There is also no public access to the registration records as there is for dogs registered with the Kennel Club and Dogs 4 Us only reveal the name and address of the breeder after the sale is made, if at all. If they have nothing to hide as they claim, why the reluctance to identify the breeder until after they have your cash?

We wonder whether it might have something to do with the growing awareness that Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion have the largest concentration of puppy farmers in the UK.
Curiously enough, The Dog Lovers Registration Club Code of Ethics states:
When purchasing a puppy see the puppy's mother and check out the conditions in general. If in doubt do not buy the puppy.”
Doesn’t quite square with their close working relationship with pet shops like Dogs 4 Us does it?
So who is The Dog Lovers Registration Club?

The business was started in 1993 by John Anthony Potts. For the benefit of those who don’t know the full history of Dogs4Us, John Anthony Potts was the original owner of the notorious Mayfield Kennels until he sold it to Raymond McCadden.


So Potts moved from directly supporting the vile puppy farm trade by selling the puppies it produced to a more subtle role, where his business created a veneer of credibility for puppies sold by other retailers, by producing documentation for purchasers which gave the appearance of a formal pedigree registration.
Originally, Potts called his company The Dog Lovers Kennel Club (UK) Ltd, but for some reason the real Kennel Club felt this could be an attempt to deliberately mislead the public, and the name was changed.
John Potts resigned as a director of The Dog Lovers Registration Club (UK) Ltd last year and the current directors and shareholders are his son, Andrew Potts and daughter Deborah Anne Winters, a good friend of Maureen McCadden.

Not entirely an arms length relationship, inspiring confidence in its neutrality and impartiality, you might think.


Dogs 4 Us facts


Anyone reading the ridiculous Dogs 4 Us ‘blog’ managed by Maureen McCadden, ex wife of sole director and shareholder, Raymond McCadden, cannot fail to notice that at no time do the fictional characters supposedly contributing, deny any of the facts quoted about the business or its owner.

Plenty of phoney shock and outrage about anyone having the temerity to criticise them, but no actual denial that anything written is true.

Stop hiding behind your smokescreen of spin and half truth Ray. Instead of your usual cowardly tactic of trying to bully and intimidate your critics, if you can prove that I or anyone else is making false, malicious claims about you or your business, that would constitute defamation. I’ll be happy to discuss them with your legal representatives in court anytime.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a summary of the principal statements previously made about Dogs 4 Us and you, as the sole director and shareholder. 

FACT
The first piece of advice to anyone considering buying a puppy, issued by the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding, set up by the Government, and other expert bodies such as Dogs Trust, RSPCA and the Kennel Club is NEVER to buy if you cannot see the puppy with its mother.

FACT
The majority of puppies sold by Dogs 4 Us are bred by commercial breeders based in Wales, primarily located in the counties of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

FACT
Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion County Councils are notorious throughout the dog world for their willingness to grant breeding licenses without ensuring even the most basic welfare conditions for the dogs kept, and for consistently ignoring clear independent evidence of breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

FACT
Most of the puppies supplied as stock are actually provided by wholesale puppy dealers, not the original breeders, and Dogs 4 Us has no knowledge of, or interest in, the breeding and operating practices of those breeders.

FACT
Poor breeding practices and welfare standards, coupled with increased stress and a lack of early stage socialisation greatly increases the risk of a puppy being exposed to infectious diseases, developing hereditary disorders and serious behavioural issues.

FACT
The six month guarantee against congenital defects trumpeted as a major benefit of buying a puppy from Dogs 4 Us is no more than spin intended to steer customers away from the much greater statutory protection afforded to ALL consumers by the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

FACT
The 'pedigree' documents provided by Dogs 4 Us are supplied by The Dog Lovers Registration Club Ltd and have no official recognition in the canine world.

FACT
The former corporate owner of the business, Dogs 4 Us Ltd, was placed in liquidation with debts of over £680,000, including £308,000 of unpaid taxes by Raymond McCadden as sole director, when it became insolvent because it had made an interest free unsecured loan of nearly £2.3 million to another McCadden family owned commercial property company, which could not be repaid.

FACT
More than a month before Dogs 4 Us Ltd was formally declared insolvent, Raymond McCadden had already formed a new company, Pet Planet Superstore Ltd and three days after that declaration, Raymond McCadden sought the consent of the High Court of Justice for that company to use the trading name of Dogs 4 Us.

FACT
Six days after Dogs 4 Us Ltd was placed in liquidation, Raymond McCadden’s new company, Pet Planet Superstore Ltd entered into an agreement with the liquidator to purchase the assets of the original business for less than half the book value.

FACT
This was the seventh company in which Raymond McCadden was the sole director and shareholder to be placed in liquidation, leaving total debts of at least £1.96 million owing to HM Revenue and Customs and other creditors, and inter company loans between most of them and other McCadden owned businesses were a common feature.

FACT
Raymond McCadden uses the same methods of deception as News of the World journalists to blag personal information about protesters from unsuspecting sources.


Which of these FACTS would you like to contest Ray McCadden? 

Puppy Love Campaigns has produced a new leaflet to help spread the word about the evil puppy farm trade. Click on the images below to see the full size leaflet. Anyone who would like a supply to distribute locally can obtain them from admin@puppylovecampaigns.org