Dogs4Us Smoke & Mirrors

Have you noticed how Dogs4Us spin their version of facts by distorting the truth rather than ever giving a straight answer?

“We have no links to these so called “puppy farms” that mainly exist in Ireland where breeders DO NOT have to be licensed.”

That is an extract from a letter written to a protester by Mrs Maureen McCadden, ex wife of owner Raymond McCadden, in 2011. Curiously enough, almost exactly the same wording appears in the introduction to the Love Your Puppy ‘blog’.

Everyone would agree that the Republic of Ireland does have more unlicensed puppy farms than any other country in Europe. Hopefully that situation will begin to improve now that the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 is on the Irish statute book.

Equally, we are not aware of any evidence that Dogs4Us have purchased puppies bred in the Republic of Ireland.

Puppy farms mainly exist in Ireland

Bred in Wales
However, we would question the use of the word “mainly” in their statement. Whilst numerically Ireland is Europe’s largest producer, puppy farms most certainly do exist in large numbers much closer to home.

Wales is without doubt the puppy farming capital of the UK and as covered in previous articles, the fact that breeding licenses have been issued means absolutely nothing.

The camera never lies

When challenged to identify the “licensed and regulated” breeders who supply their stock, Dogs 4 Us respond that this is commercially sensitive confidential information. Instead they publish a few photos of happy puppies in a home environment.

There do seem to be a lot of Beagles among them and one of the photos of a litter sleeping peacefully together has also been used by the breeder, advertising them for sale privately. Of course we accept that this breeder in County Armagh, Northern Ireland may well have chosen to sell surplus puppies to a pet shop at some time.

But here's a coincidence. There's another breeder in County Armagh with the same surname as the one providing the cute photo, who also advertises puppies raised in a home environment. That might be a little tricky as he's licensed to keep 108 bitches and 12 dogs!

And the coincidences just keep coming. This commercial scale puppy farmer is also a prolific producer of...guess what...Beagles. He also has a line in Bearded Collies and Bassett Hounds and we know he has supplied puppies to Dogs4Us. A Beardie puppy sold by them last year with his name on the pedigree chart as breeder, was re-homed after displaying severe behavioural problems.

How about some piccys of Eric's 120 dogs in their happy home environment Maureen? Somehow we doubt they snuggle on the sofa with him of an evening and cozy down in the kitchen for some family pampering.

A challenge

We do not believe that relatively small scale breeders could possibly provide sufficient stock to meet the needs of a large retailer, so here’s a question for Dogs4Us which does not require the disclosure of any commercially sensitive or confidential information.

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

The answer will not affect our view that treating puppies as a retail commodity is morally and ethically wrong, but it may help you defend your claim not to be supporting the puppy farm trade – or then again, maybe not.