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Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home supports Buy A Puppy Safely Campaign

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home along with other animal welfare charities are supporting the Scottish Government’s Buy A Puppy Safely campaign, in order to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of illegal puppy farming.

The campaign is the result of several years’ work that aims to highlight the risks involved when purchasing from illegal puppy dealers. Visitors to the Buy a Puppy Safely website (www.buyapuppysafely.org) can find information on what to look out for when buying a puppy and also take a test to determine if they are ‘puppy-ready’ by highlighting the warning signs.

Since lockdown more people have considered it the right time to buy a puppy. Online searches show that ‘buy a puppy’ is up by 120% while a third (33%) of people said they felt that lockdown was the perfect time to get a puppy.


Nicola Gunn, Director of Development and External Affairs at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home said “The launch of The Scottish Government’s Buy a Puppy Safely campaign is a welcome step forward in the fight against illegal puppy dealers.

“The demand for puppies is at an all time high and reputable breeders are often unable to meet those demands; this gives illegal breeders the perfect opportunity to cash in.

“Many animals have been brought to the Home for rehoming due to owners underestimating the level of commitment required, and while we are able to rehome, it is important that this issue is tackled at the source.

With so many animals looking for a second chance in rescue centres all across the UK, we would always advocate rescuing a dog where you can. The joy that a rescue dog brings is like no other. If rescuing isn’t possible for you, please visit the Buy a Puppy Safely website before purchasing a puppy to ensure you are welcoming a healthy and happy new friend into your life”

Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon said:

“During the current COVID-19 pandemic, regrettably we have seen an increase in illegal puppy sales and trading. We need to ensure that everyone understands the consequences of purchasing an illegally bred puppy and follow the important steps to buy their dog safely and responsibly.

“Puppy farms breed misery and public demand is fuelling the trade, which is being facilitated through online adverts and sellers. Last year’s campaign saw calls about suspected puppy farms to the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline almost double compared to the two months prior. Now more than ever, we are urging people to do their research properly and to look for the signs that they are being tricked into buying an illegally bred puppy.

“There are key checks that can help ensure you are buying safely. These include meeting the puppy’s mother with her litter when restrictions allow, making enquiries about the breeder and ensuring all the correct paperwork is in place. It is also important to make sure that you understand the longer-term responsibility and commitment that comes with dog ownership and only take on a new puppy when the time is right.

“Remember if something doesn’t feel right, walk away and report your concerns to the Scottish SPCA.”

The drive comes on the back of the Scottish SPCA’s recent reports that they have had to launch 78 investigations into reports of puppy farming in October alone.

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