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Should pet shops sell puppies?

Breeding puppies is a very emotive issue. It is also very expensive to run a professional facility and as a result some pet shops and some breeders are willing to take short cuts and compromise both the animal and ultimately the customer, giving the industry a bad name and creating what is now known as a puppy farm/mill. 

What is a puppy farm/mill?

A puppy farm/mill is defined by the RSPCA as "an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs' behavioral, social and/or physiological needs"

Good Pet shops can be a significant part of the solution for eradicating inhumane or unethical puppy farms/mills. We are transparent, open 7 days a week and are governed by legislation which also requires us to keep a paper trail of where pets come from and go to. Unfortunately welfare authorities are underfunded which hinders their ability to fully enforce the existing regulations and can lead to rogue operators going undetected for some time.

We believe the industry should be more regulated and encourage the government to create a licensing system for breeders and pet shops to raise revenue for enforcement agencies such as the RSPCA. This will allow them to increase inspections and to stamp out puppy farms by exposing them. We support tighter restrictions around the breeding and trading of dogs and other companion pets.

Some governments propose the banning of puppy sales in pet shops, which simply moves the problem to areas like the internet and backyards where it is far more difficult to regulate and control the sale of puppies. Not buying from a pet shop also leaves the buyer with far less recourse in the event that they require after sales service or advice.

Good pet shops will welcome questions about their puppies and are transparent about how their animals are sourced. Pet shops also have a responsibility to make sure that the potential owners will provide suitable and lasting homes for the animals.


If you have decided to buy a puppy from a pet shop you should ask the following questions;

  • Does the breeder of your puppy undergo an annual vet audit?
  • Have the breeders details been provided to the RSPCA & AWL?
  • Was your puppy first microchipped in the breeders name to ensure lifetime traceability?
  • Does your puppy come with a cooling off period? 
  • Does your puppy come with a lifetime re-homing commitment? 
  • Have you been made aware of the importance of having your puppy desexed?
  • Was your puppy at least 8 weeks of age before you took him/her home?
  • Is your puppy up-to-date with worming, vaccination and flea control?
  • Have you been offered a suitable Puppy Preschool or training program to help train and socialise your puppy?
  • Does your puppy come with a written Health Guarantee?
  • Do you have ongoing support and advice from where you obtained your puppy?

Kellyville Pets does all of the above and has done so for many years.