The Kennel Club has raised serious concerns after being made aware of Ealing Council's consideration to increase the number of puppies that can be held on the premises of a local pet shop, from 8 to 40.
A public hearing is being held at Ealing Town Hall today (Monday 30thMarch 2015) to consider a variation to Hanwell Pet Store's licence. The consideration by Ealing Council highlights the issue of dog welfare in pet shops and the ongoing concern that pet shops sell dogs purely for profit, allowing welfare standards to deteriorate. The Kennel Club is therefore hugely concerned by the outcome of today's hearing.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "As the largest organisation in the UK dedicated to the health, welfare and training of dogs, the Kennel Club represents a large percentage of responsible dog owners, including those in the Borough of Ealing, and we feel they would be hugely concerned at the consideration to significantly increase the number of puppies in a pet shop from 8 to 40."
The Kennel Club has stressed the essential need for socialisation in the first weeks of a puppy's life to Ealing Council and highlighted statistics from its annual Puppy Awareness Week survey that highlighted that 41 per cent of people who bought a puppy in the last year did not see the puppy with its mother and 53 per cent did not see its breeding environment, meaning those puppies are highly likely to have been bred by puppy farmers and sold on by third parties including pet shops.
As detailed within the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust's Puppy Socialisation Plan, developed by dog behaviourist Carolyn Menteith, the foundations for a puppy's future behaviour and character are laid down in the first 16 weeks of its life. This is a vital time when it is possible to develop the puppy's brain, and shape the way they will turn out as an adult dog. This is also the time when most problem behaviours can be prevented, long before they even start, giving the dog a far more certain future - and the new owner far fewer potential problems.
The Kennel Club has now written to Ealing Council and will wait to hear the decision of today's committee hearing.