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The issues

Australians love dogs, and many caring Australians are concerned about puppy farms.

Puppies and breeding animals kept on puppy farms (also known as puppy mills or puppy factories) live in appalling conditions.

Dogs are often kept in overcrowded and filthy environments. Breeding animals may be confined permanently in small cages, never being allowed out for a walk, to play or express normal behaviours. These dogs can suffer from a range of health problems and behavioural problems as a result of not being socialised and being housed in conditions that fail to meet their needs.

Puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in smaller breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.

Puppies from puppy farms may be sold via any avenue including the internet, newspaper ads, markets, car boot sales, pet shops, or sometimes at the puppy farm itself. Puppy farms may also use a house as a ‘shop front’ from which to sell their animals, so you don’t get to see the appalling conditions they breed dogs in.

Because of this secrecy, we don’t know exactly how many puppy farms there are in Australia, as many puppy farms operate in highly remote areas and are not known to authorities, but with the advent of internet sales it is a growing national problem.

What needs to change...

RSPCA Australia is strongly opposed to puppy farming. We advocate regulation of the breeding, supply and sale of companion animals to help set minimum standards and stamp out puppy farms.

Puppy farms produce all kinds of puppies: purebreds, crossbred and mixed-breed, so the only way to know for sure that you’re not supporting a puppy farm is to visit the place in which the puppies were bred and meet the parents. Never buy a pet sight unseen over the internet.

The RSPCA has also created Guidelines for the Online Advertising of Pets in response to demand from the community, to help websites develop good policies that protect animals and improve consumer trust.

See the Guidelines
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If you’re looking for a puppy or dog please check with your local RSPCA or other reputable animal rescue organisation first. There are many wonderful dogs and puppies looking for a good home. But if you can’t find the right dog for you, you will need to find a responsible dog breeder. Start with the RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Guide

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Puppy Buyer’s Guide
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