Lewes District Council has committed to publish a list of reputable dog breeders and rescue centres, as part of an effort to combat ‘puppy farming’.
The move comes in response to a motion, which received unanimous support from councillors at a full council meeting on Monday (November 20th).
Tabled by Liberal Democrat councillor Freddie Hoareau, the motion also called on the council to back the introduction of the Kept Animals Bill and promote publicity campaigns which raise awareness of illegal puppy breeding.
Cllr Hoareau said: “I wanted to start introducing this motion with a little bit about my family’s own rescue dog — who was rescued from a puppy farm — called Penny.
“She was originally called Pomme De Terre, which has a slightly darker meaning which isn’t potato. It’s that she was called a pom, because they were trying to sell her as a Pomeranian. She is actually a Kleinspitz, which is a different breed … and a slightly bigger version of a Pomeranian.
“The puppies on the farm would grow bigger and when they were too big to sell as Pomeranians, they would kill them.
“Penny’s behaviour is still scarred by how she was treated as a puppy. She is incredibly nervous of new people and if anyone comes in — particularly in a big coat — she’ll go and hide in the corner of the room. She is a lovely, endearing dog, but forever nervous because of how she was treated.”
He added: “There is mistreatment of animals going on right across the UK and we should be taking action as a council to offer better licensing and to give people all the information we can.
“This motion is a considered set of steps we can take to end the mistreatment of animals like my Penny.”
The motion had seen support from outside the council itself, gaining the backing of Dr Marc Abraham OBE of The Mewes Vets in Rottingdean and the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare.
In a statement released after the meeting, Dr Abraham offered some advice on what signs people should be aware of when buying a new pet.
He said: “When buying a puppy or kitten, since 2020 it’s the law (called Lucy’s Law) that you should always see them interacting with their mother in the place they were born.
“If mum isn’t there, or you suspect a fake mum, or there’s anything else that doesn’t feel right, then make a note of the contact details and location of the seller, and report them to your local council immediately.