Saturday, 14 December 2013

Puppy-buyers "being conned" by Kennel Club breeder scheme

Despite recent improvements to the Kennel Club's Assured Breeder Scheme, almost 10 years after it launched, the KC is still bestowing Assured status on many breeders without inspecting them. And even when a breeder has been inspected, years may pass before they are checked again.

This week, ABS breeders Sue and Sarah Stacey, from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, were banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after 13 dogs, including the French Bulldog above, were found living in squalor (full story here).

A quick check reveals that Sarah Stacey has been an ABS breeders since October 2008.
In a statement RSPCA inspector Amy Collingsworth said: “I attended the property in January 2013 following an anonymous complaint from a member of the public. I was let into the living room to assess some of the dogs and was shocked to see that the floor was completely soiled with faeces and urine and the stench of ammonia was overpowering.
“I could see two emaciated dogs with overgrown claws sitting in a cage with a thick layer of faeces underneath them and two puppies, called by the owners Pup 1 and Pup 2, who were huddled together in a pen, subdued and lethargic.
"This was a shocking case of neglect from people who claimed to be registered dog breeders.”
So how could this happen?
Here's the KC boast about the scheme:
The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. The Kennel Club has recently received formal accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to certify dog breeders under the Assured Breeder Scheme.
Sounds great, doesn't it? And, wow, UKAS accredited? That must mean that the scheme is robust, no?
Well no, it doesn't.
Astonishingly, breeders can join by signing a piece of paper promising to abide by the rules of the scheme - even since the scheme was beefed up with UKAS accreditation in January 2013. 
New members must agree to the possibility of a visit by an Assessor, but it is not a condition of joining. Additionally,  there is evidence to suggest that many if not most ABS breeders have never been inspected.
Here's what the FAQ for the scheme says:
"Names of new members are published in the Kennel Gazette and effectively 'policed' by breed clubs who report names that are, in their opinion, inappropriate candidates to us. If this happens then the Kennel Club investigates carefully."
This is clearly ridiculous. Breed clubs may know about shoddy big producers that have been operating for some time, but how can they be expected to know every new or small breeder? 
As it happens, Sarah Stacey, who neglected the Frenchie in the picture above, is a member of the French Bulldog Club and no one reported her. She and her mother run - rather terrifyingly - a cattery and dog grooming business in Great Yarmouth called Bright Eyes.  This listing on the PetPlan website promises:
Family home run cattery where we personally look after your precious pets in a quiet setting. Cattery inspections always welcome.
New for 2009 Fully qualified City & Guilds
Dog Grooming Salon opened by Sarah Stacey.
Dog training and behavioural corrections undertaken in our secure back field. We have over 30 years experience with all breeds of dogs.
Here's the full low-down on how the KC polices the Assured Breeder Scheme:
  • All applicants' records are checked prior to acceptance on the scheme
  • Check of the health screening records for a member's breed is required
  • All members agree to be spot checked by the Kennel Club throughout their membership of the scheme, in order to ensure our standards are maintained
  • The Kennel Club has recently added even more Regional Breeder Assessors to its national team to ensure that, as the Scheme grows in size, it can continue to monitor the standards of its members
  • The Kennel Club encourages feedback from the dog-owning community and future members' names are published in the monthly Kennel Club publication, the Kennel Gazette, to enable breed clubs to comment on names that they believe to be inappropriate
  • All new puppy buyers are given feedback forms by Assured Breeders that they return to us and if this does not happen then we look into the reason why. The Kennel Club receives hundreds of feedback forms from new puppy buyers each month; most of the feedback is positively glowing. However, if any complaints are made the Kennel Club investigates fully and takes the appropriate action which might include removal from the scheme
So the scheme is mostly reactive, not proactive. One would hope that bad breeders will be picked up sometime down the line. But there are no guarantees. In other words, a puppy you buy from an ABS breeders may not be any better than one produced in the most squalid puppy farm.
And don't be fooled by the promise of a "spot check". Unlike local authority inspectors, the KC has to give advance notice of a visit. 
Interesting too that the Kennel Club claims that it has "recently added even more Regional Breeder Assessors to its national team to ensure that, as the Scheme grows in size, it can continue to monitor the standards of its members."
In fact, this time two years ago, the KC had 23 regional breed assessors. They now have 13 (plus a further three full-time KC staff who are trained to do visits if needed). For the whole country.
At the end of 2011, I asked the Kennel Club for some stats on the Scheme. 
At that point, they had just over 6133 active (and 1189 inactive) members, so 7300 members in total. They admitted they had inspected just 15 per cent of them. ("Inactive" is defined as a breeder who hasn't registered a litter in the last three years - but who could, of course, register one at any time.)
Two years on, the Kennel Club now says it has 6457 active members and has done "around 5000" inspections. This sounds quite impressive. Clearly, there has been a big increase in the number of inspections done. But you need to bear the following in mind:
• some of these visits may be repeat inspections 
• close on 2000 breeders have left the scheme (either resigned or suspended for breaches). 
• the KC has not supplied the current number of inactive breeders. There will probably be about 1500 of them. And it is right to include them as they would have been active previously - and could become so again.
Add all that up and those "5000 inspections" relates to a total of around 10,000 breeders.
And so my guess is that the KC has, at best, still only inspected less than 50 per cent of its current ABS breeders. That's better than it was - but still not good enough.
(I have asked the KC for more detailed figures and will amend if I get them.)
Particularly worrying is that so many new breeders are still being endorsed by the Kennel Club as an Assured Breeder without being inspected. 
In 2011, the KC told me: "It is the intention that all members will be visited at some point and all new applicants will be visited either prior to acceptance or when most appropriate."
"At some point".
Last week, I asked the same question and got this back from the KC's Bill Lambert: "It is the intention that every active member of the scheme will be visited. We will only issue UKAS certificates to members that have been visited. Whilst it is still possible for low volume breeders to join prior to being inspected at some point we will require all new applicants to be visited prior to joining and in that respect all I can say at the moment is “watch this space”.
"At some point".
And nowhere, incidentally, on the KC website does it advise puppy buyers that only ABS breeders who have been inspected will be issued with a UKAS certificate.
So, two years on from the original reassurance and with no future date given for compliance, the KC is still endorsing breeders without sending anyone to check on them. 
And the stats are truly shocking.
The KC now (post UKAS accreditation ie from Jan 2013) lists the dates of its breeder inspections.
Here's what I found:
Of the 34 French Bulldog breeders awarded ABS status this year, only two have been inspected according to the Kennel Club website. Six of these, all marked as uninspected, are currently advertising litters on the KC Puppy Finder.
Of the 42 new Pug breeders awarded ABS status in 2013, only one of them has been inspected. Five of these new uninspected breeders are currently advertising litters on the KC's Puppy Finder.

Several of the above new Frenchie and Pug breeders have registered five or more litters with the KC and still haven't been inspected.

When I put the figures to the Kennel Club, it maintained that there were always around 200-300 applications "in process" - in other words, that more of the new members above could have been inspected; it's just not showing yet on the KC website. But it wouldn't have been hard to give me the actual figures and when the KC fudges it like this, it is usually a sign that the KC doesn't want the world to know the full extent of its shortcomings.  Don't forget, too, that "200-300 applications in process" doesn't just relate to Pugs and Frenchies - it's across all 200-odd breeds registered by the KC.

Frenchies and Pugs  have exploded in popularity in recent years. There are loads of breeders cashing in on them. Additionally, are no mandatory health tests for either breed under the ABS, despite both breeds having a holy host of health problems. (The KC does list that an annual eye test and a DNA test for hereditary cataracts is recommended but ABS breeders are not obliged to do them.)

The upshot is that anyone who goes to an ABS breeder for two of today's hottest breeds is in danger of being conned.  These breeders may be selling you rubbish pups raised in squalor, like the poor French Bulldogs above. After all, even the shittiest breeder has a half-decent front room into which pups and an adult female (which may or not be the pups real mum) can be brought in for your perusal.

Here's what we need to know about every ABS breeder in addition to what's already listed on the KC website.

• dates of all inspections - inc prior to UKAS accreditation (currently, you have to contact the KC to ask for details on any inspections prior to 2013)
• the number of litters/pups in total they have registered with the KC (a useful way of identifying volume breeders posing as hobby breeders).
• percentage of feedback forms returned by puppy-buyers
• feedback rating from puppy-buyers

And, of course, we need every breeder inspected prior to acceptance on the scheme - or clearly identified as provisional members only, pending an inspection. Anything else is just a nonsense.

Research appeal
I have only had time to go through Pugs and French Bulldogs and would like to put together some stats for the other Top 20 KC-registered breeds.  Could you help?

A list of ABS breeders for every breed can be found here. If it's a breed with a large number of breeders, they will be broken down by county. Pick any county and near the top of the page you'll find a link from which to download a pdf of every ABS breeder for that breed.

The KC Puppy Finder is here - ABS breeders are marked and always at the top of the list.

The information I am looking for per breed is:

• number of new ABS breeders for 2013
• number of these new breeders marked as inspected (NB the KC only lists inspections done since Jan 2013)
• number of these new breeders (uninspected/inspected) currently advertising litters on the KC Puppy Finder
• number of these new breeders (uninspected/inspected) listed with a triangle containing the letter B (which means they have registered five or more litters with the KC).

If you are willing to take on a breed, please state below to avoid a duplicated effort - and then ideally please send the actual figures to me: jem[AT]

Thank you! 


  1. Irish Setters, Parson Russell Terriers and Cocker Spaniels initially Perthshire Scotland and subject to how I get on I can extend it, I'll do it on a spread sheet and email you.

    1. I would be more than interested in that.

    2. Where are you getting these stats? Number of dogs registered with the Kennel Club? They will be skewed if you are, since more and more people are going to puppy farms or e-pupz and similar sites for their pups nowadays :-( Pet puppy buyers aren't really fussed about paperwork, so don't care whether a pup is registered or not. I'm willing to bet that cockerpoos and labradoodles would also be in the top 10, if not at the top as well.

  2. If it's OK to get it done after the Xmas/New Year break, I'd love to help. If CKCS are on the list, I'll do those, otherwise feel free to delegate another breed nobody has volunteered to do.


  3. its really not unusual for dogs to be kept it in disgusting conditions. I've been to a few show breeders houses that where filthy , The humans living in the same disgusting state as the dogs .
    They will be defended to the hilt by the other show breeders ,
    Its not their fault , things got on top of them,. its not that bad , it may be a bit cluttered & the dogs a bit " grubby" but the dogs are loved
    But they've produced champions & are experienced judges!

    Excuses. excuses........

    Saving their own skin because they turned a blind eye and to admit their " friends" are cruel would reflect badly on them

    1. is your home pristine? vacuum every day.. dust twice a day.. are your dogs bathed daily dogs do not care about dirt.. they love dirt. They roll on dead things, eat each others poop ( and that of the family cat for dessert) lick each other asses and when possible their own genitalia .. thye eat garbage .. drink from mud puddles and more and we worry about them being "grubby" dogs PREFER to be grubby.. on one you you here complain about excessive grooming etc but if someone lets the dogs be natural you bitch about that too, Not everyone lives in pristine homes .. I find it rather boring and dull my self.. I like a bit of grub

    2. Yes, dogs like mud. Some love rolling in other Animal's excrement too. But they don't enjoy laying in their own faeces, urine and filth in tiny cages. What is it you fail to understand here? I really hope that YOU aren't breeding dogs too!

      It's neglect and it's bloody cruel. Quite rightly, the have been found guilty and punished.

    3. I agree with the you also condone dogs not having access to water and being in a pitiful undernourished state?

    4. 'i'ts really not unusual for dogs to be kept it in disgusting conditions. I've been to a few show breeders houses that where filthy , The humans living in the same disgusting state as the dogs .
      They will be defended to the hilt by the other show breeders ,
      Its not their fault , things got on top of them,. its not that bad , it may be a bit cluttered & the dogs a bit " grubby" but the dogs are loved
      But they've produced champions & are experienced judges!

      Excuses. excuses........

      Saving their own skin because they turned a blind eye and to admit their " friends" are cruel would reflect badly on them'

      Dear Anon - how very true - and the terrible warnings that if you say anything you'll never do anything in the ring/playground. Time to look at the show world I say - cover up after cover up

  4. In my breed , Irish Red and White Setters, none of the 27 listed ABS breeders has a green tick indicating a visit in 2013. I have now left the scheme and was never visited. Similarly in Gordon Setters, a quick glance through didn't reveal any green ticks. In English Setters, 3 out of 47 have green ticks for visits in 2013.
    I suspect Scotland probably does worse than England - I live four hours drive from the nearest ABS assessor in West Lothian, and I don't personally know anybody who been visited in the more northerly parts of Scotland. Of the two assessors who live in Scotland, one lives on the Isle of Arran , not the easiest location from which to do any visits

    1. I used to be an assessor for the Austrian KC, which has a comparable scheme. I t was fascinating. I still visit the breeders of my breed at least once. Some clubs here in Austria send a breed warden to inspect every single litter.

  5. Jemima, I'm just going to do GSD and will email you.

    The scandal continues….

    Time for a new regime.

    1. Why the devil do you not say who you are????

    2. Why the devil do you care???

  6. Jemima, you are on the right scent now!

  7. Hi, could you confirm you email address, I'm having trouble linking up. I know I'm a fossil but it doesn't seem to like [AT] so I tried @, still no joy. I've done, cocker spaniels, parson russells and irish setters for all of Scotland. I suddenly realised you only want top 20 breeds so could do labs, springers, gsds for Scotland?

  8. Georgina, thank you but I need UK-wide stats, not just Scotland.

    The email address definitely works if you replace the [AT] with @. It's possible you've mistyped it.


    1. You should receive it now, it seems to have gone thro as suggested. I'll add on cockers for whole of UK, labs and springers......

    2. I would think that every little bit helps! Perhaps Georgina's offer will galvanise others?

  9. Jemima, I'll audit the Border Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeders for you.

  10. Replies
    1. Seeign as nobody else has taken them, I'l do labs and bulldogs to :)

  11. The Assured Breeder Scheme makes the KC look as though it is doing something, which it is not. Even when there are major health issues in a breed and even when there is a test available, the Kennel Club does not make it compulsory. It might eventually make it compulsory for ABS members only. Now ............... why would that be?? If the KC supposedly put health and well being first, surely they would insist on parents being tested before litters can be registered. Not a bit of it. They and their cronies just want to carry on as before - the dogs health is so far down the list it is laughable, In our breed animals that are carriers and affected with known diseases, are still being made into champions and being bred from

    1. The BVA Hip scheme is a joke within the ABS.
      ABS breeders in the ` prone to HD ` breeds only have to get X-rays done. That complies with the KC requirement as * tested * but they are under no compulsion from the KC to send the X-rays to the BVA for scoring.
      A huge loophole if there ever was one !
      Breeders can say " Yes my dog`s had it hips Xrayed, "
      but they haven`t sent the X-rays to the BVA because the score would have been low, or the hips showed up really bad.
      The ABS is nothing short of a pure and utter farce and all for only a signature and a fee less than the price of a take-away meal.
      There`s many a " show " breeder knowingly breeding afflicted animals from afflicted parentage, .
      The KC aren`t concerned nor interested in animal welfare, but will take as much money as you want to throw at them.

    2. Please see this document, and the definition:

      "a) Hip scoring – should be done under the KC/BVA Hip
      Dysplasia Scheme."

      So in order to be a member of this scheme, if this is applied to your breed, you must use the BVA scheme (i.e. have a vet x-ray your dog and send the radiograph to be scored) and do this with all your own dogs, and not use outside stud dogs who have not been scored.

      This is a requirement for my breed in this association, and I hip score my own dogs under the BVA scheme. However, I shall not be applying to join this association, because I am not satisfied with the choice of dogs belonging to other people who have scores under the BVA system. Occasionally I might like to use a dog from abroad who has been scored under a different scheme, or a dog in this country with a pedigree I prefer that will produce a low COI and make the breed more sustainable (and in this case I would only use an older dog where I could see he was still sound, at an age where serious orthopaedic problems would likely be apparent). I can't force someone else to have what is an invasive (radiation and usually a general anaesthetic) procedure carried out on their dog, and I can't make someone in another country rescore their dog under a different scheme to their national one.

    3. Sorry, forgot document

  12. Thank you everyone. Either done or in hand are:

    French Bulldogs
    Border Terrier

    So still looking for data on CKCS, Mini Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Westie, Chi (smooth coat), mini smooth Dax, Whippet + Beagle.

    Any takers?

  13. i'll do Smooth Chi's & Mini Smooth doxies ^^ Its really interesting

  14. I'll do Mini smooths and whippets - G

  15. Mini smooths now done, georgina, but still need whippets .

  16. Look at this horror story another way, if it highlights the weaknesses in the Assured Breeder Scheme , then maybe it will be a catalyst for improvement. At the moment the ABS is understaffed , underfunded and makes too few demands. if you look at who the three "full time " KC employees are, they are people like Bill Lambert who are employed by the KC but not to work on being full time ABS assessors. The volunteers look impressive but they are busy people who are breeders/judges/exhibitors/breed club officers who in some cases have other careers - how much time can they give to doing visits? ABS members pay £10 a year, if ALL of them were to be visited and reported on regularly and at least every third year , its going to cost a lot more than £10 pa. If puppy buyers are led to believe that ABS breeders produce healthy puppies, then health testing requirements will have to be much more stringent

    1. Only if it's not simply pushed to the side and excuses made. I've seen the excuses of "it's up to the buyers to be aware" and "every scheme has teething troubles" amongst others from show people. Not yes it's wrong and needs fixing.

    2. What's more important? Judging dog shows or monitoring the welfare of pet dogs? Isn't it a no brainer?!

      Being 'busy' is no excuse. It's a matter of priority. And if they can't staff the ABS scheme and manage it appropriately then they should not be promoting it! This latest scandal may well be the club's downfall. This is the 21st century. The public will not accept excuses. They want accountability. And rightly so.

    3. The KC will survive as it has always done. Where necessary making cosmetic changes and talking a lot. The only people they are concerned about really are the breed clubs as that is where they get their money from. You only have to look at what happens when they do try to stand up against the breed clubs, vet checks being a great example to see that.

      When it comes to it, the public tends to be gullible and they rely on that.

    4. So why do they have this statement on their website page then?

      'We are the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs'

      Those poor Frenchies in Norfolk seemed to have been excluded from that remit...

      Are they telling big porky pies to fool the public into buying dogs and keeping the breed clubs sweet to keep it the money rolling in?

      I wish someone could enlighten me to the point of their existence….
      If they are just a registry, then fine do that. But don't try pretending to be something you're not. The KC do not care about the welfare of dogs from the evidence at hand.

    5. Anon 17:34, they are on shakey ground, they have forgotten that they only exist because of the goodwill of dog breeders who wish to formalise their bloodlines and have traceability. There is no legal requirement to use their services, it is voluntary. I had suggested some time ago that if breeders refrained from registering their puppies for a month, the KC would go into shock. Their easy income stream would lost, they would then possibly appreciate the power of the breeder. Likewise if dog shows were suspended they would feel the same effect. It is time they stopped concentrating on beauty shows and turned their attention to the well being of dogs, all dogs, pedigree and non pedigree. I would think that the above revelation will open a can of worms for the KC and they will have to deal with it, and deal with it openly and honestly if they are retain any credibility within the genuine dog lovers world. But I'm not sure that they are up to that, I'm really not.

  17. My breed, Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), is not in the top 20 but we have no new ABS registrations for 2013, newest was 2012.

    Of the 22 ABS breeders listed, only 1 is listed as visited and approved.

    Of the 22 listed, 10 are showing as have bred 5 or more litters but of that 10, only 4 are singly listed for this breed, the remaining 6 have more than 1 breed listed against them.

    The 2 most recent ABS breeders (2012) are not listed as having bred 5 or more litters and have no puppies listed currently.

    1. Ian, pre-2013 inspections are not listed on the KC website. So it's possible some have been checked.



  19. As a small breeder (having had 4 litters in 7 years) I to would like to see things tightened up, but surely attacking the system is not the right way, people become defensive, then nothing gets done, why not work with it offer to help do inspections make things better instead of rubbing up people's backs. Just for info when I joined the scheme I was inspected with in two months never having had a litter, but was planning my first. Help and advise not attack and humiliate. Just a thought.

    1. It's an objective audit. It's using evidence to try to suggest improvements.

    2. You only have to look at the health problems and cruelty involved in breeding pedigree dogs to see the KC do not take advice. Things will not improve while the KC are allowed to brush all their failings under the carpet. Thanks to Jemima they can no longer do that.

    3. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places, because I've been to quit a few breeders houses, some in the scheme some not, and the conditions and the way they look after their dogs is a credit to them all, what I find in torrent is the breeders of these so called designer dogs, loads of cash for nothing more than problems i.e. Cavipugs, how dumb are these people, puppy farmers and designer dog breeders are in my mind the worst kind, yes pedigree dogs do need to improve in some cases, but lets not just hit the easy target, these others need sorting too...

  20. Just doing this bit of research and looking at the KC ABS site, why do they state that breeding five or more litters as an accolade? If a breeder has been a member for over 5 years, then a litter year is (sort of?) ok, if it is otherwise it's a dreadful signal to send out. A new, overly enthusiastic breeder, would read that the more litters bred to receive such an accolade is what is one is to strive for to "insinuate oneself" to the KC. Grimly one could say that the KC have deliberately chosen that wording to encourage more puppies to be bred so that they will be registered using their recording system consequently improving their income stream. If the breeder above has been breeding regularly and charging £1200/puppy why hasn't she been made to pay the £30k RSPCA legal bill. Those poor dogs what misery, I do hope the dog above was able to move and that he hasn't been permanently crippled because he has lived his life in a crate. A six year ban? They should never be allowed to ever keep any animals ever again.

  21. No Puggle breeders have been inspected.

    Okay, laugh! But there is meaning in that figure.

  22. I feel like a ferret in a rabbit warren.

    When I click the first "here" and type "beagle". I get a message which says "Sorry we do not currently have any Kennel Club Assured Breeders registered for this breed."

    Well, that was easy. Zero, zip, nada. Done.

    Wait, no beagle litters?

    So I click the second "here", and enter beagles, and I click "All" areas.

    I find 31 alternating lines with names, 18 of which have the assured breeder flower, of which 2 have been inspected. I get that next I am to click the names and count how many have the 5 litter badge, but if the first "here" is right, there are no beagle litters, which can't be right.

    1. The ABS data for 18 of the Top 20 breeds disappeared off the KC website at around 1.30am (only these breeds - not any others). Seems to be back up again now, though...

  23. All of the breeders who had a litter of beagles, had a litter of beagles - why else would they have their litter listed? Of the 18 breeders with the assured flower, 12 had the badge, none of the breeders who did not have the assured flower, had the triangle badge.

  24. That poor Frenchie in the photo! Bad enough to breed for a bad mouth and a poor nose, but that French Bulldog looks like he is about dead from hunger. Poor thirsty hungry starving neglected unloved little Frenchie!

  25. On the subject of having experience doing something:

    Breeding dogs the wrong way for 20 years doesn't count, and doing it the wrong way for 40 years is NOT the type of experience to brag about either.

  26. Hi Georgina, I question if they should be allowed to have children - ever.

    1. I do too, the mind set is inhuman, there is something missing to be so oblivious to what is so obviously in front of one, the sight, the smell and the noise of whimpering, pain, distress. Yes, inhuman. The dogs denied water and food, and when the "ladies" were cooking or eating, whatever, can you imagine the agony for those poor dogs, smelling it, watching the ladies eat but being denied, it's cruelty on a whole new level. When the KC have set up a system to ensure that this type of thing stops and then fail to implicate it professionally puts them in a very bad light. Anyone who has bought a puppy from the "ladies" that developed a health issue, and
      only bought the puppy because of the KC ABS, because what they saw had been "inspected and approved as good" by the KC indicates to me that the KC could be culpable for any "damages" caused to those new owners. In the form of the distress of the health and welfare issues of the puppy and all related costs. The wording on KCABS site could be deemed to be deliberately misleading for their own gain or am I just being too cynical and unkind, goodness I really hope so, but in the meantime think of the suffering of dogs living in the conditions above and as yet undiscovered because of "friends" loyalty and that horrible breeder happens to be a judge who may give them a cheap piece of cardboard at the next show. But mainly because the "approved" breeder is holding a certificate that declares that they are good responsible people who have never had an inspection by the issuing authority when in reality they are perpetrators of gross cruelty. All very sad and distressing, disgraceful.

  27. I hope that the club limits the number of litters an assured breeder can have -the reverse of puppy farmers. How many is too many? I guess having one litter in the house is enough - and litters where any puppy is sold to be a pet or house dog should be raised inside with people.

    Some puppies are not sold until they are 3 or 4 months old. And the human caretaker should have a rest between litters, so that they have been looking forward to the litter.

    Two litters a year sounds like tops for an assured breeder - how else could anyone assure that the breeder had time to love another litter?

    Three litters would be getting away from the joy of puppies, and into breeding whole litters just to get one special show puppy, or extra money, or to meet and be with people, or just getting carried away with the breeder role.

    Once a year having a litter would make the event more special, but so long as the first litter was sold before starting on the second, that would allow attention for the puppies.

    More litters than that, Id say maybe the club should insisted that each dog have a walk-in kennel with an easy to clean hose-able surface, an automated watering system, kennel heating, warm soft bedding, paid inspections - once every early winter to make sure everyone is warm and fit for winter, and once every summer to make sure the kennels were built to be cool, or have fans, and that insects are being dealt with properly.

    Then people could choose to by from an assure home breeder with time for each litter, or an assured puppy farm, or a non-inspected non- assured breeder.

    As the system is currently, it seems they have it backward. But what should we expect from a group that rewards breeding dogs for deformities?

  28. Where oh where is the buyers responsibility in all of this, why do people buy from obviously neglectful situations. Do people really not recognise a well reared birght eyed well cared for litter? . Why are they not returning the feedback forms???? I joined the ABS I think in 2009, reluctantly, as I didn't feel the need to prove my ethics, and do not wish to be pigeon holed, and ticking boxes, as one size , especially in a domestic setting will never fit all, and have yet to be visited. On the health testing required by the breed clubs (which are more than the compulsory ones on the ABS). Recentkly I ahve been lookigna fter a 10 month puppy I bred as the owners were havign to relocate,a dn I ahd al his paperwork back with him, and teh feedback form was still in teh folder I ahd given them, with all the other advice sheets I had carefully prepared, still obviously as I ahd given tehm, msot likley unread. the only thing that had been obviously looked at was the wormign data.. On enquirign with the KC it seems they ahve ahd 8 froms out of 36 puppies bred back. I find that figure dissapointing, but on reflection I beleive that is seen as a good return rate of about 20%. Oh why did I eventualy join, because everything in terh Kennel club advice basically suggests atht ABS members are the only reliable breeders, so using a form of coercion to get decent breeders with nothing to prove to join.

  29. You get an Mot on your car it passes on the way out of the testing station you clip the kerb with your nearside front tyre .One week later it bursts at 70mph on a motorway you swerve into Ford fiesta killing the occupants .Happily you were driving a large SUV.The point is any inspection done by anyone on anything relates to the date it was done. Unless you are going to inspect everyone every week things like this will happen. How many children die while supervised by social services how many people have domestic break ups how many people have mental breakdowns.This case looks more like a crazy pair of animal hoarders than active breeders.

    1. Sadly I think you are incorrect. Accidents do happen, as described in your note anon 17:47. An accident. The FB "ladies" were able to feed puppies and keep them "fit" until they were fully paid for (£1200/puppy) but the dogs that were "hangers on" and subsequently considered worthless until they could be bred from, and until that time were "thrown away in a crate. They physically and mentally took that decision, there is no grey area, they deliberately discarded those poor dogs until they could use them for money. Goodness knows what has truly happened to anything that was unsaleable or barren, they are callous, deliberate perpetrators of cruelty to another living being that was innocent and unable to protect itself. That is disgusting.

    2. conditional discharge for 2 yrs that means no penalty unless another offence is committed within 24 months £200 costs and a ban from keeping animals they have been dealt with very sympathetically.Mitigation was not really reported it sounds like they had underlying problems. Typical Rspca case. It has cost them £30,000 so is a good Christmas fundraiser. Surely it would be kinder to have put the pups down, after all the breed is a car crash anyway and their developement has probably been compromised

  30. I have just spent 2 days trawling through the Kennel Club Breed Record Supplement. As far as I can see these breeders have bred 5 litters since 2008 (a total of 10 puppies). They sound more like animal hoarders that breeders


    1. Does 2 puppies per litter sound normal for you for an Kennel Club Assured Breeder? If they were simply animal hoarders they wouldn't have the status would they. Doesn't wash as a distraction.


  31. I do NOT know the Frenchie breeders.

    But if they were Chihuahua breeders, what would you suspect might be happening?

    We are discussing growing puppies after weaning, from a small breed, right?

  32. I really believe that having too many dogs could make a person a bit crazy, but there is always the "Bred down or fed down?" question.

  33. Hi Jemima,

    Why the interest in NEW ABS breeders? I would guess that NEW breeders were the ones least likely to have gotten bogged down with more dogs than free time. And people who have been breeding for more than 5 years, the ones more likely to be in the know, and to have friends to protect them.

    If the KC inspected new breeders to make sure they had proper kennel runs, then I might understand.

  34. Hi anon 02:50, the wording of the scheme is Assured Breeders. Assured by whom? What does Assured mean? I would interpret it as meaning that the breeder had been inspected by a KC knowledgeable/professionally trained inspector prior to a certificate of Assurance being awarded. I think that one would expect this to be the case. But that doesn't seem to be the case. If one took the £10 fee per breeder to join the Scheme multiplied by the several thousands of breeders who have taken it up means that there must be a considerable sum of money swilling around that should have been used for inspection. I have done a bit of work on the stats of the assured breeders scheme and it is unbelievable and I am sure that in time we will be able to view the figures in a clear format. Why new breeders, it isn't so much that they are "dogged down" it is, I assume, because if the KCABS hasn't been able to monitor established scheme members then the KC should not be issuing new certificates, it is totally misleading. Therefore one concludes that the scheme isn't for the safety and wellbeing of the dogs, it is just another revenue raiser for the KC. I understand that they have raised £12M from a property deal and intend to spend £4 in the acquisition of new premises. Why £4M, I am positive that they could acquire suitable, centrally located property, say a farm, for considerably less. What of the £8M, it seems it is being distributed between pension fund and to be fair other areas but I cannot remember what, maybe somebody else will remember. £12M, pounds that is a huge amount of money, it is also time that the arts and other assets were liquidated for the benefit of dogs. Again I will say that the KC was established for the welfare of dogs, in my opinion it is becoming a comparison to the awful book "Animal Farm"?.

  35. Hi Georgina,

    Thank you for the information. It takes quite a bit of work to get a big boat back on course.

    But if you get up to the Big Lost Boat to lend them your ship-to-shore phone (because they don't seem to be hearing feedback) and you find they are flying the Jolly Roger..........

  36. Shit.
    'Dog training and behavioural corrections undertaken in our secure back field'

    I feel sick.

    These people were clueless.

  37. Your points are all very valid and as a member of the ABS myself (been inspected) I wholly agree it needs tightening up - Rome and all that. However, I know this is your 'thing' Jemima, but I can't help wondering when there is so much abuse going on at puppy farms, and with all the energy and passion you have, why you aren't focusing on the really awful abuses of pedigree dog breeding in the UK?

  38. Probably the best written assessment Of The Kennel Club I've ever read - It's a corrupt "Club" That's invented it's own set of rules outside UK Legislation, that it also fails to meet on a regular basis. NOBODY within the UK can breed more than 4/5 litters a year - Per address - This joke of a club refuses to police the natter unless local authorities ask them for evidence. They are quite happy registering 12/15 litters from an accredited breeder, allow them to use the KC Puppy sales site.. (Another thing they dislike unless it's theirs) ... Thank god hopefully this new amendment going through Parliament( 2017) at the moment - NO MORE THAN TWO LITTERS A YEAR- Will put an end to this money bagging "Club" in their multi million office Mayfair. Rant over!