Welcome to my blog

For years I have campaigned against puppy farming, dealers and pet shops, in fact any outlet that is involved in the breeding and selling of puppies by third parties. Why you may ask? Because it is a clandestine trade that lacks public awareness and Governments fail miserably to accept that puppy farming resulting in puppy trafficking is detrimental to animal welfare. Through my thoughts on my blog I will highlight some of the daily happenings from my perspective as a campaigner against the puppy trade.

Disclaimer: My name is Patricia from Puppy Alert, the opinions and views expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Rescue Dogs Entering the UK in a poor condition is unacceptable

Rescue dogs entering the UK in a poor condition is not acceptable. 

Serious concern has been raised by three UK dog rescues since June 2017 this year on the poor condition of dogs imported into the UK.  One a border collie was suffering from malnutrition and seriously underweight having spent 3 months at the rescue in the Irish Republic.  The other two a foxhound and greyhound were exported too soon after being spayed. 

Since June 2017 there have been three separate incidents the dogs all from the same rescue AHAR Animal Heaven Animal Rescue, Crag, Castleisland, Kerry in the Republic of Ireland to their final destination in the UK, all resulted in suffering on long journeys of between 20 to 26 hours to reach their final destinations on three separate occasions to rescues in Surrey, Norwich, Norfolk and Gateshead, Newcastle.   

March 2017: Zorro a young border collie found with his mother Nessie, both were in a poor state of health and brought into AHAR the rescue in March 2017.  Nessie sadly was found to be suffering from cancer and was relieved of her suffering.   Zorro’s blood results were clear and it was decided by the manager of AHAR that she would take personal responsibity of Zorro and foster him herself.  Undisclosed funds were raised by loyal supporters for any ongoing veterinary treatment that Zorro required.

June 2017: Valgrays Border Collie and Animal Rescue posted on their Facebook page that they had received a border collie from an Irish Rescue in an appalling state and condition weighing just 12 kg (see photos on arrival at Valgrays).  This was Zorro his fur was matted, he smelt foul ,was covered in fleas and was passing worms,  in addition he had possible urine burns/scalding on all four paws (see photos).
Zorro 3rd June 2017 having arrived at Valgrays from AHAR weighing only 12kg. 

Zorro now 17th July 2017. Well done Valgrays for all your care and feeding.


Three months in the supposing care of AHAR poor Zorro was still only 12kg in weight, it was said by AHAR that he suffered from IBS and therefore could not gain weight.  As you will see by later photos of Zorro this had nothing to do with IBS all Zorro needed was to be fed regularly and cared for whilst at AHAR not neglected and malnourished whilst under the manager’s supervision.

September 8th 2017:  Ginger was one of three Foxhounds that had been sent from AHAR in the ROI to Foxhound Welfare UK.

Ginger a foxhound bitch on arrival at Foxhound Welfare UK had spent 26 hours caged in a transporter from AHAR.  A vet had previously whilst at AHAR carried out a mammary gland removal and spay.  Ginger had external stitches in the wound when placed on the transporter and due to size of cage no buster collar. This possibly allowed Ginger to interfere with her external stitches resulting in an open wound that became infected (see photo).  Foxhound Welfare UK was not in receipt of any pain relief medication from AHAR for Ginger for the journey or after care.

Comments and questions raised on the rescue Facebook page on arrival and inspection of the dogs:

Why were two trail hounds that were tattooed, raced and worked 24 hours prior to being placed in a local pound in ROI?  

One dog (male) had the longest wee possible up the side of the van on arrival indicating that the transporter may not have taken a rest stop for the dogs.

Foxhound Rescue UK was not advised that the dogs were neutered only found this out on inspection at arrival in the UK.  Ears and teeth were not too bad.

The rescue stated that it was the second time in less than a year that they had received a hound from AHAR that needed vet care straight away.  Ginger is in a mess, looks like she has been butchered, has ear and skin infections, feet are red where she has chewed them.  She also requires a dental and has skin mites and fleas.

Ginger had a mammary mass removed but not fully, she had a pressure sore opened up presuming to lance it, however it should have a drain in place, a vet has stitched it back and closed it but it has started to break down.  There is local infection around the other operation sites.  No pain relief sent with Ginger such as metacam or rimadyl for bitch spays.  A bitch spay is a full hysterectomy.  Some vet has passed this work off as fit to travel.

16th September 2017:  Nancy a greyhound who again had recently been spayed at AHAR arrived at Super Sighthound Rescue with stitches in her wound having been on the transporter from AHAR for at least 20 hours.   Nancy was rushed to the vets within an hour of checking the wound Nancy’s belly became swollen and started weeping.  The wound required staples as it had not closed up properly; she was cleaned up given more pain relief and antibiotics and requires a further vet check-up in 10 days’ time.

AHARs responded with the following as written by Super Sighthounds Rescue:  “The Irish Rescue has been supportive and are very sorry for what Nancy is going through”.   “We have been promised no other dog will leave their care with a fresh spay wound”.   AHAR commented they would ‘have a stern word with their vet”.

Puppy Alert comments:

EU Legislation is in place for all rescues and dog breeders when exporting dogs to another country.   

To transport rescue dogs the rescue exporting must comply with EU Legislation 92/65/EEC as they have the classification of ‘economic activity’.

In the case of the ROI it means the premises of the exporting rescue must be Register under Balai through DAFM.  

They must also use a transporter that is registered with Authorisation 2 http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animaltransport/

The vet carrying out the inspection of the dogs and completing the Passport and ITAHC International Trade Animal Health Certificate must be authorised to do so and works under the guidelines and regulations lay down by the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

Therefore with all the EU Legislation in place to ensure dogs are cared for responsibly whilst in rescue and prepared for export, checked by a vet as fit to travel before transport and transported by an authorised transporter.    

What has gone seriously wrong to have allowed not on one occasion but three separate occasions and three separate transports dogs arriving in the UK having suffered and in a very poor condition?   All the suffering these dogs endured whilst at AHAR and during transport were avoidable. Zorro was malnourished and the two hounds were operated on but with lax post operative aftercare.  They should never have been considered by the vet as fit to be transported  made to endure a 20 to 26 hour transport with stitches in after a major operation.
The fault lies with the rescue in the ROI, the Vet who was responsible for the care of the dogs and signing they were fit to travel when they were clearly not.  The transporter who accepted the dogs on the vehicle, one malnourished and two with stitches still in their wounds after being spayed. 

It clearly makes a mockery of the EU Legislation if those who have the responsibility of ensuring compliance and responsible animal welfare practices fail in their responsibilities when preparing, checking and transporting dogs to the UK.   

Please make a complaint to DAFM email: animalwelfare@agriculture.gov.ie 
and livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie




Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Little Rascals Pets Ltd

Little Rascals Pets Ltd. Brant Broughton, Lincs

This is unbelievable, Little Rascals imported from the Republic of Ireland 399 puppies between December 2014 and October 2015.  Yet N Kesteven Council who are responsible for issuing Little Rascals their pet shop licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951 have not placed extra conditions on their standard licence conditions to take account the importation or selling of puppies from the premises.  The Council appeared to be oblivious to what I made reference to when questioned on this important issue. 

A Council spokesperson advised me that it is the responsibility of APAH (imports) and Trading Standards, then added the transporters of puppies are checked at the border!  Wrong it is only APAH and Trading Standards responsibility to the delivery point, the puppies’ arrival at Little Rascals.  The border checks of vehicles leaving the Republic of Ireland by ferry are spot checks only; there is no static border control.  Trading Standards does not check each and every consignment of puppies entering their destination in the UK as animal welfare has a low priority and the low risk factor of rabies from the Republic of Ireland does not make it cost effective to do so.

Under the pet shop licence conditions from the point of arrival of imported puppies at their destination (Little Rascals) it  is the Councils responsibility to ensure that every consignment of puppies details are entered into the Animals Register by the licence holder (Little Rascals) as part of the pet shop licence conditions.  The puppies’ details, where the licence holder purchased the puppies from and sold to must be entered.   The Register is open for inspection by Council officials by request and should be inspected as routine at the time of the pet shop licence renewal once a year. 

When I questioned a spokesperson at N Kesteven Council about this they could not confirm this occurred and the details of imported puppies were listed in the Animal Register, stating yet again that it was it was Trading Standards responsibility.    If this is the case then N Kesteven Council has no traceability of any of these 399 puppies once they had entered or left Little Rascals premises?  If so it is unacceptable for the following reasons.

A pet shop licence enables Little Rascals to sell puppies to both individual purchasers and to other dealers and pet shops. Without the puppies details entered into the Animal Register the Council does not know what has happened to the 399 puppies that were imported into Little Rascals over this 10 month period in question.  The same applies to APAH and Trading Standards.  So where did these puppies go, were they all sold during the 10 month period or soon after?  Were they sold to purchasers who visited Little Rascals premises, were they sold to other dealers or pet shops?  The Council were not able to clarify even though they renewed Little Rascals pet shop licence only last week. 

Why hasn’t the Council realized that Little Rascals was importing puppies into their premises over the past year and possibly longer and adjusted or added extra conditions to Little Rascals pet shop licence conditions to accommodate imported puppies to ensure they were entered in the Animals Register which is part of the licence conditions? 

Just looking at N Kesteven web site under their pet shop licence conditions proves that they have not taken this into account it refers to ‘stocking densities’ it states ‘puppies up to 12 weeks of age’.  Imported puppies cannot be imported and sold until over 15 weeks of age as they cannot have their rabies vaccination until 12 weeks of age then must wait for 22 days before transportation.  Why hasn’t N Kesteven Council noted that their pet shop licence conditions are not applicable to cover the criteria for imported puppies sold on their licensed premises?  

This is a massive loophole that is being exploited by puppy traders.  It can allow the unscrupulous to bring underage puppies into the UK and sell them under the nose of the Council by not stating their correct age.  No one is physically checking the puppies against their paperwork when they arrive at the ferry leaving the ROI or arriving at their destination in the UK. Too much trust is placed on all involved in the puppy trade to be honest unfortunately due to the high profits and quick turnover puppy trading has become an exceedingly lucrative business that are prepared to exploit the EU Legislation Balai Directive and compromise animal welfare.

If anyone reading the above in the last year has seen Little Rascals advertising for sale puppies over 15 weeks of age or purchased a puppy with a Passport from these premises or know of other premises such as dealers of pet shops that have been supplied with puppies by Little Rascals Pets Ltd I would like to hear from you please email puppyalert@btinternet.com

On Little Rascals web site they refer to their business of selling puppies as dog breeders of pedigree and designer cross breed puppies.  This is true they are but what they fail to announce alongside licensed dog breeder to keep about 200 dogs on their premises and are a licensed pet shop in addition to the puppies they breed they ‘buy in’ and import puppies to resell under their Pet Shop Licence. 

The Council is exceedingly irresponsible by not ensuring that they are fully aware of the activities of dogs breeders and pet shop licence holders within their area, it is too easy to tick boxes each year and automatically renew a licence, rather than to ensure that animal welfare is not being compromised by allowing premises to have too many dogs and puppies on the premises unaccounted for, Little Rascals is one such example there are many others.      

Consignments of puppies imported into Little Rascals Pets Ltd from the Republic of Ireland.

02.12.2014 = 59 puppies

04.12.2014 = 14 puppies

05.12.2015 = 33 puppies

05.03.2015 = 47 puppies

05.03.2015 = 03 puppies

31.03.2015 = 11 puppies

02.05.2015 = 33 puppies

02.05.2015 = 17 puppies

23.05.2015 = 28 puppies

18.06.2015 = 39 puppies

18.06.2015 = 08 puppies

30.07.2015 = 42 puppies

09.09.2015 = 41 puppies

10.10.2015 = 24 puppies

TOTAL = 399 puppies from 2nd December 2014 to 10th October 2015. 



Thursday, 7 January 2016

AHAR to Allsorts

Since the introduction of the EU Legislation the Balai Directive 92/65/EEC in 2012 (enforced by the UK Government in 31st December 2013) it has been a legal requirement for all EU Member states to comply when importing/exporting puppies and dogs as trade from one European country to another.   Dog breeders and rescues are both classified as TRADE as defined by the movement of animals between one member state to another.

All premises exporting puppies and dogs must be registered under Balai, Article 4 of Council Directive 92/65/EEC. All dogs, puppies must have a microchip, vaccinated against rabies (puppies must be 12 weeks of age) and have a valid Passport.   A private Veterinary Practitioner must examine all dogs and puppies 48 hours prior to transport to confirm that he/she has inspected the dogs/puppies and found them in good health and fit to travel and a Balai Health Certificate can be issued.  The puppies and dogs must wait for 21 days (day of rabies vaccination is not counted, therefore 22 days), until able to be exported.  Puppies must be at least 15 weeks of age before leaving their country of birth.  

An EU Intra Trade Certificate must be completed and the details entered into TRACES.  All dogs and puppies must be exported in accordance with Directive 1/2005. The recipient at the destination named on the certification must notify their local APHA office at least 24 hours prior to the expected arrival of the consignment of puppies or dogs to enable their paperwork to be inspected by their local APHA officer.

I am very critical of rescues and dog breeders that have not complied with the EU Legislation when exporting/importing dogs and puppies, to not comply results in a lack of traceability of exported dogs and puppies should a Rabies outbreak occur in the UK?

For some rescues this appears too difficult to comprehend and they have taken the risk of exporting dogs to the UK illegally.  One such rescue was AHAR, who in 2013 were transporting dogs in loose cages in a cattle truck, which is illegal. They vehemently denied my allegations of smuggling dogs which they did from 2012 until at least up to February 2015.  Then in January 2015 AHARs premises were Registered under Balai,  whether they succumbed to pressure, took the initiative and decided to Register and operate legally or whether this was forced onto them by a Government Department is not clear but  AHAR at Crag, Castleisland, Kerry is now registered under Balai to export dogs.

However with Registration comes responsibility AHAR has to agree to comply with certain conditions under Council Directive 92/65 (Balai Directive).

A private vet must be engaged to ensure the day to compliance with the requirements of the Directive.

They must have dogs and cat’s resident on the premises examined regularly by a private vet in accordance with Article 3 (3) of Directive 90/425/EEC.

Comply with any measures required by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to carry out monitoring or surveillance for animal disease.

Place on the market for trade, only dogs which show no sign of disease and only at a time when the holding and area in which they are located is not subject to health restrictions.

Ensure that the welfare of the dogs are complied with.

Failure to comply with any of the above conditions will result in the Balai Registration being revoked.

As AHAR export hundreds of dogs a year to the UK.  TRACES show that 36 consignments of a total of 424 dogs were exported from AHAR during the period January 2015 to November 2015.  Registration should be very important for AHAR to ensure they can continue to export dogs legally to the UK and do not take any risks to lose their Registration.   To do so would make it difficult for them to revert back to prior 2015, when they were operating their exporting of dogs illegally.   Too many eyes would be on their activities now and are aware of their transports.

AHAR is the main supplier of rescue dogs to Allsorts Dog Rescue in West Sussex.  The number of dogs  legally exported  from 17th February 2015 until 9th December 2015 to Allsorts were 414 dogs there have been further imports since the 9th until end of December 2015 possibly another 10 dogs so around 424 dogs in total.   Adoption charges at Allsorts are £150 to £200 per dog resulting in a healthy turnover in the region of £70,596 to £94,128 per annum less their expenses.   Allsorts Dog Rescue refer to their rescue as a non-profit organisation, whatever that means, they are not officially registered with either the Charities Commission or Companies House so can only be described as a business.  

With AHAR and Allsorts now compliant with Balai I did not expect to see dogs arriving from AHAR to Allsorts less than their 22 days after rabies vaccination but hey ho, are they still trying to be sneaky?

Lottie and Ruple were from a litter of four puppies collected from Ballinasloe Horse Fair in the ROI on 17th October 2015. Photos at AHAR show them being flea sprayed at their premises.  On the 7th November 2015 two were displayed on Allsorts web site alongside  the other dogs arrived from AHAR on the same consignment but Lottie was referred to as Lita. On the 9th November both dogs reappeared but now called Lottie and Ruple.  Remembering that puppies must be rabies vaccinated no younger than 12 weeks of age and wait 22 days from the date of rabies vaccination before allowed to be transported.   I cannot imagine a vet would administer a rabies vaccination on the 17th a Saturday the day of arrival from the horse fair or Sunday. making  Monday the 19th the earliest day possible.  22 days inclusive of the day of rabies vac brings the earliest day of transport to leave ROI as the 9th of November 2015 but the consignment of dogs arrived with the others on the 7th which was too early to be legally transported from AHAR in the ROI to the UK.   Allsorts must have realised their mistake of having put them on display on their web site too soon and removed their details and photos to be returned for display on the 9th November the correct day they should have travelled and left AHAR in the ROI.    


Following on from this a dog referred to as Meg (below) posted on AHARs page on the 12th December 2015 in their timeline photos that AHAR describe as an 8 year old yorkie x, female but a poster corrected AHAR on their Facebook page and said she was a Norfolk Terrier.  She was shown on Allsorts page on the 28th December 2015 where she was described as a Norfolk terrier age 8 years, spayed and now called Yahtzee.  A poster wrote on Allsorts page that they  ‘saw this dog there last week’ indicating that she arrived on the same transport on the 23rd December 2015 but was not displayed on Allsorts page until the 28th December 2015.  Is this the same dog?  If so where are the 22 waiting days from date of rabies vaccination?  12th December to 23rd or even to the 28th is not 22 days.


Then we have a white terrier (below) female spayed shown at AHAR on the 27th November and again after being spayed on the 14th December 2015, this dog is shown again at Allsorts Dog Rescue on the 28th December 2015 looking much cleaner, she is now called Monopoly.  If this is the same dog and it is believed to be, both dogs have the same white collar or is this just a coincidence?

What is going on ?  Do these dogs all have valid Passports, rabies vac, Balai certificate and were their details entered into TRACES?  I am aware that the majority of dogs have since February 2015 been compliant but have these ones?  If I am wrong then I apologise but if I am right then why are AHAR and Allsorts reverting back to old habits of under hand tactics and risking losing their Registration to export dogs legally?  It baffles me.     


Update: It has been requested by the photographer on behalf of Allsorts Dog Rescue that I remove the photos of the dogs at Allsorts Dog Rescue, reason given was for Copyright.  I accept that as a valid reason for removal.   

According to Allsorts Dog Rescue who has issued a statement (see below) my information is incorrect.  

Statement from Allsorts Dog Rescue

"We at Allsorts are clarifying that Patrica James is not looking back on the AHAR page far enough as she sees a picture of a dog and then assumes it has arrived that day!!!. From the link shown this dog arrived on the 27th of November 2015 and NOT the 14th of December 2015 as Patrica Jame's blog states."

The dog in question arrived at AHAR from the pound on the 27th November 2015 (to clarify the above I did say on the Blog that I would apologize if I was wrong). However apart from the date being incorrect on the dogs’ arrival at AHAR all else is still questionable for the following reasons.

This dog arrived at AHAR from the pound along with others on Friday 27.11.2015

Between the 28th Nov 2015 and 14th Dec 2015 the dog was spayed. 

If this dog was operated on Monday 1st Dec 2015 at the earliest as it would be inadvisable for a vet to operate on a dog so soon after coming from the pound with an unknown history. Most vets would advise 48 hours to elapse before spaying a dog from this situation due to stress. The normal routine would be a blood test prior to a major operation to ensure the dogs kidneys and liver are working well, both vital when dealing with anesthetic drugs. 

The question still arises when did this dog have her Rabies Vaccination?   Vets do not usually like to vaccinate a dog whilst under anesthesia as this can increase the risk of aspiration for the dog leading to vaccine failure because anesthetic agents can change the immune response to the vaccine.

The date of microchipping and rabies vaccination must be entered into the dogs Passport then a clear window of 22 days before the dog is allowed to be transported after being examined by a vet as fit to travel 24 hours before leaving AHAR and the details entered on a Balai Health Certificate and entered into TRACES. This dog along with others left AHAR on the 22nd December 2015 arriving on the 23rd December at Allsorts Dog Rescue.

Was this dog was given his rabies vaccination at a very inappropriate time whilst undergoing a major operation or he was transported too soon to the UK?  Only a valid Passport and Balai Certificate would have proof of the date if applicable.

Many vets recommend that a Rabies vaccination is given to a dog a few weeks prior or after a major operation in case there is a reaction to either the vaccine or anesthesia if both administered at the same time.  Post-operative care is usually pain relief and  a lead walk only for 10/14 days after a spay before allowed to free run if the dog has external stitches as it is 10 days before removal.  What arrangements AHAR have for aftercare and if this is followed is debatable.

This is typical of many rescue dogs in the ROI arriving from the pound into rescue spayed, vaccinated and exported to the UK a very tight schedule and sometimes the 22 days are not met and the recipient rescue in the UK delays offering the dogs for adoption on their web site until the time is up for that reason.  This dog was not up for adoption until the 28th December which of course could be due to the Christmas period or for other unknown reasons.

There is also another comment stating I am incorrect regarding the tan coloured dog the rescue is stating I am displaying the incorrect dog (see below) but how can that be, as the one I have shown is a female and the one the poster states as the correct dog is referred to as a male. That cannot be correct surely?  
Poster on behalf of Allsorts posted the link below stating it was the same dog as the second photo shown when at AHAR before groomed referred to as a 'he', meaning a male dog.   The one in photo (second photo) is a female at Allsorts called Meg at AHAR then Yahtzee at Allsorts shown in second photo above.       

Here 'facts' on the terrier also wrong. Note the date:

Animal Heaven Animal Rescue's photo.