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Last Updated: Thursday February 19 2009 17:43 GMT

Charity warns of bad puppy farms

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Tips to avoid bad puppy farms

Getting a new puppy is exciting, but one charity is warning people to be careful where they get their pets from.

The RSPCA says there's a growing number of bad puppy farms cropping up, where thousands of young dogs are being bred irresponsibly every year for money.

Lots of the animals aren't very well looked after, and many are taken away from their mums before they should be.

Sonali went to meet RSPCA officer Darren Parrish to find out how to avoid buying a dog from a bad puppy farm.

Mr Parrish said the RSPCA often see puppies that need life-saving treatment after being rescued from badly-run puppy farms.

Here are his top tips to help you avoid buying a puppy that may have come from a puppy farm...

  • Ask to see the puppy's parents so you can check they're healthy and have got a good temperament.
  • Be wary if the person selling you the puppy won't let you see the kennels where it lives.
  • Check the dog's vaccination certificate to check its been wormed and treated for fleas.

Just one last thing to remember - if you DO see a puppy at a puppy farm DON'T take it home, however sorry you may feel for it.

Instead, the RSPCA says the best thing you can do is leave the puppy where it is and report the farm to your local RSPCA so its inspectors can investigate it properly.