Thinking of buying a puppy or kitten? Use a licensed breeder

People thinking of buying a puppy or kitten in Sandwell have been urged to be aware of new rules before buying a new pet.

The council has issued advice in the run-up to new tougher national rules on the purchase of pets being introduced by the Government in April.

The third-party sale of puppies and kittens will end under new regulations, which will only allow direct sales of puppies and kittens from licensed breeders or rehoming centres.

The council urges people to:

• Only used licensed breeders or rehoming centres when buying a new puppy or kitten

• If buying from a breeder, view puppies and kittens in their home environment, with their mother

• Ensure they receive documentation including vaccination records

• Make sure the puppy or kitten is microchipped from eight weeks of age – this is a legal requirement.

The council’s warning comes as concerns have increased about puppy sales being linked to illegal imports or unlicensed breeders where welfare conditions have not been checked.

Councillor Farut Shaeen, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for living healthy lives, said: "The new tougher regulations are to be welcomed because often the pets from unlicensed breeders can suffer serious health conditions and poor socialisation skills. "So, it is good news that the new rules which come into force in April only allow puppies and kittens to be sold by licensed breeders or rehoming centres. "This will help prevent unscrupulous breeding methods, improve welfare conditions and reduce illegal imports." The council's regulatory services team licences breeders, including home boarding and pet shops. If you have any concerns about animal welfare issues or licensed premises, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0121 368 1177 (option 7).

Stray dogs: Sandwell Council provides a service for stray dogs. Call Noah's Ark on 0333 577 5070 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday This service only collects stray dogs in Sandwell. If you see a stray dog in another area, please contact the relevant council.

This service will not deal with vicious or aggressive dogs. If a dog is vicious or aggressive, please call the police on 101.

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