It has been great to see the interest in Pedigree dogs increase in East Africa over the last couple of years.
Sadly, with this newfound interest come newfound cons.
Puppy mills are popping up everywhere, dogs are being stolen and bred, bought and bred, imported by the boxload and bred, bred and bred. Badly…
Puppy mills are not a local phenomenon only, they function on an extensive international level and unlike real dog breeders, they advertise!
We received yet another report last week of a man who was duped. When we investigated the source we found a nice looking website… but all the markers of a puppy mill were present.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming their victim:
NEVER BUY A PUPPY WITHOUT SEEING WHERE IT CAME FROM
- NEVER BUY A PUPPY WITHOUT SEEING WHERE IT CAME FROM
- Do not try to SAVE the puppy you are offered on the street, online or anywhere – Report them to the (K)SPCA instead. the money will only go to the man and they will go and produce more puppies.
- Do not deal with middlemen or agents!
- DO NOT have your puppy delivered to you!
- It is important to meet the breeder, the mama dog, see its environment.
- If you are told you can not interact with the mother due to aggression issues, walk away!
When you find a puppy online, there are a few more warnings
- The price: does it compare to what is locally available? Why is it cheap?
- The options: are there many options? Colour (does the advertised colour really exist in this breed? Paperwork included? Who is producing the paperwork and can you contact them?
- The site: is the website obviously owned by an individual with a home address and personal pride? Achievements?
People who really breed dogs take pride in them, they attend shows to try and gain titles, which is proof that the dogs measure up to internationally upheld standards. These breeders hope to breed the perfect pup, they research, check their adult dogs for problems, they do Hip Scoring and know the ancestry of their dogs. They almost never fully let go of a puppy either, keeping in touch to check that it has settled in its new home and how it is growing.
People who love dogs and breed for quality have their dogs living in or at least at their home and they spend countless nights awake when puppies are newly born, making sure they, and their mom are in good shape. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes heartbreaking.
That is what you pay for.
If you believe you are paying for the piece of paper from the Kennel Club, you are wrong. That costs Ksh.2000/- hardly breaks the bank does it?
Vaccinations? A couple of thousand shillings.
Food? Can get expensive for big breeds, but still.. a couple of thousand shillings..
Adopting a dog from KPSCA or TNR costs around 8000/- (this covers their costs).
So why do people spend so much money on a pedigree dog?? Commitment.
Why does it cost a lot of money to see a doctor? Because (s)he invested years and money into becoming qualified to help you. This goes for good dog breeders too! They invest money, blood and sweat and often quite a few tears.
Why does it cost so little to adopt a dog? Noone invested anything in “producing” that dog. It’s just a dog, which is not to say it is not a wonderful clever and loving creature who deserves to share your home!
But if you want a Japanese Spitz, a Chihuahua… A Maltese.. A Great Dane.. then do your homework!
For starters, we do not have a lot of breeds of pedigree dogs locally, so you may need to look abroad, but the same rules count! Typically, a good breeder will not part with a good pup easily, so if it is being offered online, BEWARE!
Good breeders will hardly ever advertise, they have waiting lists before they ever think of having a litter. They do not release them to new homes without papers.
If you are buying a pedigree, please check with the East Africa Kennel Club(EAKC). The pedigree registration of imports has to be transferred to the EAKC through import registration, just like with the import of cars, to make it valid locally. Pedigrees from abroad should not be bought through agents, you need to get to know the breeder yourself. Dogs should be microchipped and DNA checked, and fully registered before they are shipped. There is NO excuse not to get this done.
Kennel Clubs are National, meaning there should be one per region/country. You are always welcome to send copies of papers to us to get our opinion on their validity.
Pedigree dogs are registered and vaccinated. Not vaccinated and optionally registered. The registry is there to verify this for you… for free!