Thinking of buying a puppy for Christmas? Beware of illegal dealers operating within the East Riding

People looking at adding a new puppy to their family this Christmas should check they are buying from a reputable, licensed breeder.

Over the last year, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s licensing team have received 15 allegations of unlicensed breeders operating in this area advertising and selling puppies, and officers are asking people to be vigilant when looking at choosing a dog.

Caution should be taken when thinking about buying a dog online, via a newspaper advert while people selling dogs from vans in places like car parks, markets or back streets should be avoided.

Dogs being sold by unlicensed breeders can come with health and/or behavioural problems which could lead to expensive vet bills and potentially the dog being abandoned.

Licensing officers have now issued the following advice to those people looking at buying a dog or puppy:

  • Good breeders will always give the buyer a chance to see the puppies in the litter with their mother
  • Check the seller’s licence to ensure the breeder is registered or contact the relevant breed societies
  • Make sure the puppy or dog comes with the right documentation, such as Kennel Club registration and pedigree papers, a vaccination card as well as advice on when further vaccinations are due
  • Make sure you are given written advice on feeding, worming and flea treatments as well as any information on diet.

Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio for community involvement and partnerships at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “A puppy or dog can be a great addition to any home but I would really urge people to do their research before buying one.

“Good, reputable breeders do not sell puppies from the back of a van in a car park or at markets and those that are sold that way can come with a whole host of health and behaviour issues.

“More dogs are abandoned at Christmas than at any other time of the year so one option I would ask people to consider is to visit their local rescue centre and give a home to a dog that is looking for a new owner.”

A list of licensed breeders in the East Riding can be found at

There are a number of rescue centres across the East Riding for people who are interested in re-homing a dog.

These include:

General information can also be found at The Kennel Club’s website –

Anyone with information about individuals who are breeding dogs as a business and are unlicensed should email the council’s licensing team –

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