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​Buyer beware – Blue Cross issues warning to stay away from puppy farms

Puppy Aslan
Aslan is cute, but his sad start to life has left him with behavioual issues

Blue Cross is warning puppy buyers to stay away from puppy farms after caring for a pup who is terrified of the outside world.

Five-month-old puppy Aslan started life in a way that no pet should. The little Lhasa apso spent the first few weeks of his life in a puppy farm, and it’s likely he was born there too. 

When his owner went to see the puppies, Aslan was presented to them in a box along with his littermates. Aslan was chosen, but the breeder also offered the owner an older pup from another litter.

Poor Aslan was underweight, under-socialised, and in very poor condition. His owner was not able to meet Aslan’s mum or his dad, or see the conditions the parents were kept in. 

Lhasa apso puppy Aslan came from a puppy farm
Puppy farms have a seriously negative impact on the welfare of pups, like Aslan, and on their mothers and fathers

Aslan is a very cute chap, but he is not as confident as his name would suggest.

Jennifer Bromley, Rehoming Supervisor at Blue Cross Suffolk rehoming centre, said: “Aslan is quite an under-socialised and insecure little man, which is often the case with puppy farm dogs.

“They lack exposure to normal domestic environments, so are, as Aslan is, typically very unsettled by change, avoidant, and nervous around new people, items and experiences. 

“Puppy farms don’t offer the opportunity for familiarisation with all the things that help them learn about the world, and sadly Aslan’s behaviour is a classic example of this.”

While we don’t know the exact conditions that Aslan’s parents were kept in, breeding mothers and fathers are often kept in cold and dirty shed-like conditions, and are denied the opportunity to experience life as much-loved family pets. They are also more likely to suffer from a range of health conditions that can easily become expensive and difficult to manage for new owners.   

Between three and 12 weeks of age, puppies need to be introduced to a wide range of people, situations and other animals. If they don’t, they will find it difficult to cope with everything that is expected of them as a pet in a home environment, and may become worried and fearful adult dogs.

Aslan arrived at our Suffolk centre after the resident dog in his home didn’t take to him.  Happily, we have now found Aslan a new home with an owner who will give him the time, patience and understanding to help him grow in confidence.

Jennifer added: “We would always encourage people looking to add a puppy to their family to try a rehoming centre like Blue Cross first. If you do wish to buy a puppy from a breeder, always make sure the breeder has pet welfare at heart and check the whole family, including the mother, are happy and healthy.”