It’s disturbing that in our animal loving country there are people who can force animals to become mothers over and over again.

Battersea Cats and Dogs Home has launched a new campaign, End Backstreet Breeding, to raise awareness of cruel practices. It looks at the many devastating health and behavioural issues dogs can suffer as a result of being over bred, often in squalid conditions.

Claire Horton, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home’s Chief Executive, said: ‘At Battersea we see the consequences of this problem every day, with strays coming through our doors, many of whom show signs of in-breeding and others that have been used to produce countless litters before being turfed out on the street.

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‘These puppies and breeding bitches are often tomorrow’s status dogs and we must put an end to such inhumane, money-making activities.’

The charity has called for a ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks old. It has suggested the introduction of a breeding licence requirement for any household producing two or more litters per year.

Members of the pet industry who would like to learn more can contact Battersea Cats and Dogs Home or visit the campaign’s website at www.endbackstreetbreeding.org.uk. Click here to view a video from the campaign, highlighting heartbreaking practices.

Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady, who is supporting the campaign said: ‘I’ve seen first-hand the poor, damaged dogs in Battersea’s kennels that have been bred from over and over again. It sickens me to think what these dogs go through before they’re dumped on the streets broken and unloved.

‘The awful thing is that backstreet breeders are everywhere lining their pockets from the demand for puppies. If there’s one thing we can all do it’s to make sure we think about where we’re getting a puppy from. Visit a rescue centre or a registered breeder and help Battersea end backstreet breeding.’

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