RSPCA Cymru is urging people to ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ as the number of people looking for puppies online during lockdown soared by 650 per cent across the UK.

The month of October has been named ‘Adoptober’ by the animal rescue charity as they urge people to look at shelters if they are wanting to get a puppy or another animal.

Across the UK, there were 15,000 searches for ‘Puppies near me’ in July, compared to 2,000 in January. The figure was five times higher than July last year.


On October 5, the Welsh Government confirmed plans to ban the third party sale of puppies in a bid to combat poor puppy breeding practices – which had previously seen Wales named as the ‘puppy farming capital’ of the UK.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “We have seen a rise in people searching for dogs to adopt during lockdown, which is fantastic, but at the same time, there appears to be a rise in people looking to buy puppies.

“We know that there are not enough puppies bred in the UK to meet the demands of those who want to buy them and, worryingly, there appears to be a surge in puppies coming from outside the UK.

“The problem with this is that, although breeders from countries like Romania may be licensed, we have no way of checking the conditions those animals are being kept in and we fear that sales like these could be fuelling cruel puppy farms as well as exposing puppies to long and stressful journeys.

“We are all used to being able to buy whatever we want, when we want it – but we’re urging people to thoroughly do their research before committing to getting any dog and to make sure they don’t get caught out by people acting illegally or irresponsibly. We have lots of dogs waiting for their forever homes so please do consider getting a rescue dog.

“Although it is really tempting to buy a puppy, those form abroad may have been bred in poor conditions, leaving them with potentially serious medical and behavioural problems whereas adopting from somewhere like the RSPCA where staff have really got to know the dog, means you get the advice and support you need.

“If families would still prefer to buy a puppy, we’re encouraging them to use The Puppy Contract. This is a free online tool that will help find responsible breeders and a happy, healthy dog.”

Shadow is one of the dogs waiting for a new home. He came from the Cwmbran area to the Newport Animal Centre on March 24, just as lockdown came into play. He was very underweight and is on a behaviour plan. He is now looking for a new owner who will be patient while addressing the challenges and new surroundings.

RSPCA Newport’s Samantha Richmond said: “There’s always more dogs looking for a second chance of forever home happiness - so we’d urge anyone looking to add a dog to their family to look to rescue centres, just like us here in Newport.

“Shadow is another long-stay dog with us - who came into our care just after lockdown was announced. He’ll need a new owner who will help support his behaviour plan; but he’s an incredible dog who deserves another chance of happiness after such a difficult time.”