Endorsed by other respected animal welfare and veterinary organisations*, the PIP and contract will help anyone buying a dog make an informed choice and help ensure the dog is happy, healthy and suitable for their lifestyle.
The PIP and contract can be used by anybody thinking about buying any puppy, and by any breeder wanting to demonstrate the care and attention they have devoted to their puppies' breeding and upbringing. The contract can be used for all puppies, whether they're pedigree or not, and by any seller - including rescue centres.
How the PIP works
The breeder or seller of the dog fills in the PIP with information about the puppy and the puppy's parents before he or she is sold. This includes information about the health of the puppy and its parents and the experiences the puppy has had to prepare it for life in its new home.
The contract is then signed by the breeder to say that all of the information they have given in the PIP is true. The buyer signs to say they understand the information they've received and that they intend to meet the puppy's future health and welfare needs.
Know your rights
Under the law in both England and Wales, every puppy is already sold under contract, whether or not a written document recording the terms of the contract exists. In fact, numerous contracts of sellers and specialist breed groups are currently available over the internet.
However, these are of variable quality and are often misleading. They often seek to minimise the liability of the seller for problems with the puppy that are not apparent at the time of sale. In some cases, this misleads consumers about their rights.
Other contracts also tend only to provide generic or vague information about dogs of the type being sold, rather than meaningful information about the individual puppy for sale.
As a result, the buyer is often not aware of the information they need to check that the puppy has the best possible chance of being both happy and healthy, and that it is well suited to its intended lifestyle. Without this information, puppy buyers risk choosing puppies that are more likely to have future health and welfare problems.
Improving dog welfare
Three major reports on dog breeding published in the last few years all agreed with the RSPCA's view that there are very serious welfare issues associated with dog breeding, and that urgent action is needed.
The concept of a standard puppy sales contract was identified in all three reports as a key tool to improve dog welfare as it would allow the public to make properly informed decisions when buying a puppy.
Make an informed choice
To combat these problems, we've created an industry standard puppy contract and information pack that empowers the ordinary puppy buyer to make an informed choice about the individual puppy they are considering buying.
This will allow them to demand from sellers puppies that are happy and healthy and suitable for their intended lifestyle.
So, if you're thinking of buying a dog, know someone who is, or if you're a breeder wanting to demonstrate the hard work you have put into producing your puppies, please download the PIP and contract.
*Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding, British Veterinary Association (BVA), Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC), Dogs Trust, PDSA, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW).