Lucy's Law is a regulation which limits the sale of puppies and kittens as pets in England. ... The law came into effect in April 2020, with licensed commercial traders no longer allowed to sell kittens or puppies as pets if they were less than six months old and they had not been bred by the seller.  The pets are required to be seen with their natural parents at home and in pictures.

Anyone looking to buy a puppy or kitten should look for these warning signs

Before visiting:

  • Research. Have a look at the seller’s profile and search their name online. If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.  Ask as many questions as you need to, a genuine breeder or advertiser will be happy to answer anything

  • Check contact details. Copy and paste the phone number into a search engine. If the number is being used on lots of different adverts, sites and dates then this is likely a deceitful seller.

  • Check the animal’s age. Puppies and kittens should never be sold under 8 weeks old – do not buy from anyone advertising a puppy or kitten younger than 8 weeks.

  • Check the animal’s health records. Make sure the seller shares all records of vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and microchipping with you before sale.

When visiting:

  • Make sure the mum is present - if mum is not available to meet, it’s unlikely the puppy or kitten was bred there. Beware of the seller making excuses as to why mum is not there e.g. she’s at the vet’s, asleep, or out for a walk.

  • Check there isn’t a ‘fake’ mum – most fake mums don’t interact with the puppies as they fear the real mum returning.

  • Watch out for puppies or kittens labelled as ‘rescue’ but with much higher than expected price tags.

  • If you feel rushed or pressured into parting with cash, this is a red flag.

  • Health problems observed at purchase are not normal and don’t be convinced otherwise.

  • Beware of offers to meet somewhere convenient e.g. car park or motorway services, or ‘shop front’ premises, common with rented properties just to make sales, and ‘sales rooms’ kept separate from nearby or onsite puppy farm.