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Rise in “designer dogs” being abandoned

Rise in “designer dogs” being abandoned

The RSPCA has reported an increase in the number of so-called 'designer' breeds, such as French Bulldogs, coming into its care, with many simply being abandoned.

Last year alone, some of the dogs abandoned included a very ill Pug collapsed in a blanket in the street in Cricklewood, north-west London; an emaciated blue French Bulldog taken into a veterinary surgery in Cardiff; and an eight-week-old Pug dumped by a bin in Congleton, Cheshire. 

There was also a Pug puppy found abandoned in a garden in Wimbledon in October, alongside a note reading, ‘Free Pug xxx’.

The little puppy (pictured), named Pumpkin by RSPCA staff, was found in a plastic pet carrier without a door and had a nasty injury to his eye. He later had to have the eye removed. Luckily, Pumpkin was rehomed by one of the veterinary nurses who cared for him. 

RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs, who leads the charity’s special investigations into the puppy trade, said: “There’s huge demand in England and Wales for certain breeds of dogs that have been popularised and glamorised by celebrities, social media and popular culture. In this country, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of people buying Pugs and French Bulldogs, and now the RSPCA is starting to see that trend first-hand. 

“Unfortunately, as responsible and reputable breeders of these types of dogs cannot keep up with demand, underground breeders and traders are filling the gap in the market, and are offering buyers the chance to buy puppies at cheaper prices and without waiting lists — often with disastrous consequences. 

“This is the price of poor puppy breeding — consumers faced with sick and dying puppies who need expensive veterinary treatment or lifelong behavioural support. Once again, organisations such as the RSPCA are left picking up the pieces, and the animals are paying the ultimate price — often with their lives.”

RSPCA England’s Scrap the Puppy Trade campaign is calling for stricter legislation around the breeding and selling of dogs. For more, visit

*If you are considering getting a dog, make sure you do plenty of research into the breed, speak to owners, and get in touch with the relevant breed clubs.