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Lucy’s Law: A Milestone in Animal Welfare

We’ve seen an increase in awareness of animal welfare issues over recent years. “Lucy’s Law” was introduced to improve the pet-buying process due to concerns about the conditions of breeding, and the sale of puppies and kittens.

However, it’s been more than 3 years since Lucy’s Law was introduced and many people are still confused about what it means when it comes to legally buying a new pet.

What Is Lucy’s Law?

Lucy’s Law is named after a brave Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lucy. She suffered in a puppy farm for years before finally being rescued. Lucy’s Law was introduced as a response to the cruel practices in these places, where dogs and cats are bred and sold in terrible conditions.

The main goal of Lucy’s Law is to put an end to third-party sales of puppies and kittens. This refers to any dog or cat under 6 months old. The aim is to make sure all pets are born and raised in safe, loving environments.

Lucy: The Dog That Changed The Rules

What Does “Third Party Sales” Mean?

In Lucy’s Law, “Third Party Sales” means a middleman; a seller who wasn’t the actual breeder. Instead, when you bring a new puppy or kitten into your family, you MUST buy it directly from the breeder or an animal shelter, rather than through the middleman.

Lucy’s Law: Meeting Mum

Thanks to this legislation, meeting a puppy or kitten’s mum before making a purchase is a legal requirement! Seeing the litter interacting with Mum firsthand lets you see the living conditions and the care it’s receiving.

Don’t forget, take time to research the seller before committing to a purchase. Check out their reviews if they’re a registered breeder and ask to see their certification. Speak to other buyers from the same litter. Take a look at their social media. Do you’re homework. Responsible sellers wont be offended. They’ll be pleased to see potential new owners taking such a keen interest.

Do all ‘Breeders’ need to be registered with Local Authorities?

No. Breeders only need to register with the council if they’re breeding 3 or more litters in any 12-month period. If they do, their Local Authority visits their home to check the welfare needs of the animals are being met and they issue a Breeder License.

Any member of the public can sell one or two litters. However, to be compliant with Lucy’s Law, they still need to make sure the buyer sees the young’s in it’s own home, and with it’s Mum.

How Does Preloved Implement Lucy’s Law?

Here at Preloved, our system automatically detects a seller’s status and their accounts are frozen if a Breeder License, where applicable, isn’t supplied.

Preloved ads that are submitted without a photo of Mum are removed from our site. All kitten and puppy ads MUST include a photo of Mum.

Ethical Breeders & Preventing Overpopulation

Lucy’s Law promotes responsible pet ownership by encouraging buyers to choose ethical breeders. Responsible sellers are prioritising the health and well-being of their animals over profit and are raising the young animals in a loving environment.

Another important part of Lucy’s Law is its reducing pet overpopulation. The law helps to make sure fewer pets are bred solely for profit by discouraging puppy farming and third-party sales. By limiting the number of animals in need of homes it’s easier for us to care for those that are born.

Remember, Adopt Don’t Shop Where You Can

Please consider adoption from a legitimate rescue center or animal shelter. They provide a safe and caring environment for animals in need of a forever home. They’re also trained to match you with a new furever friend that best suits your lifestyle.

By choosing to adopt a pet, you give an animal a second chance at life. But you’re also support ethical and responsible pet ownership.

Lucy’s Law Roundup

Lucy’s Law represents a significant step toward ethical and humane treatment of pets. By banning third-party sales, promoting seller, and encouraging responsible pet ownership, this legislation improves the lives of countless animals.

As a pet buyer, your choices matter. Embrace your role in ensuring all pets are born and raised in safe, loving environments, and make a difference in the lives of our furry companions.

For more information on how to safely and responsibly purchase a pet, check out Preloved’s Pet Buying Checklist, and be aware of Common Scams from unscrupulous sellers.



Community Manager

Tina's been part of the Preloved family since 2014 and spends most of her time reviewing Preloved policy and speaking with external parties, such has charities, forums, and government agencies. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, pets, friends, and Netflix.