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(UK 🇬🇧) Lucy's Law

What is Lucy's Law? How can we be aware?

Sara avatar
Written by Sara
Updated over a week ago


IMPORTANT: If you see any video for puppies or kittens on Camlist where the mother isn't showing in the video, please ensure to ask the seller to share the video with you to ensure they comply with Lucy's Law. Sometimes sellers choose to post a different video and will be happy to share the video showing the mother in the place of birth once asked.


Lucy's Law is a regulation which limits the sale of puppies and kittens as pets in England.

Lucy's Law is named in honour of a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm back in 2013. Lucy was rescued from a puppy farm at the age of five, she'd been kept in a tiny cage for most of her short life and used for breeding under the harshest and cruellest of conditions. The treatment she received at the puppy farm resulted in her hips being totally fused, a curvature of the spine, epilepsy, and various other conditions.

Lucy's Law was enacted in 2019 and came into force on 6 April 2020.

‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.

Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers at their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a license, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.

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 for their name online. If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.

  • 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 the sale.

When visiting:

  • Make sure the mum is present - if the 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 pressurised 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 a nearby or onsite puppy farm.

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