RSPCA Say Stop Breeding Dogs

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA has issued what it says is a rallying call to address the problem of dog overpopulation. In a statement, the charity says it has made this national pledge to end the overpopulation of animals in the next five years – and it is calling on the public to help them achieve this.

RSPCA statement in full:

Every year thousands of animals are abandoned or find themselves in the care of the RSPCA or other welfare organisations, and it is pushing animal charities to breaking point. 

Overpopulation in companion animals leads to unwanted cats, dogs and rabbits – which often suffer from neglect and abandonment, terrible living conditions and insufficient or non-existent veterinary care.

James Yeates, Head of the RSPCA’s Companion animal department said: “There are a number of reasons why we have an ‘overpopulation’ of animals, from people who breed animals without knowing or caring whether they will find good homes to those breeding their animals accidentally, by not getting their pet neutered before they have a chance to reproduce.

“Animals can be abandoned due to irresponsible breeding practises, such as breeding dogs with genetic problems, which may then need expensive vet treatment.

“We, and other animal charities, also see the fallout from people that get pets without knowledge or ability to look after them and then abandon them or hand them over to us.

“Ideally what we would like to see is everybody who breeds an animal, everyone who has an animal and everyone who is thinking about getting an animal, all thinking responsibly about how they can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

National trends show that the number of stray dogs being picked up by local authorities rose in 2010/ 2011. Meanwhile there are still hundreds of animals being privately boarded at the RSPCA’s expense because there just isn’t any room in our own centres.

See also  Vet Bemoans Economic Impact on Pet Ownership

The RSPCA want to see a drop in the number of abandoned and stray dogs; fewer cats, dogs and rabbits being taken into our centres and fewer animals on our waiting lists because there is no space to take them in.

There are a number of projects underway to help achieve this, including:
Promoting and performing neutering, especially in communities where it’s needed most.
Improving adoption packs to support adoptees pre and post adoption-to cut down on number of returned animals.
Engage and inform through companion animal campaigning activity such as our Puppy Buying campaign ‘Get Puppy Smart’; rabbit campaign and our irresponsible breeding campaign ‘Born to Suffer’*
Tackling irresponsible dog breeding through our work with Welsh Assembly Government on legislation to improve regulation of dog breeding.
Working with youth offending teams to address attitudes and behaviour of young people towards pet ownership.
Working with companies to improve internet selling policies.

And it cannot be done without the help of the public. The RSPCA are urging people to take a few small steps when considering taking on an animal.

Pet owners should get their own pets neutered and microchipped.
To help stop pet overpopulation further, consider adoption from an animal centre rather than buying from a pet shop or breeder.
Plan ahead and carefully – getting a pet is a long term commitment. Make sure you understand what a pet will need before you get one

The RSPCA will be tracking its progress over the next five years, and will be publishing yearly information to show the public how close we are to achieving our goal.

What's your view? Do you think this is a step in the right direction from the RSPCA?

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Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine is the the online editor at She is an experienced dog owner and professional writer who lives with her two beloved dogs, Mabel and Charlie.


  1. The PDSA is not helping either at the moment as I have found out. I have cared for rescues/strays for years and loved them all but recently the PDSA have changed their rules of care so that only one ‘pedegree’ animal can be counted. The reasoning…………….if you can afford a pedigree you can afford a vet. Seems a good idea except for those of us that rescue ‘pedigree’ dogs. I currently have 2 babies that would be considered pedegrees, both rescued before the change in the rules, so what should I do now. Do the PDSA think it would be better for me to dump one dog at a rescue centre because both my rescues are considered pedegrees or should I kill one because I cannot afford any major treatment that may be required. I am doing the best I can at the moment but am terrified of what will happen when my money runs out. Which will be, unfortunately soon. If I had 2 crossbreeds/mongrels the PDSA would help me but because both my babies are considered pedegrees I have to try and find other ways of funding my babes care. If I had realised this was coming in I would not have rescued another ‘pedegree’ dog. What should I do, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Has not the RSPCA been involved in the World Animal Form meeting in Italy this year with most of those involved in the vegan animal rights activist as “a think tank”? Last year I believe the agenda was “how to stop farming”. I shutter to think that Ronnie Lee head of Band of Mercy and ALF and Richard Ryder an animal rights activist did a stint at RSPCA in trying to force a more radical agenda. The question would be is RSPCA following the radical animal rights agenda meeting in Italy at the World Animal Forum? I would think the parliament would keep its foot on the neck of the RSPCA to keep them from becomming too radical in their thinking. Animal welfare is very different than animal rights. Animal rights organizations believe in anti vivisection which does save lives and abolition, based on the anti slavery movement. Meeting with a group of animal rights radicals does not say animal welfare, it says radical animal rights. Of course the animal rights agenda that filtered to the USA came in the early 70s with the Oxford Group, a gift from the UK to the USA. This is not to discount the part the Fabian Society played in animal rights activism at the turn of the century and the much quoted philosophers who were members of the Fabians and still quoted by animal right activist today. When did animal welfare become more important than human welfare? It is getting ridiculous in a world where PETA takes in dogs and kills 95 percent of them or someone can advertise on Facebook for a “hit man” to kill someone wearing fur. How far does the animal rights agenda, really want to proceed in the abolition of pets.? Is it to eventually outlaw the purebred dog? The element of fear seen in post so far…..well it says it all.

  3. Why is it my dutyto buy shelteer dog that no. One else wanted? That was dumped a shelter because of problems with the dog or problems with the owner? Sharks wrong with me wanting to spend my money and the next 15-20 years with a purebred pedigreed dog? Why should a shelter have the monopoly on dog sourcing?

    1. You are so ignorant. Its because people have to mess things up so yes unfortunately changes are going to be needed. I could’ve adopted the English bulldog i originally wanted but knew what was going on with the overpopulation of dogs thanks to careless breeders. I adopted a mixed breed from the shelter and she happens to be one of the smartest dogs ive ever seen and i would never trade her in for a pure bred dog that would end up having more issues than mixed breeds anyways. by you saying comments like that is only going to encourage people to run to breeders when there are wonderful souls dying daily at shelters,

  4. What ridiculous conclusions. You’d better get together with my neighbors – he is a a pediatric oncologist, and she is a social worker. Based on the evidence of “irresponsible breeding” that they see every day, they should support your rallying cry. They could just tell their clients and patients to get themselves ‘fixed’, and if they want any children, they should be required to go to a shelter – er orphanage until there are no more abandoned, unwanted, abused children left.

    Oh, wait, my neighbors are thoughtful, intelligent and compassionate people.

    Never mind.

  5. Reply to warf25, there are some very good local charities that may be able to help you out, the PDSA tends to only pay the majority of the bill if you are near one of their hospitals, otherwise the money they give you towards veterinary care from independent vets tends to be rather short of what the bill will be. Hope you find a helpful local charity, it is odd that they will not give money for pedigree dogs, I suspect their reasoning is that money is so tight having to shelter the massive increase in abandoned dogs that they don’t have enough money to stretch to everything they would like to do. Charities all suffer from decreased revinue in times of economic downturns, so they will be as strapped of cash as you are! Sadly people think that having their animals castrated or spayed will make them different, there are good health reasons for getting animals neutered and it will not leave your pet feeling frustrated!!! Everyone spread the word that neutering will save you money in the longterm and with specific breeds (Staffies) the cost to owners is negligable as the RSPCA are running a scheme where they get microchipped and neutered really cheaply.

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