Rescue and rehoming centres carry out important work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. We advise those seeking to acquire a new dog to first consider adopting from a reputable dog rescue and rehoming centre. However, we appreciate that a number of prospective owners would like a puppy and may have a specific breed in mind. That is why in 2018 the Government updated and improved the regulations on dog breeding in England. This included introducing strict statutory welfare standards that all licensed dog breeders must meet. In addition, from 6 April 2020 it will be an offence for commercial third party sellers to sell puppies or kittens, which are defined as under the age of 6 months. These steps aim to improve the welfare of dogs.