Instagram and TikTok are becoming the Wild West of cruel puppy farmers

Social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok are becoming the Wild West of cruel puppy farmers.

The unscrupulous breeders attract dog-lovers with photos of adorable puppies, often for sale at "too good to be true" prices. But a quarter are doomed to get sick or even die before their first birthday, found The Kennel Club research.

And some trendy breeds, such as pugs and French bulldogs, will have lifelong health problems made worse by poor early care.

READ MORE: 'Backyard breeders' will bring dogs worse than XL Bully to UK streets, expert claims

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Mark Beazley, chief executive at The Kennel Club, said: "Pictures of puppies grab attention, so there is an obvious appeal to using these platforms.

"But behind every cute photo on social media, there is a real puppy, and a real need to ensure that their health and welfare has been prioritised." Mark advises potential owners to see the puppy "with their mum and in their home environment" before buying it.

An Instagram spokesman said: "We encourage our community to report any content they think may violate our policies."

TikTok was contacted for comment. It is not the only troubling TikTok development when it comes to dogs as the Daily Star previously reported a "dangerous breeds" expert's warning over two dogs.

Will Atherton, the canine expert who provides examples of dangerous animals on his social media platforms, has warned breeders will bring about dogs far more dangerous than the soon-to-be banned XL Bully. He claims two breeds in particular are a "recipe for disaster".

He said: "Now as a canine behaviourist, I work with dogs when they go wrong and often when they go terribly wrong.

"And I believe the recipe for disaster is when it comes to the most dangerous dog breeds in the world, are dogs that are bred to be incredibly independent, they’re bred to be aggressive and violent towards people or other animals, and they’re bred to be incredibly large and powerful.

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