Published: 15:47, 18 October 2021
| Updated: 17:18, 18 October 2021
Concerns have been raised about backyard breeding after a stray dog was found cowering behind some rubbish.
The terrified spaniel was discovered in Rainham, after several residents had reported seeing the dog on their home CCTV and doorbell cameras.
She was crouching behind a McDonald's bag by a block of garages in Scott Avenue.
The people who found her on Sunday called the council dog warden and the RSPCA before getting in contact with Animals Lost and Found who came to rescue her.
Natasha McPhee, from the charity, said: "I think she had been out a number of days. She was so scared so I sat with her for a bit. She was petrified and shaking so much."
Natasha was able to coax the brown and white dog out of her hiding place with some food. She eventually jumped into the back of Natasha's car and fell asleep.
She is now being looked after by the Medway dog warden.
Another cocker spaniel was also found in nearby London Road, Rainham, at the weekend and Jack Russell was spotted near the Asda petrol station on the A2.
Natasha said: "It is very concerning that two animals of the same breed have been found in the same area.
"The one we picked up had been bred from quite a lot which raises concerns about a puppy farm in the area.
"We are sure there is backyard breeding going on in the area but we don't have any concrete evidence of where it is happening."
A puppy farm is where multiple dogs are continually bred. They are kept in poor conditions as the breeders don't care for their health and happiness.
Natasha said rather than large sites, people's homes are now used so potential new owners looking to buy a puppy can go to see the mum with her babies and it all looks legitimate.
A puppy bred in this way is more likely to have health problems.
Natasha said: "I've been told many times of people buying a puppy somewhere like a car park and then it has died. The dogs may have development problems that you cannot see.
"It is heartbreaking for the families who have lost their pet and ended up with a £5,000 vets bill. It is awful.
"The breeders make a lot of money out of these puppies and then you can't trace them back."
Natasha was later told the other spaniel found on the A2 was chipped and had been reunited with its owners but she is unsure if it had been stolen. The one she rescued had a microchip but it was not registered so the owners cannot be traced.
Another dog found running on the M2 motorway near Rainham has also been reunited with its owners.