• Emily Prescott

Londoner’s Diary: James Middleton says he is troubled by cost of pandemic puppies

James Middleton, who recently gave one of his puppies to his sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, tells us he fears breeders are taking advantage of people wanting a dog during the pandemic by hiking up prices.

He tells us that all the breeders he knows do it because they are “incredibly passionate about the breed” but says the huge increase in the price of puppies “troubles him” and “you have to question the motive”.

The Cambridges’ new puppy is a female cocker spaniel and comes from a litter of six. A study by Pets4Homes says the average cost of a cocker spaniel puppy has increased from £727 to £2,230 during the pandemic.

But Middleton explains: “The gestation for my puppies actually happened before lockdown started or was on the agenda at all. The profit that I made went to Pets As Therapy.”

Middleton is an ambassador for the charity and his own dog, Ella, is a therapy dog. He adds: “Ella she is without doubt my real true love, sorry to my fiancée on that… She has saved my life and helped shape my life to what it is today.”

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