Not Just for Christmas

When Christmas time arrives, quite a few parents will have the ‘brilliant’ idea of getting their child or children a puppy as the perfect gift for the festive season. Are you aware where the dog have come from and what they have been through to get here?

It’s not just at Christmas, because of the rise in ‘designer’ puppies, it is estimated that 1000’s of puppies a year (almost 200 a day) get smuggled in to the UK as part of a £100m black market operation. Christmas is only a peak selling period for these people.

Puppy breeds the likes of Chow-Chows, Dachshunds, French and English bulldogs and pugs are part of the surge of puppies being illegally brought in to Britain from eastern and central Europe. The dogs are usually transported for thousands of miles in inhumane conditions to be sold to unwary UK customers via online advertising. These dogs are often underage and have forged pet passports and vaccination records which increase the risk of foreign disease spreading to the dog population in the UK.

The decision to get a puppy is an enormous responsibility and not one to be made hastily. Would you really consider buying one if you really knew the conditions it had gone through?

Don’t think you would, so here are ways to avoid those shameful dog traffickers selling you an illegal puppy and to help you potential spot the trade of one so you can report it to the authorities.

  • Do not buy any puppy less than 8 weeks old.
  • Be adamant about seeing the puppy with their mother at least once in the place where it was born.
  • Be aware that traders might try to pass off another dog as the mother, so make sure to check for signs that there has been a recent birth such as the mammary glands being enlarged.
  • Never purchase from anyone who wants to deliver or meet you at a location, always go to where the dog is supposedly being kept and looked after.
  • Ask to see their certificated for vaccination, disease screening and microchipping records and check that those and any other paperwork are legitimate.
  • The puppy should be happy to interact with you and littermates.
  • Spend plenty of time with the puppy and visit it more than once.
  • If there is any refusal from the breeder, they may be a phony.
  • Report any concerns that you have to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999