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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» Be Aware of Illegal Puppy Dealers

You’ve probably seen in the news recently about the increase in illegal puppy imports over the last 3 years. According to the BBC officials found 208 illegally landed dogs in 2014, rising to 688 in 2016. People aren’t aware of the conditions the puppies are born in. With most of the puppies being born in terrible conditions on puppy farms where the welfare of the animals are second to the money and profit. Some sellers even set up fake home situations to make it appear that the puppies have grown up in a family environment.

Currently imported puppies must be at least 15 weeks old, if younger and reported they could be taken away from their new owner. There are calls to increase this age to 6 months as this is a more clearly identifiable age, whereas 15 weeks can be a bit hard to judge the age.
Many people rush into buying a puppy without doing their homework, several hours spent researching breeders and breeds will save you money and heartache in the long run. Many of the puppies from puppy farms will have false documents and may not have had vaccines. The amount of heart broken families I have seen mourn the loss of their puppy farm puppy after the Parvo virus has engulfed them.
Even East Sussex County Council are getting involved and trying to get people to be aware of these things when purchasing a puppy. We even see people who have done the right thing and found someone who is advertising the puppies with full documentation and microchips, worming and vaccinations and get there to find out the breeder lied. Most responsible publications for adverts won’t accept the advert unless these stipulations are met, so the breeders lie in order to get their advert accepted. By which time a prospective owner has arrived and fallen in love with their new puppy when they get the news, making the difficult decision to then leave the puppy or to accept it without any paperwork and having to sort out the worming, chip and vaccination.

So what can you do before getting a puppy? Well I think most people have a favourite breed that they have always wanted but it’s just making sure you’re well informed before purchasing it.  Did you know we offer free pre-purchase puppy consultations with our qualified nurses? We can talk about what breeds might best suit your lifestyle, what breeds are pre-disposed to having what conditions so you’re going into it with your eyes wide open!

Brachycephalic (short nosed) dogs such as French Bull dogs and Pugs are very fashionable right now, but having such short airways and lots of skin folds can lead to chronic problems. Other breeds are known for having heart problems or joint problems. Certain breeds have higher insurance premiums which would need to be taken into account.

The Council recommend not purchasing puppies from pet shops, car park’s or service stations. Always ask to see the mother of the puppies, if excuses are made and things seem a bit suspicious then do not purchase the puppy.  Reputable breeders are usually picky about where their puppies go and will not let go of their puppies to just anyone. Always ask to see relevant documentation of vet checks, first vaccination, worming etc. Be suspicious of people selling different breeds until you are sure of their credentials.

If people aren’t buying from these irresponsible breeders then there will be no trade for them to keep going.

If you would like anymore information then please call 01323 640011. We all want the best for all animals. The number of dogs that end up being re-homed because the owners didn’t realise how much of a financial burden they would be has increased.


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