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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

Pet-Lovers Warned Over Internet Puppy Sales

Posted at 04/04/12 - 11:40 AM


A warning is going out to dog-lovers across the county after four Hampshire families were misled into buying illegally imported puppies, from what they believed to be legitimate websites.


Hampshire County Council Trading Standards officers are advising people to be extra cautious when buying puppies from internet sites and to make sure they do not part with any money without being certain of the animal’s origin.


It follows Trading Standards being alerted to four cases in the last month, involving families in Basingstoke and Alton who inadvertently bought puppies that had been illegally imported from Eastern Europe. Three of the animals had not been vaccinated correctly and one vaccinated puppy, had its papers doctored to make it seem younger than it was.


These animals are often sold over the internet from sites that at first glance look as if they are UK suppliers. Consumers can end up paying over £1,000 for the puppies alone, only to find that they may then be caught with an unexpected large bill for quarantine when it is discovered that the puppies have been illegally imported into the country.


Trading Standards have been working with the victims to trace the sellers of these puppies to intervene and prevent further incidents. They have also been working with vets and partner agencies.


The best advice to buyers is to view any puppy and its documents prior to purchasing. However, if this is not possible then enquire about the puppy's history and if there is any doubt then speak to your vet or Trading Standards before agreeing to buy.


Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: “Welcoming a puppy into your family should be a wonderful experience but before you consider buying a puppy online, it is vital that you research the retailer to ensure that the animal is not being brought into the country illegally.


“Importing puppies illegally poses significant health risks to humans and other animals as the dogs can carry all kinds of diseases and pests. Animals imported into the UK without the correct papers to show that they have been properly vaccinated must be quarantined before they can be united with their new owners. Depending on the condition of the puppy and its country of origin, if it turns out that the animal has not had essential vaccinations people can be left with hefty quarantine bills.”


One of the victims, a Basingstoke mother said: “It’s been very upsetting to us all, we’d only had the puppy a few hours before he was taken into quarantine. I have children and they’ve all been crying about it. It’s traumatising for them to have their puppy taken away so soon after we brought him home. We’ve all been down to visit him at the kennels but it’s not the same and has also cost us a lot of money.


“The first 12 weeks are the most important in a dogs life - when they get used to socialising and their surroundings but he’s been stuck in a kennel and will probably be very nervous when we finally get him back. It’s been really awful for our whole family and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”


If you have any concerns about a puppy that you may have recently purchased online, or for more information and guidance on how to avoid falling victim, you should contact your local County Council Trading Standards Animal Health and Welfare Officers.


Editor's Comment:  UKBA letting in more dangerous illegal immigrants!

Author: Editor

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