Preloved is welcoming a new campaign by the RSPCA, aimed at bringing an end to the cruel trade of puppy trafficking.
Puppy trafficking is a despicable trade, where animals are bred in large numbers with little concern for their health and general welfare. They are sometimes bred outside the UK, transported long distances, and are often taken from their mothers at too young an age. Many puppies develop behavioural problems, fall sick and some die.
The RSPCA has asked us to share with Preloved members their advice on how to avoid getting caught out by puppy traffickers. The good news is that by following these simple steps, not only can you avoid paying hundreds of pounds in vets bills for a sick puppy, you can also help bring an end to this terrible trade:
Always see a puppy with its mother
You should always see a puppy with its mother in the place where the puppy was bred. Ideally you should see the father too, or at least a photo of him. If the breeder cannot show you the mother or father, you should be suspicious.
2) Find out about the puppy's background
Get as much information as possible about where the puppy has come from, and beware if the breeder is from outside the UK.
3) Has the puppy REALLY been vaccinated?
If you are told the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the vaccination card. Beware that vaccination cards are easy to fake – if the veterinary surgeon’s contact details are not visible, or has an address from outside the UK, the card may be fake.
4) Pedigree certificates are not a guarantee
Bear in mind that pedigree certificates are not a guarantee for the condition of your puppy, and may not even mean you are being sold a pure-bred dog.
5) Always see a puppy in the place it was bred
Don’t ever buy from someone who offers to deliver your puppy, or who arranges to meet you somewhere.
6) Concerned about the welfare of a puppy?
Never buy a puppy just because you feel sorry for it. If you are concerned about the health or welfare of a puppy, please contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line: 0300 1234 999.
7) What to do if things go wrong
If you have concerns about the way your puppy has been sold, visit Consumer Direct who will be able to give you advice and, where appropriate, pass details on to your local Trading Standards Service for investigation.
We would also ask all Preloved members that have concerns about the welfare of an animal for sale on Preloved to also contact us.
The RSPCA also offers lots more excellent information about buying and caring for a puppy, which is available at their website.