Puppy With Mother News

People buying puppies are being warned to be vigilant for signs of illegal sales, after a number of complaints about puppies bought online were made to Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS).

WRS Trading Standards officers are investigating claims that some puppies were older than described, and that the sellers had omitted information about them to give the impression that they were bred in the UK when they were in fact imported.

Both the age and origin of a puppy are important as they help to ensure the animal has not been farmed or sold illegally. Illegally imported dogs may have been taken away from their mothers too early, transported over long distances in unsuitable transport, and have improper or no vaccinations.

In the recently reported cases, some puppies described as around 8 weeks turned out to be closer to 15 weeks old and some had non-UK microchips but no pet passport to confirm that they were imported to the UK legally.

WRS Joint Committee Chairman Cllr Bronwen Behan said: “A pet passport should show that an imported dog is at least 15 weeks old, which is probably one reason why an unscrupulous puppy seller would not give the pet passport to the new owners. They could have been imported at too young an age, which would be illegal, or falsely passed off as a younger animal bred in the UK. Unregulated transport focusing on profit and not welfare means illegally imported puppies can endure unsuitable conditions on long journeys to the UK, often for hundreds of miles.”

Here is some simple advice when buying a puppy:

  1. Ensure you see the puppy with its mother. If the seller refuses to allow you to see it with its mother, it may have been imported or the seller may be dealing in farmed puppies.
  2. Ask the seller if the dog is micro-chipped and if it is, ask for the number and do some research. If the chip was implanted abroad the owner should be able to show you a pet passport. Be very suspicious if the seller refuses to tell you as the dog may have been imported illegally, or the seller may be trying to hide the true age of the animal.
  3. If the seller does show you a pet passport for the puppy, ensure that all the details match the dog and that the vaccinations have taken place at the correct time. Rabies vaccine can only be given when the puppy is 12 weeks of age or over and the puppy should not have travelled to the UK until 21 days have passed since the vaccination. worming treatment must also have been given 1-5 days prior to travelling to the UK.

If you have suspicions about websites offering puppies for sale or information that puppies are being mis-described or passports falsified, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.