Trading Standards officers in Northamptonshire are encouraging people who are thinking of buying a dog to be wary of illegally imported puppies.
There have been two cases in Northamptonshire of puppies being brought into the UK illegally since October. The first was a Slovakian puppy that had to be quarantined for 21 days and the second was a dog from Moldova that will now spend four months in quarantine.
By law, pet owners who want to keep their dog will have to pay for any quarantine fees, but in these two cases, both owners have declined and the costs are being funded by the Dogs Trust charity.
Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards is now encouraging people to make sure they know where their new puppy has come from and has had a health check by a vet.
County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “Increasing numbers of puppies are being imported illegally in to the UK from puppy farms across Europe and these two cases in Northamptonshire are a cause for concern.
“The main issue around illegally imported puppies is that we can’t guarantee that the dogs are properly vaccinated and are rabies-free.
“These puppies are often sold via adverts on the internet and in newspaper small ads. The dogs are accompanied by incomplete, false and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking of buying a puppy to read our advice carefully before adding a pet to your family.”
Trading Standards is offering the following advice:
- Get as much information about where the puppy has come from as possible
- Be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates. View the puppy where it was bred
- If the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out
- If the seller informs you that the puppy has been brought in from another country, it should have a pet passport with a valid rabies vaccination recorded in it. The date of the import must be at least 21 days after the date of rabies vaccination
- Never pay for the puppy in advance
Anyone who has concerns about a puppy they have bought should contact their vet in the first instance. If you suspect your puppy has been illegally imported, you can report it to Trading Standards by calling 03454 040506 or by visiting www.adviceguide.org.uk.