Northamptonshire Trading Standards is warning people thinking of getting a puppy this Christmas to only buy from a reputable breeder.
Since October 2015, there have been four reported cases in the county of puppies being illegally imported, including three 10-week-old puppies from Latvia that were recovered in Corby.
The dogs had to be taken into quarantine after they were illegally imported into the UK without being vaccinated against rabies.
Puppy health check
Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards is now encouraging people thinking of bringing a dog into their family this Christmas to make sure they know where their new puppy has come from and has had a health check by a vet.
Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “While we don’t want to encourage people to buy puppies for Christmas, we do want to make sure that anyone who is thinking of getting a pet this festive season only buys it from a reputable breeder.
“The main concern around illegally-imported puppies is that the dogs may not be properly vaccinated and rabies-free.
“If that is the case, the puppies will have to be seized and quarantined, which can be costly and upsetting for the owners.
“To avoid an unhappy Christmas, I’d urge would-be puppy owners to read our advice before they hand over any money.”
Advice for buyers
Trading Standards is offering the following advice:
- Get as much information about where the puppy has come from.
- 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 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.