Trading Standards officers in Northamptonshire are once again reminding people who are thinking of buying a dog to be wary of illegally imported puppies.
There have been a number of complaints reported over the summer after owners have had to take their puppies for veterinary treatment. Two puppies have died.
Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards is once more advising people to make sure they know where their new puppy has come from and has had a health check by a vet.
The main concern around illegally imported puppies is that the dogs may not be properly vaccinated and rabies-free.
These puppies are 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.
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.
Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “Bringing your new puppy home should be a wonderful time for a new owner, but these sad cases show how important it is to be certain of where your puppy has come from.
“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.citizensadvice.org.uk."
The photograph shows an illegally-imported puppy from an earlier case in 2016.