Protect our Pets
14 – 18 November 2016
As we approach the festive period, purchasing a new puppy at this happy time of year can seem like an exciting occasion. With designer dogs being seen as one of the most desirable accessories you could have, it’s no wonder demand outstrips supply with unlicensed puppy dealers seeking to capitalise on this. To help tackle these unscrupulous dealers, Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) is launching their brand new campaign on Monday 14 November to highlight the plight these puppies face, as well as the impact this can have on their new owners.
The aim of puppy dealers is simple where they seek to generate the maximum amount of profit for the absolute minimum amount of effort and investment. These puppy farms are unlicensed and illegal, where the animals bred are often unhealthy, yet are very rarely taken to the vet for the attention and treatment they require.
It’s also clear how people can get caught up with the idea of buying a new pet but how easy it is to neglect looking into the full background of the animal. Unfortunately, the cute exterior of the dog belies the cruel upbringing your new pet may have experienced. Unlicensed puppy farming facilitates can spread infectious diseases such as Parvovirus, a highly contagious viral disease that can cause life threatening illness. Not only that, but animals can be subjected to a plethora of behavioural problems that are increasingly more common in puppy farmed bitches and their pups. Little thought, if any, is given to the health and wellbeing of the animals, with some not ever seeing daylight as they are contained within small pens.
However, the demand for ‘must have’ breeds ensures that dealers are constantly in business, advertising the dogs in newspapers, magazines and more commonly, online. Acting under the guise of breeders, the dealers lure consumers by exploiting the fact that the puppies are complete pedigrees. However this does not assure quality and all too quickly consumers can find themselves in a situation where they have to pay, both financially and emotionally for a puppy reared in such circumstances.
However, consumers are able to protect themselves and play a part in stamping out this shameless practice, helping to send the message that it is simply unacceptable in Scotland. To assist with the decision making, we’ve produced a short guide on things to consider when choosing your new pet.
If you have concerns that your puppy may have been bred as a consequence of a puppy farm or are aware of someone who may be involved in an unlicensed puppy farm, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06. #protectourpets
Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:
“The conditions in which mothers and puppies are kept on puppy farms can be appalling, with the breeders prioritising profit over animal welfare.
Pet owners should always consider how a puppy has been reared and cared for before buying, as a poorly bred puppy can suffer from disease, health problems and poor socialisation, resulting in heartache for the new owners.
Anyone thinking of getting a new puppy should speak to their local veterinary practice for advice and use the Puppy Contract to avoid purchasing a puppy farmed dog. If a seller is not willing to provide the information listed in the Puppy Contract or allow you to see the puppy interacting with its mother, then you should walk away. If you buy a puppy that you suspect of being puppy farmed, we’d advise you to seek advice from a local vet and contact Trading Standards.”