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Beware of puppy scams, say Kennel Club

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PROSPECTIVE dog owners are being advised to be cautious when buying a puppy after a rise in scams and “rip-off merchants” illegally selling puppies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Kennel Club – the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training – instances of scams “sky-rocketed” last year.

The Kennel Club has warned that purchasing a puppy without checking that the buyer is a “reputable source” can result in puppies with “all manner of health and behavioural problems” and with new owners paying the price in vet bills and “heartache”, as they watch their pet suffer.

And a Frome family has shared their recent experience of purchasing a puppy as a warning to others.

The local family have told Frome Times that they believe that they unknowingly bought a puppy in March last year from a “puppy farm”.

They said, “We bought a puppy in March last year from a litter from an apparent Kennel Club registered bitch with the reassurance that the puppy would be registered in due course. Covid has obviously played its part. 

“I have now spent the last 9 months chasing up this individual who no longer responds to calls, texts or WhatsApp messages. I have been in touch with the Kennel Club on several occasions but I cannot register the puppy unless the litter has been registered. 

“We paid £1,000 for our dog which we love to pieces, it was one of eight. This woman has been promising and promising to sort it out, but now clearly is not interested. I believe it to be a puppy farm.”

To support anyone considering buying a puppy, the Kennel Club has compiled their top tips for spotting a “rogue breeder”, as well as advice on how to get a puppy responsibly – they have also advised not buying puppies from puppy dealers, pet shops, and directly from adverts (without meeting in person).

The Kennel Club’s tips about “who not to trust” say:

• Do not buy from anyone who says that they can get you any colour, breed or sex you want – they are probably a puppy farmer.

• Do not buy from a breeder who appears to have poor knowledge about the breed.

• Do not buy from a breeder whose dogs don’t seem to like them and aren’t comfortable with them handling the puppies.

• Do not buy if the mother or the puppies do not seem happy – even if you feel you will be rescuing the puppy.

• Do not trust a breeder who says you can take a puppy from the first meeting. The breeder should be asking you to visit multiple times.

• Do not buy from a breeder who does not ask you questions about whether your lifestyle and home are suitable for their puppy. A good breeder will want to ensure their puppy is going to a good home.

For more information visit www.thekennelclub.

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