Warning over on-line puppy scams and rogue breeders

Photo: The Kennel Club.

Richmondshire residents thinking of buying a puppy are being urged to do their research before buying their covid companion.

District council officers have been alerted to potential illegal sales, on-line scams and rogue breeders.

Instances of scams and rip-off merchants illegally selling puppies have rocketed during the pandemic as people make a quick decision to get a new dog – and miss the key warning signs.

They say it is vital that anyone looking to buy a puppy does their homework first including:

  • Checking that the breeder is licensed by the local authority
  • Making sure they see the puppy interacting with its mum
  • Asking to see relevant health tests for the puppy’s parents
  • Expecting to be asked questions by a responsible breeder about their suitability for dog ownership

“Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic the sales of puppies has risen dramatically – and with that so have the opportunities for people to be ripped off,” said environmental health team leader, Kevin Carr.

“Lockdown restrictions are often used as a reason for new owners not to see the animal first – and not to collect it.

“Scammers are asking for deposits, money for vaccinations and insurance, and delivery of the dog; it may never appear or not be the dog they are expecting.

“Many puppies are being mis-sold with false information on the breeding background.

“We urge people to make sure they know what they are buying – check the licences with us,  and think carefully about what questions they need to ask.

“We must crackdown on this practice.”

To check breeder licences – or alert the district council on potential mis-selling of puppies – call 01748 829100.

For more information on how to spot a rogue breeder see: Avoiding puppy farmers/irresponsible breeders | Kennel Club (thekennelclub.org.uk)