Dogs Trust

Help end this cruel trade

Every year puppies are illegally imported into Great Britain and mis-sold via online ads to unsuspecting dog lovers who think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy bred in the UK.

We're calling this 'dogfishing'.

Many of these puppies suffer serious health conditions or lifelong behavioural challenges, and some don't survive, leaving their buyers helpless and heartbroken - as well as out of pocket.

This is why we want to help stop people falling victim to this cruel trade.

Dogfish

[ d o g - f i s h ] • v e r b

To mislead someone into buying a dog which may not be what it seems.

> Read more about puppy smuggling

Puppy prices at all time high

Sadly, unscrupulous sellers have exploited demand for puppies during lockdown, and continued to smuggle dogs into the UK despite travel restrictions. Our research shows a sharp rise in prices for dogs since March, with the costs for some dogs increasing month on month since lockdown began. Prices for Dachshunds, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs and Chow Chows shot up between March and the end of October, with some prices rising by 134%.

> Read more about how the puppy smuggling business has boomed during lockdown

What could you do right now?

Looking to buy a puppy?

Follow our simple checklist to avoid being dogfished.

  • Ask to see the puppy with its mum and littermates
  • Check all the paperwork carefully
  • If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, walk away.
> Read full checklist

Concerned about a puppy you bought?

Do you have concerns about your puppy's paperwork or discovered they have a foreign microchip? These are tell tale signs that you may have been duped by a disreputable seller.

Take our new owner quiz to see if you may have been dogfished.

> Take our quiz

Looking to buy a puppy?

Follow our simple checklist to avoid being dogfished.

  • Ask to see the puppy with their mum and siblings
  • Check all the paperwork carefully
  • If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, walk away and report to Trading Standards
> Read full checklist

Dogfish alert!

If you suspect a seller is acting suspiciously, or if you think your puppy may have been illegally imported, please report them to Trading Standards.

Report now
Rehome one of our dogs

Help us change the tale for dogs in need

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a huge impact on dogs and dog owners around the UK. Business is booming for puppy smugglers. Changes to our daily routines could mean more dogs develop behavioural issues. And vet costs may put strains on already-stretched finances. With these very real threats facing our nation’s dogs, we need your help to be there for them, now and in the future.

> Find out how to help