Buying a dog is an exciting prospect. However, it’s really important to do a lot of background research on how to find your perfect pup.
Some online advertisers care more about money than puppy welfare and won’t think twice about duping you into buying a dog that has been illegally smuggled into the country.
Follow these steps to avoid being dogfished.
...to avoid being dogfished.
Speak to the seller on the phone before visiting, and be sure to visit the puppy more than once.
Ask to see the puppy interacting with their mum and littermates when you visit.
Ask to see proof of a vet check, vaccination (where applicable), microchipping, and pedigree papers, if relevant.
Expect to be asked lots of questions by the seller (and if not, question why not).
Take time to think and walk away if things don’t feel right.
If you suspect a seller is acting illegally, report them to Trading Standards.
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.
There has been a 260% increase in dogs being imported into the UK since pet travel rules were relaxed in 2012.
Some puppy smugglers can make more than £100,000 in a year.
We have rescued and rehomed more than 1,000 smuggled puppies since 2015 when our Puppy Pilot scheme began.
At this time of year, sadly, we have thousands of calls from people wanting to give up their dog after the Christmas rush. So instead of buying a new puppy and risking being dogfished, why not consider welcoming a Dogs Trust dog into your home instead?