Dogs Trust advises public against being #Dogfished

Dogs Trust is issuing advice to dog lovers on how to avoid being scammed into buying puppies which may not be what they seem, following a rise in demand for dogs during lockdown.

We are urging people to take the following steps to avoid being misled or "Dogfished" when buying a new puppy, as sellers can often falsify paperwork, offer discounts for a quick sale or lie about the health, age and breed of the dog.

Remember:

  • Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once.
  • Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.
  • If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report the seller.
  • For more information and advice about how to avoid being misled when buying a puppy advertised online, search ‘Dogfished’ or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/dogfished

Millions of us are working from home and Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 120% in the month after lockdown was announced on 23 March. ‘Adopt a puppy’ saw an even bigger rise of 133% in online searches, according to data from Propellernet.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Dogs Trust, said: 

"People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade and deceitful sellers who put profits before animal welfare.

"Many of these poor puppies suffer significant health conditions or lifelong behavioural challenges, and sadly some don’t survive, leaving their buyers helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.

"We want to advise the public on the action they can take to avoid being ‘dogfished’. Always see puppy and mum together at their home, ask lots of questions, check vital paperwork, and make sure to visit more than once. If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report the seller."   

For more information about the Don’t Be Dogfished campaign and advice about how to avoid being misled when buying a puppy advertised online, search ‘Dogfished’ or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/dogfished