Charity concerns over unscrupulous online pet sellers | Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Charity concerns over unscrupulous online pet sellers

Tails are wagging at Dogs Trust Basildon after two poorly pups handed over to the charity have found their ‘furrytail’ ending following a difficult start in life. The Wickford-based charity is urging the public to do their research before buying dogs advertised online following an increase in sick dogs bought via the internet and handed into the Rehoming Centre. 

Belgian Malinois puppy, Keanu, was bought by a family who spotted the pup being advertised for sale for £50 online. They became concerned for the puppy’s welfare, after finding him in dirty conditions in a small crate. The family purchased three-month-old Keanu and brought him to Dogs Trust Basildon to be cared for and rehomed.

Underweight with sickness and diarrhea, Dougie the four-month-old Cockapoo was handed over to the charity having been purchased via an online advert. His owner was worried about the pup after noticing his health deteriorate. He was handed over to Dogs Trust for staff to nurture the puppy and provide around the clock care within the charity’s specialist suite for youngsters.

Being rushed to the Vets on arrival, thankfully Dougie is now on the road to recovery. After being nursed back to health by staff, it’s a ‘yappy’ ending for Keanu and Dougie who have found loving homes with Catholic Priest Anthony Cho from Ingatestone and Jodie Conway from Grays.

Keanu’s adopter, Father Anthony Cho, said: “Keanu has been adjusting well to family life, joining his other former Dogs Trust Basildon brothers, Oreo and Raffles. The two dogs have accepted him into the pack at the parish – I call them the Canine Trinity of Ingatestone!”

Dougie’s new owner, Jodie Conway, commented: “Dougie is such a lovely, happy, sociable boy who fortunately hadn’t suffered any long term affects from his ordeal. He’s a great canine communicator and gages well whether dogs want to interact with him! He has settled in really well and we love him dearly.”

The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) works to raise public awareness of the need to act responsibly when buying pets, as well as the need to do research before making any purchase. Comprised of animal welfare organisations, trade associations and veterinary bodies, PAAG first came together over 15 years ago to combat growing concerns regarding the irresponsible advertising of pets, yet even still the group has witnessed a growing increase in the number of pet animals advertised for sale online.

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director and Chair of PAAG, said: “The ease and popularity of the internet means that the impulse buying of pets has increasingly become an appealing option for many prospective buyers. However, the lure of a quick sale also attracts many unscrupulous breeders and dealers to websites.

“To tackle the challenges of online advertising of pets for sale, PAAG has been working with classified advertising sites to ensure the adverts are legal and ethical. Unfortunately though without regulation of online advertisements this voluntary approach has reached a plateau. Despite our efforts we have noticed many ‘bad’ adverts have moved to unengaged websites that have avoided working to implement the minimum standards on their sites.”

Through the development of a set of Government-backed minimum standards, PAAG has been helping websites distinguish appropriate adverts from those that should be removed.

For more information please visit or call 0300 303 0292. For further information on PAAG visit