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Make sure you give ‘Paws For Thought’ when buying puppies

Sefton Council is asking residents to give ‘Paws for Thought’ to ensure they don’t buy illegally imported puppies at Christmas

The “Paws for Thought” campaign aims educate people about the financial and emotional dangers of buying illegally imported puppies, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Often illegally imported puppies, which are not vaccinated against rabies, are only ever discovered when a family take their new four legged friend for their first vet visit.

At this point the puppy has to be seized and put in quarantine, with any costs incurred falling on the dog’s owners.

Not only is there a significant financial implication, with fees in excess of £1,000, but the act of removing your cute new four legged friend can be extremely distressing and stressful.

Under legislation, any dogs entering the UK must have been vaccinated against rabies – however the vaccine will not work if given to puppies younger than 12 weeks.

As a result Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team are urging those considering buying a puppy to make sure they know who they are buying from, to check the pup’s vaccination history and always ask to see documentation.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said:

“We don’t want people to have their lovely new puppies taken away from them.

“But illegally imported and unvaccinated puppies are an issue, and it is something which can happen in Sefton.

“Increasing numbers of puppies are being imported illegally in to the UK from puppy farms in Eastern Europe.

“These puppies are being sold via adverts on the internet and are accompanied by false and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.

“We want people to be vigilant, especially in the run up to Christmas when interest in buying puppies is especially high.”

The Paws for Thought campaign advises people to be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates, as well as:

• If the puppy has been vaccinated ask to see the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out.
Be suspicious if the address of the veterinary practice is outside the UK.
• If the puppy has been brought in from outside the UK, it must be at least 15 weeks old and have a pet passport or a veterinary certificate.
Never agree to have the puppy delivered to your home address or to meet the seller to collect the puppy.
• Never pay for a puppy in advance.
Report any concerns using the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06