Doing the right research and asking the right questions can help you avoid the risks of the illegal puppy trade. Here you can find the information and resources you need to acquire a puppy responsibly.
Illegally imported puppies can suffer from various diseases including canine distemper, parvovirus, kennel cough, leptospirosis for example. Many of the diseases can be prevented through vaccinations, good hygiene and proper upbringing, but due to the nature of the illegal puppy trade where puppies are bred in poor conditions, there is a risk that some of the puppies may have contracted these diseases. Later in life they may also suffer from behavioural problems due to poor socialisation.
Many puppies from the illegal puppy trade are sick or even worse, die. Heart-broken owners may find it very hard to recover from the experience of having a helpless pup, who they have bonded with, die in their arms, unable to do anything about it. This could also have an emotional impact on children who have bonded with their new pet only to see them suffering and not returning from the vets.
If you unknowingly purchase a puppy without the proper vaccines, worming regime and socialisation in their first months, you may have expensive veterinary costs. Veterinary care may be needed to either treat an illness or to treat ongoing medical problems caused by poor breeding practices and genetic disorders. Later, you may also have to pay for behavioural training or therapy if your puppy develops behavioural problems due to a lack of socialisation earlier in life.
Legal & Fraud Risk
Illegally imported puppies often come with fraudulent papers. This includes false vaccination certificates, microchip details, certified pedigree and falsified information in their pet passport. This is done to hide the true origin of the puppy and the identity of the seller. Rabies and other vaccinations may be invalid, and only done on paper. If the puppy is found to be illegally imported, this may result in the owner having to pay high quarantine fees and leaving the puppy in quarantine for weeks, or even lead to the puppy being euthanized.