In an Instagram vs. reality world, our latest campaign aims to protect pets and families from the dangers of the online puppy trade.


Have you ever seen something on the internet that looks super cute? You’re enamoured and, before you know it, you’re clicking pay and checking out. 

It’s too easy, so quick and seamless.  

And have you ever had that crushing realisation when it arrives, that it’s not quite as it looked in the photos? The care hasn’t been taken in making, packing or sending it and it just doesn’t look quite ‘right?’ 

This happens all too often with illegal breeders selling puppies online. Puppies, who aren’t cared for correctly, or are taken from their mothers too early, arrive small, weak and often very sick

It’s undeniable that we’re a nation of animal lovers.  

Whilst FOUR PAWS always advocates adopting a new four-legged friend, we know that for some the desire to add a new pet quickly to their family will win out and they turn to the internet.  

As such hundreds, possibly even thousands, are duped into buying from illegal breeders every week.  

With a huge number of free to list websites and platforms, pages are littered with beautiful, eye-catching photos of happy puppies almost too cute to seem real… 

The reality is unscrupulous and unlicensed breeders are able to operate undetected, with puppies suffering as a consequence.  

Overbreeding animals, separating puppies from their mothers far too soon, and unsuitable, cruel keeping conditions all mean that animals are paying the true price in the booming online puppy trade.  

Our Cute.Quick.Sick campaign aims to raise awareness of the illegal puppy trade and demonstrate how you can avoid being duped.  

This new campaign will introduce stories from animals and families across the country caught up in the cruel trade. Families who have lost thousands of pounds to vet's bills, to cure their puppy who arrived dangerously sick, or sadly lost their new furry family member far too soon. 

Check out Poppy's story now 

It pays to be aware of the dangers of buying a puppy online, whether you’re looking to buy, or not.  

So, if you have a friend, colleague or family member who has mentioned wanting a puppy, please send them our way. Spread the word to those around you, to stay vigilant when looking for a furry friend online.  

They may be cute, it may be quick, but the risk of them arriving sick and uncared for is very real.  

So sign up today and download our free puppy guide packed full of advice on how you can avoid the cruel trade and welcome a happy, healthy new puppy into your home. 



Sign up today!

Sophie Miller

Digital Marketing Specialist (Maternity Cover) FOUR PAWS Australia

Sophie works in the Communications Team at FOUR PAWS Australia. She has a background in Marketing, PR and Communications across the charity sector. Sophie is passionate about animal welfare and utilises her skills and experience in communications, marketing and PR to bring about change.

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