Animal Charity

Think Before You Click: The Illegal Puppy Trade

Know the truth behind your purchase and what to look out for when bringing a new member into your family.


The joy of bringing a new pet into the family is something that has gripped many of us. However, in trying times like these, what starts as something with good intentions can quickly be exploited to fuel an illegal and cruel trade.

Breeders are making the most of people being on lockdown, knowing that there will be easy access to the internet and more time for impulsive decisions. A common way for this to happen is to sell the puppy online, with fake information, documents, and cute imagery to hide the truth.

This is why it is so important that you think before you click.

Puppies sourced through his manner may have been made to travel hundreds of miles, over several days in horrendous conditions and may be suffering from unknown medical conditions due to genetic defects as a result of poor breeding, inadequate vet checks or in fact because they have been separated from their mother at too young an age. Recent media told the tragic story of Mr Chow dying only 6 days after meeting his new family.

Animal Charity

If you are purchasing a puppy online, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are not contributing to this cruel trade:

Always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.

Insist on seeing the mother of the puppies (use video chat if you cannot visit the home)

Check the puppy is healthy with your own eyes.

Check the puppy’s paperwork and get confirmation that it has had its injections.

Check the puppy is at least eight weeks old before it leaves its mother.

With this being said, the best way to avoid the cruelty of the illegal puppy trade is to rehome or adopt a puppy or dog from your nearest rehoming centre. This is especially true in the current climate, as many dogs and puppies may be handed over to rehoming charities as the lockdown lifts and people are unable to continue caring for them.

Be aware of the truth and bring a new best friend into your home the right way.

Animal Charity

Aaron Lax

Digital Communications Officer

Aaron works as part of the communications team at FOUR PAWS UK, supporting the social media, SEO, and digital content mediums to spread the message of animal welfare far and wide.

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