Beware of puppy-selling scams in run-up to Christmas, Warwickshire residents warned - The Rugby Observer

Beware of puppy-selling scams in run-up to Christmas, Warwickshire residents warned

Rugby Editorial 24th Nov, 2020   0

BEWARE of puppy-selling scams in the run-up to Christmas, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning.

Trading Standards Animal Health Officers have received reports of criminal gangs illegally smuggling puppies in to the UK to sell, puppies being stolen and sold on, and consumers paying thousands of pounds to bogus online sellers for puppies that don’t exist.

Rising demand for puppies has led to prices doubling, with popular breeds selling for £3,000 or more. This has also encouraged more puppy farming, where puppies are often bred in poor conditions, increasing the risk of disease and ill health.

In April 2020 ‘Lucy’s Law’ was introduced, meaning that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must buy direct from a breeder, or adopt from a rescue centre.

Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months. The new law seeks to tackle the low-welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens by banning their commercial third-party sale in England.

Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “Demand for puppies has surged during lockdown, driving up prices and encouraging criminals to enter this marketplace.”

He urged those considering buying a puppy to buy from reputable and recommended dealers under the Kennel Club Assured breeder scheme, view a puppy with its mother and siblings where it has been bred, and never pay for a puppy in advance.

Visit for more tips and information about buying a puppy.

To report puppy scams or the illegal sale of puppies, and for advice on consumer rights, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.


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