BUYING a pedigree puppy could cost more than you originally thought.
Dog-lovers who unwittingly buy puppies which have been illegally smuggled from abroad could face a bill for more than £1,000, as a Warwickshire Rottweiler owner recently discovered.
The poorly pup had fallen ill with dehydration, and after being checked over by a vet it was discovered the dog – which was too young to enter the country legally – had not been vaccinated against rabies.
The owner had bought the dog in good faith and believed it had been imported correctly after seeing an advert on the internet. But they had been given incomplete documents and now the puppy has been placed in quarantine with the owner footing the bill.
Warwickshire County Council spokesman for community safety, coun John Horner said:: “Smugglers sometimes use false documents to convince prospective buyers that puppies have been imported legally whilst others claim that the smuggled puppies have been bred in the UK.
“Smuggled puppies have rarely been vaccinated against rabies and pose a serious public health risk as well as endangering our own pets and the wildlife of Warwickshire.”
Trading Standards officers – who are currently investigating the illegal importation of the dog – are advising potential dog owners to never buy a puppy unless looks more than 12 weeks old and has been seen with the mother.
They should also check how well established the breeder is and speak to their vet about whether the puppy has begun vaccinations and flea and worming treatments.
Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/buying-a-cat-or-dog for more advice.