Battersea warns prospective owners that ‘internet is no place to buy dogs’ in bid to combat backstreet breeding
This adorable pair of pooches are just two victims of backstreet breeders who are putting profits before animal welfare and selling animals online.
Eight-month-old mongrel Jett (left) was bought from a well-known website when he was nine weeks old, but his owners could no longer care for him so he ended up at Battersea.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Geezer (right) was also an online purchase – the three-year-old ended up at the centre because he didn’t fit in with the other dog in the household.
Now Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging prospective owners to do their research before buying a dog from online adverts.
Rob Young, Battersea’s Head of Dog Rehoming, said: “We work hard to make people aware that the internet isn’t the place to buy a dog.
“People can sometimes act on impulse when buying a dog, without ever seeing the animal, or thinking through that they are taking on responsibility for a living creature.
“It’s worrying that pets are so easily bought without the new owner knowing exactly what they’re getting.
“Battersea advises that when getting a dog you should always ask to see the mother so you can tell what type of home the puppy has come from.
“And always make sure the puppy is more than eight weeks old. Ask questions – it’s your right as a consumer.”
Last year a quarter of the dogs that were given in to Battersea were originally from online or newspaper adverts, with many owners knowing little or nothing about the dog they were buying.
Last year 1,364 dogs that were brought into the rescue centre had been bought from online or newspaper adverts, Facebook, breeders or friends or relatives.
Some 279 of those dogs had originally been bought from well-known online classifieds, 42 from newspapers and 48 from a stranger, sometimes on the spur of the moment in a pub or a car park.
Breeding dogs is often seen as a quick money-making scheme, and the buyer can be completely unaware of where their puppy has come from.
The puppies born into this trade of misery are often taken away from their mother too soon.
It’s recommended they stay with their mum and littermates until they are at least eight weeks old.
From birth to when they leave the litter, puppies learn how to interact, play, and how to be dogs.
They rely on each other a lot and need the warmth, comfort and milk from their mum which contains maternal antibodies to protect them.
If you think you could give Jett or Geezer the forever home they deserve, please contact Battersea on 0843 509 4444 or visit www.battersea.org.uk