Not just for Christmas

8 December, 2017

The nights are drawing in and for many people, attention is well and truly focussed on the festive season.
And with that, Cheshire East residents may still be trying to source that perfect gift for a loved one or good friend.

As a nation of animal lovers it is tempting at this time of year to think of a pet as a gift and many animals are lovingly found new homes for grateful owners. However, it is also a time when irresponsible choices can be made and when the illegal pet trade goes into overdrive.

The puppy trade is one of the worst offenders. Record numbers of illegal puppies are being smuggled across the English Channel, entering the UK via the Kent ports of Dover and Folkestone and making their way around the country.

In three undercover operations, the Dogs Trust – the UK’s largest dog welfare charity – seized 100 young dogs from the two Kent ports although, sadly, this is most probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East cabinet member with responsibility for trading standards, said: “Sadly people tend to make emotional buying decisions without properly thinking about the repercussions. 

“Puppies are often found in shocking conditions with infected wounds, after their ears and tales have been cropped with a high demand shown for fashionable breeds, such as English and French bulldogs and dachshunds.”

Before buying a puppy at Christmas, consider the following advice, to make sure you don’t buy an illegal animal before you commit to your decision:

  • ask to see the mother and pup together
  • visit the new pup, at its home, more than once and get paperwork before taking it home
  • take new puppies for a veterinary health check immediately
  • do not buy from anyone who can supply various breeds on demand
  • do not to buy a puppy that looks underweight, or feel pressured into buying