On 10 October, Trading Standards Officers seized an illegally imported Bichon/Maltese cross puppy from a residential address in Northampton. The puppy is now being quarantined in kennels.
Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards is again reminding people who are thinking of buying a dog, especially as the run up to Christmas is a particularly popular time to make such a purchase, to be especially wary of illegally imported puppies.
A purchaser must make sure they know where the puppy they are intending purchasing has come from and that it has had a health check by a vet.
The main concern around illegally imported puppies is that the dogs may not be properly vaccinated and rabies-free and may have been separated from their mother at a very young age.
These puppies are often sold via adverts on the internet and in newspaper small ads. The dogs may be accompanied by incomplete, false and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.
Trading Standards is offering the following advice:
- Get as much information about where the puppy has come from.
- Be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates.
- View the puppy where it was bred.
- If the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the documentation - this must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out.
- If the seller informs you that the puppy has been brought in from another country, it should have a pet passport with a valid rabies vaccination recorded in it.
- The rabies vaccination cannot be given until the puppy is at least 12 weeks old.
- The date of import must be at least 21 days after the date of rabies vaccination.
- Never pay for the puppy in advance – and if the price of the puppy is lower than you would expect, be very suspicious.
Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member with responsibility for public protection said:
“Bringing your new puppy home should be a wonderful time for a new owner, but this case shows how important it is to be certain of where your puppy has come from.
“Anyone who has concerns about a puppy they have bought should contact their vet in the first instance. If you suspect your puppy has been illegally imported, you can report it to Trading Standards by calling 03454 040506 or by visiting