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Battersea Urges: Do Your Research When Buying a Puppy

14 May 2015
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

UK - Animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging prospective owners to do their research before buying a dog from an online advert, as they may unknowingly be supporting backstreet breeders that put profit before animal welfare.

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.

In 2014, 1,364 dogs that were brought into the world-famous 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. Anyone buying a dog from an online advert, poster or from a friend of a friend can be affected.

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.”

Eight-month-old Mongrel Jett 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 was also an online purchase. The three-year-old has also ended up at the Home because he didn’t fit in with the other dog in the household. Both dogs are now looking for new beginnings.

Dogs used for backstreet breeding are forced to lead a miserable life. They are kept in dirty, squalid conditions and are used to produce litter after litter, with no thought for their health.

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.

This is why it’s so important to do the right research to make sure your pet isn’t from a backstreet breeder and it stays with its mother and litter for the right amount of time.

Battersea would urge anyone thinking of getting a dog to adopt from a rescue centre or reputable breeder.

ThePetSite News Desk

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