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Council / Warning over buying puppies online

LOCALS are being reminded to keep aware of people selling puppies for profit amid concern over recent adverts seen in Shetland.

Shetland Islands Council’s environmental health team is aware of adverts on local classified websites and social media encouraging people to buy puppies.

It said that in the puppy smuggling trade there is a growing issue with profit being put before the welfare of puppies being sold.

Smuggled puppies are being bred in central and eastern Europe, often in poor conditions and taken from their mothers at a young age, the council said, before being illegally imported into the country.

“Young dogs will have endured a long journey, often with little food or water before being sold onto unsuspecting members of the public. These animals may often be in poor health and some may carry the risk of bringing disease into the country,” the council added.

Shetland Islands Council is working closely with Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to help “promote and facilitate responsible dog ownership”.

People are advised to meet breeders at their home to check on the welfare of the puppy, while they are also encouraged to ask the breeder questions and obtain paperwork for the likes of vaccinations and any microchip before taking the animal home.

Environmental health leader Patti Dinsdale said: “We’d discourage anyone from buying a puppy advertised for sale online from a seller and urge them to do some research beforehand.

“It’s important to know that you’re buying a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder, rather than an animal reared in poor conditions and without correct paperwork or appropriate vaccinations.

“Some people may prefer to adopt a from a rehoming centre, where they will be able to meet and find out more about any dogs they’re interested in.”