THE DSPCA HAS urged the public to beware of internet puppy traders in the run up to Christmas with over 35 per cent of dogs re-homed in the past twelve months being pedigree.
At the launch of its ‘Adopt a pet, don’t buy’ campaign yesterday, the charity warned that many “illicit puppy traders” would soon be offering ‘ready for Christmas’ pups on popular internet sites.
Chief Executive Brian Gillen said: “Not alone have we seen a substantial increase in abandoned pedigree pets, post Celtic Tiger, but also a very worrying increase in pets purchased on the internet in line with the massive increase of online sales in general.”
We estimate that on any given day there are in excess of 10,000 dogs and puppies for sale online.
Gillen said people do not realise that, even on a reputable website, many of the sellers are “simply unscrupulous dealers” with puppies that are bred in “the most appaling conditions”, many inbred and susceptible to illness and disease that may only become apparent afterwards.
“The only way to prevent this is for people to stop purchasing online,” he stressed.
The number of pedigree pets taken into care by the DSPCA is now at an all time high with Gillen explaining that many are victims of the downturn as their owners either emigrated or no longer want to pay for a “designer pet”.
“If you decide to adopt an animal you are giving a home to a pet you know to be healthy and well adjusted as well as giving a rescued animals a second chance at life,” he added.