Avoid buying illegally imported puppies pet owners warned

Prince was seized by Trading Standards officers SUS-161130-115146001

Prince was seized by Trading Standards officers SUS-161130-115146001

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Pet owners in West Sussex are being warned to avoid buying illegally imported puppies by Trading Standards in the run up to Christmas.

Many families will be timing their long planned pet purchases to coincide with the festive season.

Prince was seized by Trading Standards officers SUS-161130-115201001

Prince was seized by Trading Standards officers SUS-161130-115201001

But West Sussex Trading Standards have issued a stark warning to would be pet owners to avoid buying a puppy that has been illegally imported.

In a recent case, Prince, a puppy bought originally for £500, was imported from Hungary but had to be quarantined for 50 days at a cost of more than £1,400.

Prince also posed a rabies risk, as he was too young for his jab to have been effective.

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards team manager, said: “Unfortunately, Prince had bonded with his new family but had to be given up to a rescue charity as the family could not afford the quarantine bill. The charity ended up paying the bill.

“We advise against buying a dog that has recently been imported into the United Kingdom, but if you do, ensure it comes with its pet passport.

“If you have any suspicions about the origins of your puppy, visit your local vet who will be able to help you report it to Trading Standards.”

Common warning signs that a dog has been imported include:

- A seller claiming they bred the puppy themselves but refuse to let you see the mother

- A seller insisting to meet or hand over the puppy at a location such as a motorway services

- Any paperwork which shows inoculations were carried out abroad

- There is no evidence supporting a supposed date of birth

David Barling, WSCC’s cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “Buying a puppy can be incredibly exciting, but it is also a responsibility that must be taken seriously.

“Ensure any dog you buy has the correct inoculations and paperwork as otherwise it could cost you and your family both financially and emotionally. You must also ensure your dog is looked after properly as one of the family.”

The puppy formerly known as Prince has now successfully been re-homed.

Report any concerns to Trading Standards online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport or via Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.

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