'Dangerous' virtual puppy buying increases in region

20200709 Copyright James Robinson / The Kennel ClubJenny Campbell with her Retriever (Flat Coated)

A quarter of people in the East of England have bought puppies online - Credit: The Kennel Club

New research has revealed an alarming rise in “dangerous” virtual puppy buying in the East of England, following a boom in puppy sales. 

Dog welfare organisation The Kennel Club reported that a quarter of dog owners in the East of England admitted to having a puppy delivered or ‘click and collecting’ a dog without seeing its breeding environment or mother. 

A quarter of owners have also admitted to avoiding crucial administrative responsibilities for their dogs — including registering with a vet, getting insurance, or not socialising their puppy with other dogs.

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The Kennel Club's Be Puppywise campaign hopes to encourage responsible puppy-buying - Credit: Yulia Titovets

The Kennel Club has now launched a new campaign, BePuppywise, hoping to reverse these damaging puppy-buying habits through a campaign highlighting how to buy puppies responsibly.  

Mark Beazley, chief executive of The Kennel Club, said: “It’s understandable that many of us have developed some fairly harmless bad habits during multiple lockdowns. But when it comes to puppy buying, these bad habits must be reversed. 


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“While the message about always seeing a puppy in its home environment seemed to have got through, this research shows the pandemic’s alarming impact on the way people expect to buy a puppy, with many now seeing virtual puppy buying, ‘click and collect’ or pup deliveries as the norm – taking us backwards in terms of dog welfare and responsible puppy buying.” 

 The convenience of buying a puppy online is often fraught with dangers for the new owners and the puppy itself. 

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He said: “If a breeder is offering to deliver the pup to your house or asking to take money from you before you’ve even seen the pup, alarm bells should be ringing.

"Scammers, rogue breeders and cruel puppy traders can, and will, cash in on this dangerous virtual puppy buying world, with devastating consequences for dogs.” 

The welfare organisation’s new campaign provides advice, tools and resources for dog owners and potential buyers, helping them navigate the process of finding a dog safely and responsibly.  

More information can be found here.  

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