The Puppy Trade

 

The puppies looked so forlorn in their little pet shop cage, Susan* simply HAD to put at least one of them out of their misery.  The picked the cute ‘pedigreed’ Fox Terrier with the spot on its right eye and took Spot home with her to start his new life.  Or so she thought.  A week later the pup succumbed to an illness he was supposedly vaccinated against … Susan was out of pocket and her heart was broken.  And the moral of the story is …Oprah Winfrey recently focused on the trade in puppies in the USA, highlighting what are often referred to as ‘puppy mills’, which also exist in South Africa. They are often referred to as ‘backyard breeders’ because of the unacceptable conditions in which the animals are kept. The SPCA movement opposes the donation to, or sale from pet shops of live animals. Our country’s situation in many ways parallels that in other countries in that puppies are seen as profit-making entities and welfare is often overlooked. In the UK, personnel from the RSPCA investigated how easy it is to buy a puppy, what advice or paperwork was offered to buyers and how healthy the puppies were. Their web site survey indicated that 445 out of 2 048 people who had recently bought a puppy said the animals had become sick within days of being bought – and some had died. 

How Can These Traps Be Avoided?

The SPCA movement hopes that adopting through one of our Societies would be your first option. That’s the positive side. But below are pieces of advice to heed and to pass on to others so that neither you nor the puppies become victims of the exploitive trade in animals.

  • Ideally a puppy should be seen with its mother in the place where it was born. If this is a private sale and you can’t see the puppy with its mother, warning bells should start to ring.
  • Don’t take matters on trust. If you are told that the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the vaccination card. These can be easy to fake. Any card without the name of the veterinarian, his/her signature plus contact details should be treated as very suspicious.
  • No vaccinations tell their own story.
  • Pedigree certificates are no guarantee of the condition of the puppy. They may be home-made and might not even prove the puppy is pure-bred.
  • Never buy a puppy from anyone who offers to deliver or who tries to arrange to meet you somewhere.

Please don’t buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it. If you have any concerns about puppies in a pet shop, at a flea market or anywhere else, rather contact your local SPCA with information. Details relating to an informant will be kept strictly confidential. With your information, they can act in the interest of the animals. Oprah Winfrey recently focused on the trade in puppies in the USA, highlighting what are often referred to as ‘puppy mills’, which also exist in South Africa. They are often referred to as ‘backyard breeders’ because of the unacceptable conditions in which the animals are kept. The SPCA movement opposes the donation to, or sale from pet shops of live animals. Our country’s situation in many ways parallels that in other countries in that puppies are seen as profit-making entities and welfare is often overlooked. In the UK, personnel from the RSPCA investigated how easy it is to buy a puppy, what advice or paperwork was offered to buyers and how healthy the puppies were. Their web site survey indicated that 445 out of 2 048 people who had recently bought a puppy said the animals had become sick within days of being bought – and some had died.

How Can These Traps Be Avoided?

The SPCA movement hopes that adopting through one of our Societies would be your first option. That’s the positive side. But below are pieces of advice to heed and to pass on to others so that neither you nor the puppies become victims of the exploitive trade in animals.

  •  Ideally a puppy should be seen with its mother in the place where it was born. If this is a private sale and you can’t see the puppy with its mother, warning bells should start to ring.
  • Don’t take matters on trust. If you are told that the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the vaccination card. These can be easy to fake. Any card without the name of the veterinarian, his/her signature plus contact details should be treated as very suspicious.
  • No vaccinations tell their own story.
  • Pedigree certificates are no guarantee of the condition of the puppy. They may be home-made and might not even prove the puppy is pure-bred.
  • Never buy a puppy from anyone who offers to deliver or who tries to arrange to meet you somewhere.

Please don’t buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it. If you have any concerns about puppies in a pet shop, at a flea market or anywhere else, rather contact your local SPCA with information. Details relating to an informant will be kept strictly confidential. With your information, they can act in the interest of the animals.

©Pet’s Health

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