Gillian Martin MSP has warned of the wider implications involved in funding the trade of illegal puppies this Christmas and urged people to resist the urge to buy a puppy this Christmas.
New Scottish Government figures make for sobering but vital reading for anyone preparing to buy a puppy.
Almost half of people who bought a puppy in 2019 did so online, up from a quarter the previous year. One in five puppies bought through online advertising websites, where most illegal dealers operate, get sick or die within the first year, and one in four die before their fifth birthday.
Gillian Martin MSP has asked people to “look beyond cute” and crucially, not to be afraid to walk away if there is no sign of the puppy’s mother – and items such as relevant paperwork on vaccinations and microchipping.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP said
As someone who adores dogs, and a dog owner myself, I completely understand how tempting it is to buy a puppy. But people really should do a great deal of research before they make the commitment, particularly into people selling pups. Puppy farms breed misery, and that misery is being fuelled by the huge demand for puppies and facilitated through online adverts and sellers. We can only end the illegal trade, and that misery, if we end demand.
Last year’s campaign contributed to a 37% increase in the number of advice calls about suspected puppy farms to the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline.
As people increasingly look online to buy a puppy, it is more important than ever that they know how to spot the signs of illegal dealers.
If something doesn’t feel right, walk away and report your concerns to the Scottish SPCA. And I’d urge people to think about rehoming unwanted puppies or adult from well run shelters, such as those run by Dogs Trust and The SSPCA.