Buying has increased in many areas during lock down, gardening items being one and pets being another. The increase in pet buying has surged over the past few months, with websites such as Pets4Homes seeing a six-fold increase in the number of new accounts being created. Dishonest sellers are taking advantage of the increase and seeing it as a way of making money from buyers hoping to provide an animal with a new, caring home.
Vets are concerned with the increase in online transactions that are tricking buyers into thinking the seller is a genuine and responsible breeder. The sad truth is that many are deceiving buyers of the pets and are failing to provide the animals they’re selling with a good quality of life.
The RSPCA along with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and supported by a few famous faces such as Kirsty Gallacher and David Gandy, have now created a new ‘Petfished’ campaign. Ach party involved in the campaign have signed an open letter to the public requesting all buyers to carefully research any seller they consider using. All buyers need to ensure that the seller is reputable before buying.
The campaign follows Lucy’s Law, which was introduced in early 2020. Lucy’s Law requires everyone to either buy directly from breeders or to choose a pet from a rescue centre. Buyers must look for any warning signs and report any activity that they consider suspicious.
Buying Healthy Cats
There are breeders and sellers out there that don’t take care of the animals they are selling. As a result, buyers of pets could give a home to an animal that is in ill health. Sometimes the health problems mean the new owners must deal with expensive vet bills from the start and these could last for the lifetime of the animal. Additionally, some animals must be put to sleep because of the health complications they have.
How to Research the Seller
Conduct research before you arrange to visit the seller and see the animal in person. The Internet is a great starting point. Take the time to search the name of the seller along with the phone number and address. You could also ask in local groups on social media to see if anyone has had an experience buying from the breeder.
If you go ahead to arrange a visit, make sure that the kittens (puppies etc) are seen at the home along with their mother. You should also ensure that the animal has health records and that they are not sold until they reach at least 8 weeks old. Warning signs to look out for when buying a pet include:
- No mother with the animal
- Dirty home
- Lack of medical records
- Negative reviews and right ups on social media (search sites such as Facebook and Twitter).
- Sellers encouraging taking the pet before it is ready (at least 8 weeks old)
Have you adopted or rehomed any pets over the lockdown period? Share your new furry family members with us over on the ProtectaPet Facebook page.