Councils have warned people looking to buy a puppy this Christmas to be on the lookout for criminal sellers. 3.2 million households acquiring a pet since the start of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, and the Christmas boom is in full swing.
The LGA says that councils work extremely hard to prevent illegal sales, but can often face difficulties with capacity. Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “As demand rises, the number of people looking to profit does too, and councils need increased, specialist resources in this area to ensure illegal traders get caught before any animals are harmed.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "While some families looking for a pet this Christmas will take on loving rescue dogs or buy happy, healthy puppies from responsible breeders, we know that many will unknowingly fall victim to illicit and underground puppy breeders and sellers who prioritise profit over the health and welfare of their dogs."