Buying a new puppy is an amazing opportunity, and with the internet advancing every day locating new puppies has become easier than ever, over the last 10 years Gumtree’s ‘dog listings’ have risen by 785% - In February 2017 alone, 10,000 listings were posted. However, it has also become easier for “unscrupulous” puppy traders to profit from illegal breeding without arousing suspicion. The RSCPA, paired with gumtree, have warned people to watch out for these illegal breeders who put “profit over welfare”.
The RSCPA has said that the increase in designer dogs such as French Bulldogs, with over 66,000 searches on the site, or Pugs, with over 35,000 searches, has meant that regular breeders cant keep up with the demands and so a gap has been left in the market into which the illegal breeders have swooped in and filled the gap. These illegal breeders sell the puppies at a cheaper price than usual and have no waiting lists, usually ending in “disastrous consequences” and the animals paying for this with their lives. The RSPCA has seen a 132% increase in the number of complaints about the illegal puppy trade over the last five years – 6% in the last year alone.
Gumtree’s general manager, Morten Heuing, has said they “take the welfare of animals very seriously” and are working hard to ensure their site is safe to re-home pets. Their “dedicated” safety team has taken steps to make it “as hard as possible” for the illegal puppy traders to function. They have made a change to their pets section so that you can no longer post ‘wanted’ ads in the ‘Pets’ section and have said they will “delete any ad” they deem to be encouraging animal cruelty.
Please if you are thinking about purchasing a puppy, be careful and watch out for the “unscrupulous” puppy breeders. Check who you are purchasing from first, possibly see if they are registered with the Kennel Club breeding scheme. If you have any concerns about the breeder, then walk away and call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Visit the RSPCA Page for more information: https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/latest/details/-/articleName/2017_07_17_Online_Puppy_Sales