Notts residents looking for a dog are being warned about the dangers of buying an illegally imported puppy from the European Union following a recent case involving a local family.
Notts County Council’s trading standards team has the powers to place an imported dog, cat or ferret into quarantine for 21 days if it has not been micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies or has a pet passport under current UK laws.
Quarantine expenses can be in excess of £500 and if the owner is not prepared to pay these fees the animal could face being exported back to the country of origin or the pet being put to sleep.
A local family purchased a St. Bernhard puppy for £750 from a West Midlands based agent which originated from Eastern Europe.
They contacted the Council after they found out one of the puppies from the same litter had been quarantined in the south of England after failing to meet the pet passport requirements.
The Council has put the dog into quarantine for 21 days which the owners have agreed to pay for.
Unsuspecting buyers may not be aware that the dog they are purchasing has been imported into the country illegally as the accompanying documentation may look genuine.
The Council can become aware of such cases when an illegally imported dog has been taken to the vets by the new owner and the vet has become concerned that the paperwork is not genuine or the animal has not had the required vaccinations.
Potential dog buyers should be suspicious if the seller cannot show the puppy with its mother and litter mates, ask to see the pet passport and vaccination documentation if the dog is believed to be from outside the UK and never pay for the puppy in advance.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, of Notts County Council, said: “This innocent family has been caught out by the breeder, and have not only acted very responsibly to protect public safety, they have also decided to save the brother of their puppy by paying for his quarantine costs.”
“Puppies illegally imported into the UK are often sold through online or newspaper adverts and are accompanied by incomplete or forged documentation which leads buyers to believe they have been imported legally.”
“Our biggest concern is the risk of such animals having rabies when the UK is currently a rabies-free zone.
“Buying an illegally imported dog can be an expensive mistake for the owner not to mention the emotional upset of having the puppy taken into quarantine.”
For further information Peter Saunders in Communications and Marketing at Notts County Council on 0115 977 3379.