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Paws for Thought: The Importance of Using Caution When Buying a New Kitten or Puppy

This year Black Friday falls on the 26th November. It’s a time of year to find a fantastic bargain for a variety of goods and services. It also kicks off the Christmas shopping season for many retailers and industries. There’s certainly no harm in snapping up discounted food or toys for your furry friend. However, when it comes to buying a kitten or puppy, at this time of year, many buyers are learning to think twice before making that purchase. In this article, Perfect-Pets Books explores why would-be pet owners should use caution to prevent being scammed this holiday season.

Lucy’s Law

The trade in puppies and kittens has had a long and difficult past. This includes illegal puppy farming in Wales and the smuggling of puppies from Eastern European countries.

In April 2020 ‘Lucy’s Law’ became enforceable in England. The law states that “anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England would now have to buy directly from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead”.

Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.

As of September 2021, the law has also come into effect in both Scotland and Wales.

This is welcome news for many animal rights campaigners and charity organisations who have campaigned tirelessly to raise the issue of puppy farms and the unscrupulous means used for breeding.

Lucy’s law has helped to educate many people as to the pitfalls of kitten and puppy farming. Nevertheless, due to lockdown restrictions and buying online, the new legislation has not been able to stop the rise of pet fraud and scamming that many new would-be pet owners are facing.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

Due to the growing interest of owning a cat or dog in the past 18 months, scams continue to be a concern for buyers.

It’s worth considering that over £2.6 million was lost by would-be owners in the 2020/21 financial year, after buyers had put down deposits for animals advertised online – which turned out to be scams.

Action Fraud, which released the figures, says the total is an increase of over 20% compared with the previous financial year.

The principal lesson is that if you have done your research into the reputation of the breeder and seller then you are very unlikely to fall victim to a scam. So, it is important to research before you shop.

Below are tips to consider before buying a new cat or dog to avoid being scammed.

1, Check reviews of the seller and make sure they are legal and reputable

  1. If you cannot physically view the animal in person ask for a video call. Reputable breeders want to find good homes so any suspicious behaviour should be taken with concern.
  2. Avoid paying by bank transfer instead pay by credit card or a payment service such as PayPal which can offer buyer’s protection.
  3. If you feel you have been a victim of fraud remember to report the incident to the police or Action Fraud.

Providing Proper Care for Your Kitten or Puppy

Once a new kitten or puppy is bought it is the owner’s responsibility to purchase pet insurance. Pet insurance will help pay for unexpected, costly treatment or surgery that may be needed.

Some breeds of cats and dogs have congenital issues that can cause serious health issues. So make sure you research your breed thoroughly and know the appropriate level of care they will need.

Perfect-Pets Books has a complete collection of the most popular dog and cat breeds available as Essential Guides that cover a variety of ‘essential things to know’ including: first aid basics, microchips, vaccinations, insurance, and appropriate breed care.

In addition to breed books, useful Essential Guides for issues such as dog training, rescue dogs, and first aid for cats and dogs are great favourites full of valuable information.

Visit: www.perfect-pets.org to learn more.

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