Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers are warning members of the public to be cautious about buying pets online after receiving a surge of complaints about animals in poor condition.
In the last 12 months officers have received 48 complaints about animals sold with serious medical and behavioural problems as well as dealers falsely claiming dogs are approved by the Kennel Club.
Derbyshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Ellie Wilcox said: “We’ve seen a massive growth in reports of sellers making false claims about puppy litters, and the majority are from sales conducted online and via social media.
“Our advice to people who want to buy pedigree dogs is to purchase from an assured Kennel Club breeder.”
and always go and visit the dog in its home with its mother.”
New research from the Kennel Club suggests one in five dogs bought online die before they’re six months old. In Derbyshire the average amount spent by people who have bought these animals is £675.
The council has also received complaints from people who have paid for dogs upfront in response to internet or classified adverts. The money often goes abroad and the prospective buyer ends up hundreds of pounds out of pocket without the pet they paid for.
Anyone who has concerns over the welfare of dogs they have purchased should contact the RSPCA Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999. Residents who may have concerns about a dog breeder can contact their district council, who licence commercial breeders at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/othercouncils. People can also get general consumer advice by contacting Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.