Eastleigh Borough Council is supporting a national campaign to encourage people to think twice before buying a new pet this Christmas and avoid being ‘Petfished’ - where unsuspecting buyers are sold a pet by deceitful sellers.
With a national 400% surge in searches for ‘buy a puppy’ expected from mid- November local residents are urged to look at the seller’s profile and search their name online to avoid being lured in by deceitful sellers.
The price of puppies has more than doubled during lockdown and with the new national restrictions in place until 2 December, prospective pet owners are being urged to be alert to the risks involved while they are not permitted to visit the animal in person in its home environment, and to think about additional checks they can undertake to ensure the seller is legitimate. Animals bred in low-welfare conditions can often be separated from their mother too early in their development and this can lead to severe health and behavioural problems resulting in high vet bills.
Cabinet Lead for Environment Cllr Rupert Kyrle said, “Christmas has been a peak period for puppy sales for decades and research has shown this trend continuing. I would urge residents to think very carefully before buying a pet and do your research to avoid unscrupulous sellers who take advantage of those looking to buy a new pet especially at this time of year.”
He added," I don’t think animals make good Christmas presents and that a lot of thought should be given before thinking of getting any pet such as do you have the time to look after it, house, feed and exercise them?."
For some great advice on buying a pet visit the ‘get your pet safely’ campaign
You can also contact the Council's Welfare team on 023 8068 8000 – they will be able to provide advice and have a list of local licensed sellers.
Visit the Government web page for more advice