Thousands of puppies are being illegally smuggled into the UK to meet demand at Christmas.
A dog welfare charity has claimed nearly 100 puppies were seized in a single week with hundreds more thought to have slipped through border checks.
Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said: “Buying an illegally imported puppy could potentially cost well-meaning but unsuspecting families thousands of pounds in quarantine and vet bills and emotional heartache for the family if the puppy falls ill or worse, dies.”
While many looks at the damage it could cause families, the damage caused to the poor dogs is far worse. The puppies are often transported in poor conditions with lack of space, food and water.
It’s clear though, that we shouldn’t be purchasing dogs at all. Thousands of animals are abandoned every year and are waiting in rescue centres to be adopted.
In fact, 1.5 million animals are needlessly euthanized every year through lack of adoption.
A large majority of the public fails to recognize that by buying a puppy you’re indirectly supporting animal cruelty and practices such as these.
The dog welfare charity explained that it is seeing a “shocking new trend” of smuggling heavily pregnant dogs into the UK to give birth.
Boyden added: “We continue to be astounded at the lengths these deceptive breeders and dealers will go to in order to illegally import puppies to make huge profits with complete disregard for their wellbeing.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are cracking down on animal trafficking with one of the toughest pet border checking regimes in the world.”
“Every pet dog travelling to the UK has both microchips and passports checked to make sure they are properly vaccinated and old enough to travel.”
The biggest step you can take to prevent these practices happening is to adopt, not shop.