Richmondshire District Council

Puppy scam alert

Richmondshire residents thinking of buying a puppy are being urged to do their research before buying their ‘covid companion’.

District Council officers have been alerted to potential illegal sales, online scams and rogue breeders. Instances of scams and rip-off merchants illegally selling puppies have rocketed during the pandemic as people make a quick decision to get a new dog – and miss the key warning signs.

They say it is vital that anyone looking to buy a puppy does their homework first including:

“Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic the sales of puppies has risen dramatically. And with that so have the opportunities for people to be ripped off,” said Environmental health Team leader, Kevin Carr.

“Lockdown restrictions are often used as a reason for new owners not to see the animal first – and not to collect it. Scammers are asking for deposits, money for vaccinations and insurance, and delivery of the dog……it may never appear or not be the dog they are expecting. Many puppies are being mis-sold with false information on the breeding background.

“We urge people to make sure they know what they are buying. Check the licences with us, and think carefully about what questions they need to ask. We must crackdown on this practice.”

To check breeder licences, or alert the district council on potential mis-selling of puppies, call 01748 829100. For more information on how to spot a rogue breeder visit the Kennel Club's website.