As lockdown lifts, don't accept delivery of a new puppy

Cute puppy

Emergency Covid-19 laws meant that puppies could be delivered to new homes. But with travel restrictions now eased across the UK, the Kennel Club is urging puppy buyers to avoid having their new pet delivered.

The dog welfare organisation has always urged potential new owners to avoid buying a puppy if the seller is offering to deliver it, as this allows rogue traders and puppy farms to hide poor breeding conditions. During the coronavirus pandemic however, while everyone was instructed to ‘stay at home’, temporary guidance allowed breeders to deliver puppies to their new homes.

Now that movement restrictions are no longer in place, the Kennel Club is once again advising new owners to collect their puppy from where it was bred and raised, with its littermates and mum.

Cute puppy in a box

“Following a year of confusing and difficult Covid-19 rules for breeders, rescue organisations and potential new owners – alongside a huge demand for dogs – it’s crucial that the general public is clear on how to responsibly buy a puppy, as restrictions ease,” said Dr Ed Hayes, head of policy and public affairs at the Kennel Club.

While there is nothing wrong with seeing an advert for a puppy online, the Kennel Club’s advice is that you should then:

  • See the puppy’s home environment and the puppy interacting with its mum and littermates. Do this virtually and ideally in-person, in a secure outdoor space or garden.

  • Don’t accept a puppy being delivered to your door – rogue traders can hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

  • Don’t pay a deposit without seeing the puppy or buy from a breeder who is trying to sell the puppy as quickly as possible – this should ring alarm bells.

The normalisation of ‘click and collect’ type purchases during the pandemic is making it easier for sellers to hide behind a screen, Dr Hayes warned.

“There’s been a huge increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, but we need to protect our much-loved four-legged friends and learn to spot and avoid rogue breeders, many of whom are selling online and delivering to homes, hiding horrific conditions and contributing to a puppy welfare crisis,” he concluded.

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