The service, called UK Pet Chip Registry, claims that for a charge of £15, it will add the pet’s microchip details to the “so-called” National Pet Microchip Registration Database.
The institute revealed that failure to register a pet on an “authorised database” carries a fine of up to £500.
In November, the Dogs Trust reported large rises in demand for puppies, and Google search results for “buy a puppy” increased by 115% since the beginning of lockdown.
Steph Young, lead officer for animal welfare, CTSI, said: “It is vital that when purchasing a puppy, members of the public must register the chip on one of the 15 databases verified by the UK Government. If they do not, they risk a fine of up to £500.
“The database quoted by UK Pet Chip Registry does not conform to UK Government standards, and signing up to it alone puts the user at risk of a fine and the needless cost of the money used to pay for it. The public should always follow government guidance, not paid-for adverts on search engines.”
The institute said that the public and businesses are “encouraged” to join Friends Against Scams and Businesses Against Scams. These initiatives aim to protect and prevent people and businesses from becoming scam victims.
Katherine Hart, a fellow lead officer at CTSI, added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a great deal of opportunism and in many cases outright scams. Many people suffer from loneliness during the lockdown, and purchasing a furry companion is an increasingly popular option.
“We are all so much more vulnerable now. The public must be increasingly vigilant, sceptical and above all, check the law and UK Government advice when making these decisions. Ignorance of the law excuses no one – make sure you register your pet on a verified database.”