Kennel Club is calling for potential dog owners to exercise their “vigilance” in the wake of lockdown restrictions easing.
The pet organisation is calling on the public to avoid buying a puppy from sellers, who are “exploiting” the pandemic confusion and offering to deliver it, as this allows rogue traders and puppy farms to hide “horrific breeding conditions”.
Over the past year, the government has passed Lucy’s Law which bans third-party puppy sales from the likes of pet shops.
Dr Ed Hayes, head of policy and public affairs at The Kennel Club, said: “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.
“If you’re buying a puppy which you’ve found online, travel restrictions across Great Britain now allow you to follow usual responsible puppy buying advice: Do not agree to have your puppy delivered to you or meet half-way.”
He added: “Ask for more than one virtual viewing to see where puppies have been brought up and the litter interacting with mum. Following relevant Covid guidelines, meet the breeder, puppies and mum outdoors ahead of purchase.”