How to avoid paying a fortune to organised crime for a puppy – Helen Martin

Puppies can command high prices from dealers (Picture:  David Jones/PA Wire)Puppies can command high prices from dealers (Picture:  David Jones/PA Wire)
Puppies can command high prices from dealers (Picture: David Jones/PA Wire)
Hundreds of thousands of dogs are being looked after by rehoming charities, so why pay hundreds of pounds for one, asks Helen Martin.

ONE business has boomed during lockdown, and that’s the sale of puppies – something that, as a dog lover, I don’t understand.

Each year at least hundreds of thousands of dogs turn up in rehoming charities. If anyone wants a dog, that’s where to find one.

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So, I wasn’t happy when two of our related families bought puppies, but I couldn’t moan or object (and the puppies were lovely and now have nice homes). Yet the national Kennel Club revealed that while they normally received two enquiries a month, this April they had four or five a day from lockdown families wanting a dog to walk and to ease their boredom. And breeders reported their waiting list of customers rose from 100 to 400.

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The Dogs Trust have had people wanting to return dogs because their lockdown is over and they’re going back to work. But when it comes to puppies the Trust is concerned about farming and smuggling because buyers couldn’t be supplied by registered breeders.

Criminal gangs were involved getting pregnant dogs imported to the UK to sell the pups, and a vast number were brought in commercial transport from Romania.

One guy admitted he’s paid £1000 for a puppy but was charged an extra £800 because of short supply!

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We have a greyhound because the Greyhound Trust is nearby. If I went to the Dog and Cat Home, I’d probably take the first one I met if he or she wanted to come.

Personally, I cannot understand why anyone wants a special breed and colour of a dog, let alone a puppy when there are dogs of every age, type and shade longing for a life out of kennels.

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