Four puppies believed to have been illegally imported into Peterborough have been rescued by officers and are now set to be re-homed.
The French Bulldog puppies were found at a home in Westwood by officers from Peterborough Trading Standards on July 17 after they obtained a warrant to search the property.
Officers found that paperwork details for the dogs did not comply with government regulations and investigations into the individuals believed to have been involved are now under way.
The puppies have been checked by a vet and received the necessary treatment to ensure they are in good health. They are now set to be re-homed by the Dogs Trust.
Peter Gell, head of regulatory services at Peterborough City Council, said: “The practice of illegally importing animals not only increases the risk of spreading disease to the UK, but it also raises serious welfare concerns for the animals, and in many instances results in additional (quarantine) costs for the unsuspecting purchaser.
“Whenever we obtain evidence suggesting animals have been illegally imported we will look to investigate and prosecute where necessary. We would urge people to be vigilant when buying or re-homing a dog.”
Anyone thinking of buying or re-homing a dog should carefully consider the following basic steps:
. Be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates. View the puppy where it was bred
. Get as much information about where the puppy has come from and be especially aware if the seller is from outside the UK - check that the passport or information contained within it is not fraudulent
. If the dog has been vaccinated ask to see all the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out. Be suspicious if the address of the veterinary practice is outside the UK
. If the seller informs you that the puppy has been brought in from another country it should have a pet passport and should be a minimum of 15 weeks of age
. Never agree to have the dog delivered to your home address or to meet the seller at an undisclosed location to collect the animal
. Never agree to pay money in advance for an imported animal
. Be wary of individuals/groups offering to import rescue animals to re-home
. Be wary of social media requests that wish to generate funds for an urgent operation on an animal - it may be a scam.
It is always good practice to source a rescue dog from a credible animal charity such as The Dogs Trust or Wood Green.