A new business website has had dog lovers across the UK up in arms, as it is selling ‘pedigree’ puppies without the prospective purchasers having seen the puppies at all.
The website, called Interpups, originally advertised the dogs as ‘products’ and the individual puppies as ‘units’. This has now changed, although the purchasing and viewing terms remain the same, with potential owners not having any chance to view the puppy before they buy it. Obviously this is a business and they will be unlikely to carry out home checks to make sure the homes the puppies are going to are suitable. Interpups is offering a free delivery service for up to sixty miles radius and if a puppy is required to travel further arrangements can be made, according to the website.
Although the site claims that the puppies are bred by carefully selected small family breeders (who breed less than four litters per year), and are inspected by the relevant local authorities, it does have to be asked why these breeders are not advertising the puppies themselves, and they do not have their names and contact details displayed on the website? The site further claims that they do not buy from unlicensed puppy farms, but as we all know, there are puppy farms which are licensed by local authorities.
The grammar and spelling on the original website was not as polished as it now appears, as puppies were described as being ‘wormed and flead’ now it reads that the puppies are wormed with Milbemax and treated with Frontline flea spray. There is health advice on the site, but while some conditions are covered others are strikingly absent. The company does say that the puppies are ‘guaranteed’ for six months however, and offers a 100% refund against the purchase price if the puppy develops any health threatening disease, listing conditions covered as cataracts, portosystemic shunts and cardiac failure from structural defects.
All the puppies for sale are registered with the Dog Lovers Register, as the website points out: ‘All our puppies are registered with the Dog Lover’s Register Club rather than the Kennel Club, since our puppies are sold as pets rather than as show animals. Each pup is given 1 month's free insurance through Petplan.’
The website has the Pet Plan Insurance Logo on it. Kate Mallett at Pet Plan told us: ‘Thank you for bringing it to our attention that someone has been using an unauthorised Petplan advert. Unfortunately, this happens from time to time and, with the web being seemingly endless, it is almost impossible to know when this happens. We have also looked at this particular organisation and have requested that they do not use Petplan cover notes for the animals sold to new owners. Their terms of business do not comply with our Puppy Charter. We wrote to them last week to communicate this and would hope that you will see references removed very quickly.’
The breeds listed on the website as being available are Bassets, Bichon Frisé, Border Collies, Jack Russells, Cocker Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles, Shih Tzus, Westies, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Miniature Schnauzers, Labradors, Boxers, Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, Scotties and Pomeranians. The website offers guidance to buyers about which puppy might be suitable for their lifestyle, but most responsible breeders might consider this does not go far enough.
Complaints by dog lovers have been made to the appropriate licensing body, Stoke-On-Trent council who told Our Dogs: ‘We are aware that this website has caused a lot of concern amongst dog lovers both within the city and beyond. We always monitor closely what condition pets for sale are in and how they are treated. If there is any issue with any breeders or sellers we treat it very seriously and take the appropriate action.’
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