Orchard Vet's Blog

Don't be petfished!


The government has launched a new campaign to try to end the trade in puppies and kittens by disreputable sellers.

You may have heard of ‘catfishing’, where someone creates a fake online profile to trick someone else into a relationship.

Now the government are targetting deceitful pet sellers using similar tactics to ‘petfish’ unsuspecting buyers into thinking that a puppy or kitten comes from a happy home. In reality, the animal may have been bred or kept in poor conditions.

The campaign is a precursor to the introduction of Lucy's Law, which will ban commercial third-party kitten and puppy sales, in April. It has been welcomed by the Dog's Trust which has run a similar 'Don't be Dogfished' campaign on social media.

Sadly, when you’re looking for a new cat or dog, you’re likely to come across deceitful sellers who mistreat animals to line their pockets. These pets are likely to have severe health problems and won’t have been socialised with other animals or people, leading to life-long behavioural issues.

It’s important to do your research so you know your new pet has come from a responsible seller. You can report anyone you're concerned about to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline, 0300 1234 999. §