Buying a Dog, Cat & Co.: How to Recognize Illegal Offers on the Internet

pet trade

Buying a pet: How to identify illegal offers on the Internet

Five household dangers for pets

Five household dangers for pets

No slashes or chocolate windows in the house: If you want to be sure that your pets live safely in the house, you should consider these sources of danger.

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Criminal dealings in purebred puppies and kittens have flourished since the beginning of the epidemic. What buyers need to know about risks.

Berlin. You can buy everything online – including dogs and cats. A lot of people are asking there Poultry Like a jacket or a washing machine. The problem with this: some unscrupulous traders are doing the trade illegally – much to the chagrin of the animals and to the detriment of their new owners.

Mostly it is puppy dogsthat are displayed in violation of the law. Two recent police reports: In a ‘true hell for dogs’, Berlin police have discovered more than 30 neglected puppies from the illegal pet trade, many of them crammed into crates full of urine and dirt. On the border with the Czech Republic, Bavarian police stopped a car with 72 small dogs worth more than 100,000 euros, who were in poor health and some had to be given pushes.

Buying a pet: illegal offers thrive on the Internet

These are not isolated cases. According to the German Animal Welfare Association, Criminal animal trafficking Since the start of the Corona pandemic. In 2021 alone, the association became aware of 1,938 cases of dogs being sold illegally — nearly double the number in 2020 and five times the number in 2019. “The number of unreported cases is likely to be several times higher,” according to the Animal Protection Association. , which also has an active illegal trade in dogs pedigree kitten Note.

Dogs usually come from abroad, for example from Bulgaria, Poland or Romania. “Most of the time, they are not dewormed and they are not given the vital vaccines,” says Leah Schmitz of the German Animal Welfare Association. In addition, the socialization that is important for dogs does not occur. They are usually separated from their mothers very early. Result: huge behavioral problems From animals, sometimes to adulthood,” Schmitz explains.

What happens to the animals?

If the police confiscate a larger shipment, the dogs end up in animal shelter, which can hardly take care of many vulnerable puppies at once. If the buyer accepts the order, he will encounter difficulties. The Humane Society warns that “the whole thing requires the costs of treating a sick animal quickly, which can become an enormous financial burden.”

Suffering also affects parents. “Many spend their short lives in small kennels and cages without seeing sunlight or communicating with other dogs,” according to an animal rights organization PETA report. The association criticizes that the sole purpose of parent animals on breeding farms is to “produce” as many puppies as possible. Read also: Corona pet boom: How to properly secure dogs

How can I identify illegal offers?

Unlike before, they fall down Ads No longer necessarily through broken or low German prices. According to the Four Paws animal welfare organization, criminal dealers of breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas or French Bulldogs demand the same amount of money as responsible breeders.

But buyers should be suspicious at the latest Delivery from animal. For flimsy reasons — like corona or house renovations — it doesn’t happen at the breeder’s home, “but in a public place, on the street, or in a parking lot out of the trunk,” Schmitz explains. Also interesting: Animal rights activists warn: This is how the crisis threatens our pets

This is also a notable feature animal age. Illegal dealers usually sell the puppies at a very young age, according to the Four Paws Foundation, often at four to six weeks of age – if they look especially cute in online photos. According to PETA, kittens are often “kidnapped away from their mothers shortly after birth”.

Buying purebred puppies and kittens: what does the law say?

According to the law, it is Online animal trade It is not forbidden. However, puppies coming from abroad must be at least 15 weeks old. Because animals can only get the rabies vaccination required for import at twelve weeks of age. And it takes three weeks for it to work.

Also, the animal must be labeled with a foil and contain European pet passport She has an official health certificate. Accompanying documents must be handed over to buyers, advises the “Stop Illegal Puppy Trade” initiative by the federal government and veterinarian associations. If the animal is coming from Germany, the regulations are less stringent. Young animals may not be separated from their mother until after eight weeks. Commercial service providers also need formal approval.

What should buyers pay attention to?

The “Stop Illegal Puppy Trade” initiative talks about a warning sign when entering dogs Online Ads Not adequately described, the same supplier owns several strains and must be delivered to your home or meeting point. Interested parties should insist on getting to know the mother animal during the on-site visit. Read also: New Dog Law: This is How Long You Should Walk

The Animal Welfare Association recommends placing animals primarily in animal shelters or in a shelter rather than online Reputable breeder to buy. You can find a good breeder, for example, through recommendations from other pet owners, your vet or your local animal welfare association.

The German Kennel Club (VDH) also advises against purchasing online. So that customers and breeders can evaluate which animal will best suit the future owner, the association recommends checking the puppy several times before buying animal mother to visit.

Written notes are maintained by the European Consumer Center (EVZ) purchase contract indispensable. According to EVZ, anyone who believes they have become a victim of the illegal animal trade should contact the police.

Report illegal trade to the online market

In July 2022, Four Paws counted nearly 22,600 concurrent animal ads on online classifieds platforms Ebay, Quoka and Deine Fauna — nearly 50 percent more than in January. With such a large supply, the portals are not in a position, according to the foundation, to identify and exclude questionable merchants before announcing. Also interesting: Against pet hair: The electric mop robot has been tested

However, suspicious ads can be reported to the platforms. That’s how he knows ebay He noted that advertisements for “obvious” animals are usually banned or immediately deleted within 30 minutes. Four Paws also operates its own reporting portal where those affected and observers can describe criminal activities.

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