Charity reveals soaring online pet sales

Gillian Martin MSP following a meeting with the Blue Cross for Pets charity
Gillian Martin MSP following a meeting with the Blue Cross for Pets charity

New figures have revealed more than 5,000 adverts were posted within the last year in the North-East for dogs, cats and rabbits.

The data comes as charity Blue Cross for Pets aims to make would-be pet owners more aware of the possible dangers of buying animals for sale in adverts.

Currently, there are no laws around the selling of animals online leading to a risk that vulnerable pets could easily be exploited by sellers who remove kittens and puppies from their mums too early.

Further concerns have also been highlighted around animals being kept in poor conditions or not being vaccinated against deadly diseases.

A proposal has since been put forward for a Bill to improve animal welfare by enhancing local authority pet shop licensing powers.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin met with representatives from Blue Cross for Pets about their concerns and experience of advertisements for pets across Scotland.

It was revealed that in the North East of Scotland there were a total of 5,750 adverts last year.

The Aberdeenshire East area had the third highest number in the region with 746 adverts.

One advert from the North East showed a litter of six French bulldog puppies being sold for more than £11,000.

Ms Martin said: “Purchasing a pet is always an exciting time and there is an abundance of online advertisers to choose from but it is important when considering getting a pet that you have researched all information about where they’ve come from, how old they are and whether it is time for them to be separated from their parents and whether they’ve had all necessary vaccinations.

“Getting a pet can be a wonderful addition to any family but it’s a long-term decision and thought needs to go into the purchasing process, if that’s the route a potential owner chooses.

“Sellers also have a duty of care to the cats, dogs and rabbits they sell to make sure they are well nourished and looked after both before and after they move to a new forever home.

“Of course, there are many animals needing homes in rehoming centres, and I’d encourage people to look into that before making a decision on purchasing.”