Submitted by Steve on 12:28, 13th Oct, 2020 | 0

The GSPCA has been made aware of possible scams of unscrupulous individuals advertising pictures of puppies for sale in attempt to deceive those looking for a new 4 legged friend.

Covid has affected the world in many ways and trying to find a new pet is more difficult now than it has been for many years.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “At the GSPCA we are extremely concerned about reports of people falsely advertising animals online to try and deceive people looking for a new pet out of their money.”

“In particular we have been looking into reports of pictures of puppies advertised on facebook which either may not exist or could be from puppy farms or backgrounds that are not ideal for the animals welfare.”

“Around 400-500 households in Guernsey look for a new dog and about the same look for a new cat every year.”

“With travel so difficult due to Covid many people have gone online to look for their new 4 legged friends and there are scammers out there trying to deceive good people out of money with false adverts online.”

“An excellent place for advice for looking for pets other than here at the GSPCA is the Pet Advertising Advisory Group who work to improve the ways pets are advertised to prevent scammers.”

“To find out more about PAAG visit their website by going to .”

“In Guernsey there are 1000’s of users that follow pages on facebook selling all sorts of goods and sometimes animals, there are also false charities that create pages to try and sell animals that don’t exist so it is extremely important to verify who you are dealing with before you part with any money.”

“Often the best way to find an animal is to be referred by a friend, vet or a great place to look for rescues for dogs and cats is the ADCH website .”

“The Kennel Club also have some great advice if you are looking for a puppy .”

“We have seen first hand when we helped the 25 Slovakian puppies that were being illegally transported to the UK to a dealer, how people can be deceived into buying pups from puppy farms.”

“At the GSPCA we have a 10 point step guide to help those looking for a puppy which you could also apply to looking for other species of pets, but please do remember that we have many animals looking for homes at the GSPCA and adopting a rescue pet is helping an animal in need.”

“To see some of the animals in need of a home at the GSPCA please visit our website .”

Lorna Chadwick GSPCA Animal Welfare Manager said “If anyone has any concerns about animal cruelty, neglect or false advertising please do report it to us by calling 01481 257261, by post or email me on [email protected] .”

“If you're thinking of getting a puppy, it's important to do your homework first.”

“Please do read our 10-step guide.”

1. Carry out your research first. Different dogs have different needs and temperaments depending on, for example, their age, breed, health status, gender, and past experiences. A vet will also be able to give you information and advice on this.

 2. Take into account the average lifespan of the dog you would like to own and the estimated costs of lifetime care (both financially and in terms of your own time) before buying. Consider asking a pet insurance company how much it will cost to insure the type of dog you are considering taking on.

3. Make sure that the dog you choose is suitable for you, your home and your lifestyle. A vet will also be able to give you information and advice on the health problems that certain breeds are prone to; you can also get advice from the organisations associated with this document.

4. Bear in mind your responsibilities under the Control of Dogs Ordinance 1992, which states that pet owners MUST have a license and all dogs over six months of age must have an identity tag on their collar. It also states that you may be liable for prosecution if you do not clear up after your dog when it has fouled in a public place.

5. For pedigree puppies, ensure that any recognised registration papers and the parents’ hereditary disease screening certificates, where appropriate, are in order and available at the time you buy the puppy. Find out more about getting a pedigree dog from The Kennel Club

6. Avoid buying animals with exaggerated physical features that are likely to affect their quality of life, and don’t base your decision on appearance alone. You should prioritise health, welfare and temperament over appearance when choosing a dog.

7. We know it is extremely difficult at possible with Covid-19 but we do encourage you always see your puppy with its real mother in the environment where it was raised, and ask to see its brothers and sisters, if they are still there. Make sure that you know who the father is and that you get an opportunity to contact its owner. Ensure that the parent(s) and the puppies are happy and healthy and that the environment is suitable to meet all the puppy’s welfare needs.

8. Ask to see the puppy’s health records and ensure that these are available by the time you buy the puppy (this includes any records of vaccination, worming and flea treatment as well as other veterinary treatment). Also check that the puppy’s parents have taken appropriate health screening tests relevant to the breed and ask if the puppy or its parents have received any veterinary attention relating to an inherited problem. These should be available for you, or your vet, to take a look at.

9. Make sure your puppy stays with its mother until a suitable age. This may vary, but normally would be until at least 8 weeks of age.

10. It is important to ensure that your puppy is well socialised and has had appropriate good experiences. Ideally, your puppy should also have had good experiences with people, some other types of animals and in the places and situations it is likely to encounter as an adult, including a normal home environment. But be aware that not all socialisation with other puppies is positive. Try not to put your puppy in situations where it can become afraid.

Lorna continues “This guidance was put together in association with other animal welfare groups, Defra and the British Veterinary Association to help prospective owners choose the right puppy for them.”

“The GSPCA offers positive reinforcement behaviour and training classes for puppies. Please contact the Shelter on 257261 or email [email protected] for more information.”

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in line with their advice or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and we continue visits to the Shelter for only essential reasons and to please call us on 01481 257261 or email [email protected] before your trip to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit

The GSPCA continues with all essential services and we plane to phase other services back into operation and to find out more please visit -

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

For volunteering information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261



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