Puppies are not Christmas presents

VIER PFOTEN – Stiftung für Tierschutz

A document

“Cute. Now. Sick.

During the holiday season, FOUR PAWS advises against buying a dog as a gift.

Zurich, December 19, 2022 — The holiday season is an opportunity to buy lots of gifts, including pets. The world animal protection organization FOUR PAWS points out the dangers of the illegal dog trade and advises consumers against buying a dog as a gift because it involves too many risks. The person receiving the puppy may not have the lifestyle to take care of a pet and such a choice should always be a personal and individual decision. Buying a puppy at a low price, especially over the internet, without researching and without considering the animal’s needs, can have serious consequences, such as bringing home a sick animal from the illegal puppy trade.

Every year thousands of puppies are raised on puppy farms in Eastern Europe and then exported to Western Europe. Dog traders sell them online, especially during the Christmas period. They pretend to be breeders, rent apartments for fun, and even introduce fake mothers. They often offer to hand over the calf so they don’t have to show the mother and the environment in which they are raised.

Puppy farm animals often become ill and their treatment results in unexpectedly high veterinary costs for new owners. Zoonotic diseases such as rabies, worms or parasites can also be transmitted to humans and other pets. Doing thorough research, asking the right questions, and getting the right documentation can help you avoid the risks inherent in the illegal puppy trade.

“The decision to acquire a puppy should never be taken on a whim, especially during the end of year festivities. Puppies are sentient beings, have complex needs and are not gifts to be thrown away when they are no longer needed or appreciated,” says Karin Hawelka, Campaigns Director at QUATRE LEGS Switzerland.

Victims of the illegal dog trade share their experience

Britain’s Richard A. thought he had found the perfect new member of his family when he discovered a twelve-week-old Labrador retriever puppy on one of the UK’s leading classifieds sites. Richard then contacted the seller. He asked him to bring money so he could walk the dog that day, which he did. But just three hours after arriving at his new home, puppy Reggie became seriously ill and had to be put down due to a parvovirus infection. Richard and his heartbroken family were shocked to learn that Reggie’s papers had been tampered with and he was raised on a puppy farm in appalling conditions.

Laura K. from Germany and her family decided to welcome a new puppy after the passing of their beloved dog. Laura’s mom quickly found some puppies for sale online and made an appointment with the seller. Laura chose one of the puppies and named him Chico. When Laura brought Chico home, she discovered that he was very sick. Sadly, Chico had to be put down to end his suffering, even though he never spent a day in Laura’s loving home.

Richard and Laura are among those sharing their harrowing experience in bringing attention to the risks of buying a puppy online without doing the proper research first.

QUATRO PATAS launched “Cute. Now. Sick.” in April 2022 to raise awareness of the risks of buying puppies online and help you make the right choice.

For more information about the campaign, click here.

VeriPet for better traceability of dogs sold online

VeriPet is an innovative technical solution to combat the illegal dog trade. Thanks to this system, it is possible to trace the origin of dogs sold online. This ensures that only registered dogs can be offered online by traceable merchants. The implementation of VeriPet is a pilot project launched by Europetnet in May 2022, in collaboration with FOUR PAWS, the online platform anibis and the national database for dogs Amicus. VeriPet is making a significant contribution to reducing the illegal pet trade and the resulting animal suffering.

QUATRE PATTES est l’organisation mondiale de protection des animaux sous influence humaine directe, qui révèle leurs souffrances, sauve les animaux en détresse et les protège. Fondée en 1988 à Vienne par Heli Dungler et des amis, l'organisation plaide pour un monde où les humaines traitent les animaux avec respect, compassion et compréhension. Les campagnes et projets durables se concentrent sur les chiens et chats errants ainsi que sur les animaux de compagnie, les animaux de rente et les animaux sauvages – tels que les ours, les grands félins et les orangs-outans – vivant dans de mauvaises conditions de détention ainsi que dans les zones de catastrophe et de conflit. Avec des bureaux en Afrique du Sud, Allemagne, Australie, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, France, Kosovo, Pays-Bas, Royaume-Uni, Suisse, Thaïlande, Ukraine, USA et Vietnam ainsi que des refuges pour animaux en détresse dans onze pays, QUATRE PATTES fournit une aide rapide et des solutions durables. QUATRE PATTES est en outre un partenaire d'Arosa Terre des Ours, le premier refuge en Suisse qui offre aux ours sauvés de mauvaises conditions de détention un environnement adapté à l’espèce.



A selection of photos is available here.

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L'utilisation des photos et des vidéos est gratuite. Elles ne peuvent être utilisées que pour les rapports portant sur ce communiqué de presse. Pour ce rapport uniquement, une licence simple (non exclusive, non transférable) et incessible est accordée. Une réutilisation future des photos et des vidéos n'est autorisée qu'avec l'accord écrit préalable de QUATRE PATTES.

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