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Petfished: Who’s the person behind the pet?

We are pleased to share DEFRA’s campaign to help educate prospective owners on what to consider before buying a puppy or kitten.

You may have heard of ‘Catfishing’, where a stranger creates a fictional online persona to lure someone into a relationship.  Deceitful pet sellers use a similar tactic to ‘Petfish’ unsuspecting buyers. These unscrupulous sellers pretend that the puppy or kitten they’re selling you comes from a happy home, but in reality the animal may have been bred or kept in poor conditions.

To avoid being Petfished, the public are being urged to spot vital red flags when researching sellers, with the help of the acronym S.P.O.T:


  • Put the seller’s name and phone number into a search engine – avoid those with multiple adverts.


  • Make sure you see puppies and kittens in their home with their mother.

Old enough

  • Check puppies and kittens are at least 8 weeks old before you take them home.


  • Ask to see the animal’s health records and avoid sellers who can’t provide them.

You can read all the details on this DEFRA website: https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/.

Please also remember, you are welcome to ask our team for advice before you commit to purchasing a new pet.




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