Dachshund pup Karen-Jean didn’t have the best start in life, but her fortune changed when she was rescued by Dogs Trust – and then adopted by Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank.
Daniel, who adopted another pup victim of the puppy trade last March, Colin, is now teaming up with Dogs Trust on its Don’t Be Dogfished campaign to stop dog lovers falling victim to deceitful puppy sellers online.
Like many other puppies sold to unsuspecting members of the public in the UK, Karen was born in a puppy farm in Poland and was being smuggled into the UK along with her litter mates. Colin’s story is similar: smuggled from Hungary, he and his five litter mates travelled over 1,000 miles in horrendous conditions before being seized at the border by enforcement authorities and handed into Dogs Trust.
Daniel, known to the public as Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street, said, “Both Karen-Jean and Colin had really tough starts in life. Sadly not every smuggled puppy is as lucky as they are to be rescued and find a happy home. Many suffer life-threatening health conditions, and some don’t survive, leaving people helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.
“It’s so easy to buy a dog online nowadays but not every seller can be trusted. By advising dog lovers on what to watch out for we hope the campaign will help prevent people being dogfished.
“Colin is such a huge part of my life and is being lovely with Karen-Jean, I can’t wait for Karen-Jean to settle in just as well as he did. I’m excited to watch them play together and form a bond, they’ve definitely found their forever home with me.”
Once Lucy’s Law comes into effect in April, buying a puppy directly from the breeder will become mandatory – cutting out the middle men puppy farmers and smugglers hide behind. However, these people will try to scam potential buyers with fake paperwork and sometimes even a fake mother, selling the pups from a home rented for the purpose to make it seem like they come from a loving family environment – so it is important to be vigilant.
The Don’t Be Dogfished campaign is asking potential new owners to take the following steps to avoid being misled when buying a puppy:
- Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once.
- Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.
- If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report it.
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust, said, “It’s fantastic to have Daniel’s support on our campaign warning people ‘Don’t be dogfished’. We want to help stop people being duped into buying puppies that have been illegally imported into the country by devious dealers.
“People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade.
“If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report it.”
Images by Dogs Trust