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Reports of puppy selling scams on the increase

A black and tan coloured Border Terrier puppy around 2 weeks old lying on a white fluffy vet bed looking directly at the camera

A concerning increase in puppy selling scams have been reported since lockdown started, as it seems fraudsters are unfortunately taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Here we summarise Southern Border Terrier Club Chairman, Elspeth Jackson's article on the subject.

Southern Border Terrier Club report

Elspeth Jackson, Chairman of The Southern Border Terrier Club, wrote about the subject on their website, sharing the alarming statistic that in April & May 2020 669 people have lost a combined total of £282,686 so far, after putting down deposits for pets they have seen advertised online. The advertisements that victims responded to have been posted on social media, general online selling platforms and also specific pet selling platforms.

Criminals posting the ads ask victims to put down a deposit to secure purchase of animals they never have to sell, using the Coronavirus restrictions as a reason for them not to be seen or picked up.  More funds can be requested to cover insurance, vaccinations and even delivery.

Action Fraud reported a spike in reports of this type of scam, recording 524 in April 2020 - more than three times the amount received in March.

You can read the full Puppy Buyers - Beware Puppy Selling Scams article by Elspeth on the Southern Border Terrier Club website, which includes helpful tips on how to avoid these scams including:

  • check reviews for the selling sites and the sellers
  • Google reverse image search to check the origin of photographs
  • check out breeder credentials, eg with BT breed clubs
  • trust your instincts - if suspicious don't go ahead with the purchase
  • choose your payment method wisely - avoid bank transfer and use a payment method that gives you some protection eg credit card or PayPal

Summary reproduced by kind permission of Elspeth Jackson of The Southern Border Terrier Club.

If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme

When starting to research purchasing a Border Terrier, check out The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme in the UK.   The scheme promotes good breeding practices, giving prospective owners the best opportunity to bring home a healthy, well adjusted puppy.  As a puppy buyer, it offers some kind of benchmark to help you in your search to find a responsible breeder.

The Kennel Club is the only organisation accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to certify dog breeders, under the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme.  This means that puppy buyers can have confidence that Assured Breeders meet and maintain the standards set by the Kennel Club, which are in place to ensure that their puppies have the best chance of leading healthy, happy lives.

The Kennel Club infographic on Top Tips for spotting a rogue breeder

Border Terrier breed clubs

While the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is a good starting point for people working through the process of choosing a puppy, it is not the only route to finding a suitable breeder as the Breed Clubs are also an excellent resource.

You can find a links to The Border Terrier Club and the six regional breed clubs on the About Border Terriers page of our website.  Breed Clubs are a wealth of information on good Border Terrier breeders, as many will be members and/or known to the committee who are all passionate about the breed.

Do your research

Border Terriers may not be the right breed for everyone.  Those who understand them are as passionate about the breed as their Borders are loyal and loving to them.  However, it is best to understand what you are taking on if you are looking to become a first time Border Terrier owner.   We don't want your puppy to become a BTW statistic - we want to see you enjoy many years of a happy relationship with your new Border best friend.

Take a look at our About Border Terriers webpage for a wealth of information and further reading on the breed.  Whether a first time Border owner, or looking to refresh your knowledge as things change over time as new information on their health and wellbeing comes to light, you can never do too much research in our humble opinion.

Breed Health considerations

The Border Terrier Breed Health Group website now includes a page on important considerations when buying a Border Terrier puppy, which is packed with information on health issues specific to the breed.  It is important to note that reputable breeders will be concerned with the long term health of the breed and will ensure that dogs are tested prior to breeding, so asking the right questions is paramount and will help you to weed out the less scrupulous breeders when looking for a puppy.  

You can read more on Health and Health Related Issues When Buying a Border Terrier Puppy on the Breed Health Group webpage, along with a handy download link at the foot of their webpage for your reference, as it contains a useful list of questions to ask your prospective breeder.



 

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