Animal charities have warned folks to not purchase pets from breeders promoting on social media platforms like Fb.
A BBC investigation has revealed puppies and kittens are being marketed by means of the platform, despite the fact that Fb pointers say the animals can’t be offered between non-public people.
Charities say that the animals could also be sick, too younger or it may very well be a rip-off, with no pet on the market in any respect.
The warning comes as demand for pets will increase over lockdown, with the RSPCA calling these sellers “extraordinarily irresponsible”.
“We all know that there are many unscrupulous breeders and sellers on the market who exploit social media and categorised web sites with the intention to promote puppies and kittens with out arousing suspicion,” a RSPCA spokesperson mentioned.
It says folks ought to contemplate adopting from a rescue centre first, or comply with its recommendation on shopping for canine and cats – together with seeing the place the animal was bred.
Fb mentioned it was investigating examples the BBC had shared, and inspired customers to report any posts they noticed.
What pets have been marketed on Fb?
In closed Fb teams, some pedigree breeds had been marketed for over £1,000.
One public put up marketed “long-haired doll-face Persian” kittens as “able to go” and asking patrons to get in contact.
Some kittens and puppies had been additionally provided for “worldwide supply”.
One put up, promoting ragdoll kittens, requested for a £150 deposit (non-refundable) to safe the kitten, and provided to ship “up to date pics till assortment day”.
A Fb spokesman mentioned: “We don’t enable the sale of animals on Fb together with in non-public teams, and after we discover this sort content material we take it down.”
Rip-off reporting service Motion Fraud mentioned con artists had been promoting on-line with footage of pets to purchase, and asking for a deposit despite the fact that that they had none to promote.
It mentioned that some folks had already misplaced some huge cash, in a number of circumstances greater than £280,000 in two months.
This comes as coronavirus lockdown has led to an elevated demand for brand spanking new pets.
In April, The Kennel Membership, one of many UK’s largest canine welfare organisations mentioned searches for puppies on its web site had doubled between February and March because the restrictions had been introduced.
Costs of kittens and puppies offered on-line have risen into the 1000’s.
However charities together with Battersea Canine Residence, Cats Safety and the RSPCA have additionally warned people against people rushing into getting a new pet.
They’re involved that as life returns to regular and folks spend much less time at residence, pets will likely be deserted.
Cats Safety’s head of advocacy, Jacqui Cuff, mentioned its essential to at all times view a younger animal with its mom so you possibly can test what situations it has been raised in.
However mentioned the coronavirus pandemic had supplied “a reputable purpose for not permitting patrons to view the kitten with their mom first”.
She mentioned: “Sadly, we concern there are various underage kittens being offered on Fb by distributors who’re impatient to make a fast revenue.
“These kittens can go on to have critical, life-threatening diseases or be so poorly socialised that they are not appropriate as pets.”