Beware the Unscrupulous Pet Seller at Christmas

Beware the Unscrupulous Pet Seller at Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us, a time of gifts and goodwill for family and friends and rich pickings for the unregistered puppy farmers and dog dealers. Motivated by money they breed dogs on an industrial scale with the only ‘welfare’ concern being the wellbeing of their wallets.

We all receive warnings and advice from our Banks, PSNI, and Trading Standards etc. intended to protect us from internet and telephone scams. The dog dealers and unregulated breeders don’t need to make unsolicited phone calls, a cheap ad on an internet sales site and their victims ring them provoking their own misfortune.

The USPCA strongly supports ‘Responsible Pet Ownership’ it is our view a suitable pet can enrich family life and be a much loved companion to those living alone.

That said we have witnessed at first hand the heartbreak, guilt and desolation of a dead puppy.


The public are not aware of the appalling conditions in which many of these dogs are bred, the exploitation of the over bred bitches, the cramped and disease prone conditions in which puppies are hawked from breeder to dealer, the absence of proper veterinary care and the only guarantee you get is one of ongoing expense and heartache.
Forget about New Year make a Christmas resolution this year.

“I will not fall foul of the unregulated breeders and dog dealers lurking behind the appealing adverts.”.

The USPCA does not encourage the getting of a puppy for Christmas. Experience tells us the festive season is the time for family and friends, not ideal for the quiet introduction of a companion animal into the home.

If you are committed to the idea and are shopping for a pet please follow this common sense advice.

  • Consider homing a pet from the USPCA or a local animal rescue.
  • Always see a puppy with its mother and litter.
  • Don’t buy a pet from a car boot, the back of a van or a market stall.
  • Never ever agree to the suggestion of a ‘helpful’ meeting point.
  • Ask if the person is a registered commercial breeder; if so record the number from the Local Authority Registration document
  • Enquire about the pup’s health status, worming and parasites, inoculations etc. Get verifiable veterinary confirmation.
  • Obtain a proper receipt.
  • Remember, if you are dealing with a legitimate breeder they will have questions for you about your lifestyle in order to satisfy themselves you are a suitable keeper for their pup.


The motivation for all concerned with the running of this remarkable facility is the USPCA’s commitment to the ‘Relief of Animal Suffering’. For 180 years the charity has sought to prevent abuse of animals and treat their pain. After its three years of existence, the hospital is now key to us fulfilling our pledge.

Our new Head of Veterinary Services and Hospital Manager, Dr Alan Bolton brings vast experience gained from running the veterinary care aspect of the largest pet rescue in the southern hemisphere.

The Newry facility has an impressive array of diagnostic technology at hand. Modern ‘X’ ray facilities, in house blood testing and a surgical suite for those in need of veterinary investigation or care combines with a recuperation room for animals on the mend.
Neutering, spaying, health checks and disease prevention is a key part of the hospital services. Grooming and an array of pet products are also available.
Attached to the Animal Hospital is our rehoming centre, accepting animals in need of care and new homes. Visit our website to see the companion animals available currently. The website is updated daily. In addition to the above services, the USPCA also:

  • Provides a rescue service for injured wildlife,
  • Pet food parcels to food banks operated by the Trussell Trust, ensuring those on low incomes can continue to enjoy the companionship of their pet
  • Promotes responsible pet ownership through its outreach education programme to schools and community groups.



The USPCA receives no support from government. Rising demand and increasing costs are an ever present problem for the Charity which relies entirely on the generosity of the public for the delivery of its charitable services.
Please donate Online at or send your donation to USPCA, Unit 5 Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry BT35 6QH

Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC102755