Borders animal lovers urged not to buy pets online

Credit: ITV Border

A pet rescue centre in the Scottish Borders is warning of the dangers of buying pets online.

In the last two years it's seen a huge increase in the number of animals needing to be re-homed after being bought on the internet.

Those at the centre say there are no guarantees when people buy an animal without the appropriate information:

People don't know whether that animal's been vaccinated. Whether it's been spayed or neutered. They don't understand whether that animal's going to get bigger or smaller and not fit the space they have or be able to provide the exercise that animal needs and there'll be no home checks so there's many factors that we think need to be considered before you take on a pet.

– Peter Chambers, Borders Pet Rescue

These simple guidelines from can help you choose wisely when buying a pet:

  • Buy your animal from a reputable supplier – advice on buying a dog or cat is available from a range of animal organisations, such as Dog Advisory Council, Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA
  • Check the animal’s history by speaking to a previous owner – if you are buying a puppy or kitten, you should ask to see it with its mother and the rest of the litter.
  • View the animal and its documentation before you buy – if it was born outside the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate. The pet passport needs to confirm that it was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age, according to the manufacturer’s data sheet (normally at three months of age). For dogs, the passport should also show that it has been treated for tapeworm.
  • If you have any doubts about an animal speak to your vet before agreeing to buy it.