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Author James Bowen falls victim to online puppy scam

4th February 2021
Posted by Aston Avery

The coronavirus crisis and subsequent national lockdowns are driving unprecedented demand for new pets. According to national animal charity, Blue Cross, just over a third of us (34%) are intending to welcome a furry friend home this year.

But this overwhelming surge in demand for pets is fuelling devasting problems: inflated prices have turned dogs into commodities, unscrupulous breeders are charging eye-wateringly large amounts of money and dog theft has been cited as an increasing thefts as numbers rise.

On top of this, pet scam adverts soared last year. In March and April alone 669 people lost a combined £282,686 after putting down deposits for fictitious pets that were advertised for sale online. Blue Cross themselves were inadvertently linked to scam adverts on Facebook after prospective buyers contacted the Centres in Cambridge and Manchester letting them know they were told to pick up their new puppy at the location.

Aston spoke to author James Bowen to share his own experience of being scammed and Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at Blue Cross to raise vital awareness of this ongoing exploitation and give tips to help safeguard against future pet scams and to discuss the grave welfare impact this is having on the pets being bred and sold as unscrupulous breeders show no concern for their health.

Photo by Berkay Gumustekin on Unsplash