People in Northamptonshire who are thinking of buying a dog are being warned to be wary of illegally imported puppies.
There have been two cases in Northamptonshire of puppies being brought into the UK illegally since October.
The first was a Slovakian puppy that had to be quarantined for 21 days and the second was a dog from Moldova that will now spend four months in quarantine.
By law, pet owners who want to keep their dog will have to pay for any quarantine fees, but in these two cases, both owners have declined and the costs are being funded by the Dogs Trust charity.
Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards is now encouraging people to make sure they know where their new puppy has come from and has had a health check by a vet.
County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage said: “Increasing numbers of puppies are being imported illegally in to the UK from puppy farms across Europe and these two cases in Northamptonshire are cause for concern.
“The main issue around illegally imported puppies is that we can’t guarantee that the dogs are properly vaccinated and rabies-free.
“These puppies are often sold via adverts on the internet and in newspaper small ads. The dogs are accompanied by incomplete, false and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking of buying a puppy to read our advice carefully before adding a pet to your family.”