Pet owner’s warning

Aaron is pictured with pup Alfie.
Aaron is pictured with pup Alfie.

If a dog is on your Christmas list this year, make sure you buy it from a reputable dealer, that is the warning from the council’s Trading Standards team.

It comes after a North Lanarkshire man had to have a new pet quarantined against the risk of rabies.

Aaron Graham bought a dalmatian puppy on the website Gumtree for £450. The seller brought the dog to his home as she wanted to “check the animal was going to a good home”.

However, when Aaron took the pup, Alfie, to the vet, he discovered it had a foreign microchip inserted. This, along with the fact he had no paperwork for the dog, meant the vet couldn’t be sure it had been inoculated against rabies and other diseases.

By law, any dog brought into the UK must have received a rabies injection more than three weeks before arrival, must have a pet passport and be micro-chipped. As a result, Alfie had to be transported to a quarantine centre in Derby where he stayed for five weeks. This can cost up to £1,800 and if an owner is unable to pay the fee, the dog would have to be put down.

Councillor Helen McKenna said: “When Aaron’s vet discovered the problem with the pup, she contacted our Trading Standards Officers to notify them. The UK has been free of rabies for over 90 years and we want to maintain that, so we had to act immediately to quarantine the dog to protect the public.”

Alfie is now in good health and loving his new life with Aaron, who said: “The woman who sold me Alfie came over to my house and spent a long time with me, talking about her own dogs so it wasn’t just a case of here’s the dog, here’s the money, I was shocked when I found out Alfie’s background. So I wanted to let other people know of the risks of buying a dog without having the paperwork to prove where the dog comes from and that it has all the necessary vaccinations to keep it and the public safe.”

The council offers a micro chipping service for £8 and for more 01698 403110.