The amount of concerns raised by the public over illegal sales of dogs has trebled, figures have shown
Complaints about the illegal sale of puppies in Scotland have trebled.
New figures from the Scottish SPCA reveal the charity received 510 reports from the public raising concerns over puppies being sold illegally last year, compared with 186 the year before.
The industry is valued at around £13 million a year and is being driven by high demand for designer breeds.
Mike Flynn, SSPCA chief superintendent, said much of the trade in Scotland is now driven by supply of cheap dogs from Ireland.
He said: “We have a huge amount of people dealing in puppies that have come from puppy farms elsewhere.
“One of the problems is when you look at the amount of dogs required to keep up the dog population in Scotland, there are not enough licensed and Kennel Club-assured breeders to supply that demand. Then you get a craze for French bulldogs or pugs and the home-grown supply is not enough.
“Over the years, we have been urging people not to buy over the internet, but the demand is such that people will do it. There are only a small amount of French bulldog breeders in Scotland, for example, and if you phone them up there will be wait of 24 months. They have already sold the next three litters because they are reputable and you know you are getting a high standard.
“When people get that information, they will go on the internet and think I can get a French bulldog next week. But it’s people buying misery.”