Dogs Trust have launched a new campaign to warn dog lovers in Glasgow about 'dogfishing', the latest puppy smuggling scam to tour the UK.

'Dogfishing', which takes its inspiration from fraudulent internet trend 'Catfishing', where unsuspecting dog lovers in the city are conned into buying puppies illegally imported into the UK.

Those who have fallen prey into dogfishing scams have described how sellers falsified paperwork, offered discounts for a quick sale or lied about the age or bred of the dog.

Glasgow Times:

Nearly half of puppy buyers in Glasgow were not allowed to see the puppy at the sellers home, and 19% said that they were asked to collect their puppy in a carpark or layby.

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Over a fifth said that they had bought their puppy through an online advert, and 18% said they had concerns related to their puppies health or behaviour within weeks of buying them. Some reported sickness and others even had their puppy euthanised due to the extremity of their conditions.

'Don't Be Dogfished' sees Dogs Trust travelling the UK in a 'fake' puppy van, adapted by dirt artist Ruddy Muddy, to highlight how easy it is to be duped by a seller, and the conditions that the dogs are forced to travel in.

Glasgow Times:

Catherine Gillie, Regional Manager at Dogs Trust in Scotland, said:

“Today we’re launching a campaign warning people ‘Don’t be dogfished’ – to help stop people being duped into buying puppies that have been illegally imported into the country by devious dealers.

“People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade. Many of these poor puppies suffer significant health conditions or lifelong behavioural challenges, and sadly some don’t survive, leaving their buyers helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.

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“This is why we are touring the country in a van like those used by puppy smugglers to educate the public on the shocking realities of the puppy smuggling trade and advising them how they can take action to avoid being ‘dogfished’. If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report it.”

The campaign asks potential new owners to make sure that they visit puppies and their mothers at their home more than once before buying; that they enter a puppy contract with solid information about their breed and wellbeing, and that if they have any doubts or pressures to buy, they must walk away and report the seller.