AN INTERNATIONAL animal welfare charity is cracking down on the illegal puppy trade by launching a new online platform to ecourage people to report it to local authorities.

The website offers a tool for duped buyers who wish to share their experiences, and visitors to the website will find a checklist, with useful tips on what to consider when buying a dog.

Birgitt Thiesmann, companion animal expert at Four Paws, said: “Our main goal is to reduce the demand for cheap pedigree puppies from dubious sources and to stop the activity of illegal traders.

“For this reason a special offer should never be a factor when buying a dog.

“With the help of concerned dog buyers we wish to gather more research, expose traders and support our demands for changes to the law.

“In special cases we will contact the concerned parties, in order to get more information regarding the case. However because we cannot follow up on every case, we are asking concerned dog owners to collect all the necessary information and hand it in at their local responsible authority.”

Thousands of puppies in the UK are being offered for sale under false pretences through the Internet, in pet shops and in public spaces.

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