Tom Arthur, MSP for Renfrewshire South constituency, met with National Animal Charity Blue Cross this week in the Scottish Parliament to pledge his support to protect the thousands of vulnerable pets across the country being sold online.
Statistics from Blue Cross have shown that in the last year, 589 adverts for cats, dogs or rabbits in Renfrewshire South have been placed on the leading three classified websites.
There are currently no laws around the selling of animals online which is why Blue Cross fears that many vulnerable pets could easily be exploited by sellers who remove kittens and puppies from their mums too early, do not get them vaccinated against deadly diseases and keep them in poor conditions where they do not get used to everyday sights and sounds meaning they are likely to grow into fearful, stressed adults – who may then get discarded and abandoned through no fault of their own.
Research into the online pet marketplace also revealed many new owners were soon looking to rehome their new pet after realising the significant responsibility of pet ownership, nearly a quarter of all animals advertised online were being rehomed.
Speaking after meeting Blue Cross, Tom commented,
“As an owner of two pugs, I am saddened to see this research by Blue Cross, and support the charity’s call for sellers to be part of a system of registration and licencing.
“Before purchasing Calum and Mimi, I made sure that we knew the backgrounds of the dogs and met their mother as well as researching any genetic issues and making sure our home was suitable for them both, and unfortunately I know that not all owners undertake the same actions.
“The scale of pets being sold online is a real cause for concern, and I will do all I can to make sure that sellers are not prioritising profit over animal welfare.”