The Story of the Dog and Trading Standards

So, I haven’t posted in a while. And there’s been a very good reason for this. For people who don’t like reading long posts, tough shit. It’s a long post or nothing. The reason I haven’t posted this until now is that we didn’t want Katie’s brothers to find out while they were on holiday, which would have ruined it for them a fair bit.

So, on with what happened:

Me and Katie decided that we wanted to get a dog, so Katie and her mum jumped onto Google and looked for a dog. A certain type of dog that we wanted. We wanted a Miniature Dachshund.

We found one that we quite liked, but unfortunately when we contacted the breeder, she’d already been sold. So it was back to Google and on Tuesday the 23rd of October they found a website called “Pets 4 Homes” with a listing for 2 male and 2 female miniature Dachshund in Swindon. We contacted the seller by phone asking if the puppies were still available, we were told they were.

The next day (Wednesday) Katie and one of her younger brothers went to Swindon to look at the puppies (unfortunately I was at work). Katie met the breeder (who isn’t English) at the door, who was holding a miniature Dachshund, who she said was the mother of the puppies. The breeder told Katie that someone had been that morning to pick up a puppy and once they had left the mother of the puppies had spent over 2 hours looking for the pup, then crying once she had finally realised it had gone. The breeder said she would put the mother into another room to try to stop it from happening. Katie asked the breeder about vaccinations and the breeder told Katie that the puppies had been vaccinated and microchipped by her father who was a vet and had done it cheaply for her. She also said the puppies had been wormed and so wouldn’t need doing for a month.

Katie handed over the requested £550 for the puppy that we had chosen and asked for a receipt so that we could prove that we had bought the dog and not just picked it up from the street. The breeder handed over a yellow coloured vaccination book that had a few foreign languages on it. As the vaccinations were done by her father, it was assumed that the book was okay. Katie and her brother then took our puppy (who we named Lilly) to our house.

All was fine for a week. Lilly was healthy, she was happily eating & drinking, she seemed to love anyone she met, she loved to chew her toys (and our fingers, chin, nose and ears) as well as the newspaper we put down and anything else made of paper. Christ she loves paper. Then she saw her reflection and hilariously barked at it and ran away from it, which had me in fits of giggles. She didn’t like being left on her own (she would quietly whimper), but that’s a trend of Dachshund dogs and it was only generally at night that we left her on her own.

So, just under a week later (Tuesday the 29th of October) we took her to a vets to get her checked over and to find out how to get her second vaccinations sorted, as well as the details linked to her microchip changed to our details & to get her signed up to a puppy club. However, this is when the problems started.

The vet examined Lilly and although he declared that she was in superb health, he noted that the vaccinations and microchip were from the Czech Republic. We explained what the breeder had told us regarding her dad doing the vaccinations and microchip and he mentioned that Lilly might have been illegally imported into the country, that due to this the laws regarding importation of animals and vaccinations (rabies being the big one) that he had a legal duty to inform trading standards so they could look into it. He said he would call us the next day.

The vet called the next day and said that Trading Standards would be in contact with us. Trading Standards called later on they were looking into it, but then called later saying they needed to speak to us. They came to our house and explained that Trading Standards in Swindon had visited the breeder and found that there was no paperwork for ANY of the puppies and that it looked like they had all been illegally imported into the country. They were investigating further and were going to being the breeder in for questioning. Weirdly, the dog that the breeder told Katie was the mother wasn’t there when Trading Standards turned up at her property, insisting that it was never there when Katie went to pick up Lilly as it had gone back to the Czech Republic!

Trading Standards, due to the possibility that Lilly had been illegally imported into the country and that there was a real risk of a rabies infection or outbreak, could only give us two options:

  1. Have Lilly taken to a Government approved Kennel with Quarantine facilities or,
  2. Have Lilly put down.

Now there was no was in hell we were gonna have her put down, we’d only had her a week but we’d quickly bonded with her, she’s well cute and lovely and funny and awesome, so we asked about the Kennels.

This was when they dropped the bombshell. They wouldn’t offer any financial help regarding the kennels, that we would have to foot the complete bill, that they would most likely require a substantial deposit and wouldn’t help with us trying to sue the breeder as it would be a civil case. After finding out the nearest (Government approved) kennels were in Bristol (43.5 miles away, over an hour’s drive) we then found out they would want a deposit of £350 and that the final total cost could be as much as £900! (I should explain that the ruling that animals, once sent to quarantine, have to be there for at least 6 months has been relaxed, and now the animal only has to stay in quarantine until it is deemed legal)

Trading Standards had to stay until the person from the kennels turned up to pick Lilly up, so there was an uncomfortable hour and a half of waiting for them to turn up while me and Katie sobbed and tried to ask them as many questions as we could before they arrived. Once they left, I cried and spent the rest of the night just feeling numb and empty.

A week later we went to visit Lilly at the Kennels and spent an hour with her, she’d already had her first vaccinations and her rabies shot, which was good news. We asked about the total cost and were told it would be sent in the post in the next few days. This is the breakdown of the cost of the kennels:

  • Accommodation 4 weeks (minimum charge): £450
  • Collection from our house: £100
  • Veterinary Quarantine Entry Check: £85
  • Issue of Pet Passport: £25
  • Rabies Vaccination: £35
  • Veterinary Fees – Full Booster Given: £50
  • Sub Total: £745
  • Deposit Paid: -£350
  • Amount left to pay: £395

We were also informed that she would be having her second Vaccination on the 26th of October and that, as long as we paid the remaining balance in full, we would be able to pick her up on that day and she would be fully legal with a passport enabling her to go anywhere in Europe with no problems. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that day and being able to drive up to the kennels to bring her home.

Trading Standards have taken a statement from Katie regarding what happened and have taken copies of everything we had as they are trying to screw the breeder for illegally importing the puppies into the country and not following import and vaccination rules, so we are hoping we can piggy-back on to the back of it and try to sue the breeder for the kennel costs we have had to pay. Also apparently the police in the Czech Republic are chasing her, we’re assuming for the same thing! Any updates regarding that will be posted on here and most likely on Facebook and Twitter so keep an eye either on there or on here for any updates with Lilly.

Pictures of her will be posted to a public Facebook photo album on my account later and this post will be edited with a link to it some time on Wednesday.

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2 Responses to The Story of the Dog and Trading Standards

  1. chloelhxx says:

    Hi, I am currently going through the EXACT same scenario, we haven’t heard back from trading standards yet, but I was just wondering what happened to the person who sold you the dog? and did you end up suing her for the costs?
    Any sort of info will really help! Thank you, Chloe.

    • ssmmdd says:

      Hi Chloe,

      She got arrested and was in the middle of being questioned and dealt with by the police and trading standards when me and the ex split up, so I’m afraid I don’t have any more information about what happened.

      If you want more information, you could try @pixelpops on Twitter.

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