Two addresses in West Sussex are under investigation after defrauding consumers of hundreds of pounds and harming puppies.
West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team obtained warrants to further investigate the sale of puppies in Felpham, Bognor Regis, and in Merston, Chichester, following complaints by members of the public.
Allegations against the false traders include not declaring they are breeders, false description of the puppies and a number of welfare issues.
The puppies have been falsely described with their breed, age and that they were wormed and deflead.
One victim who complained to Trading Standards had to have their puppy put down due to Parvovirus, a highly contagious viral disease which causes severe vomiting, lethargy and dehydration.
Sussex Police and the RSPCA supported the warrants, with paperwork seized and the removal of some puppies on welfare grounds.
David Barling, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “The deplorable actions of these rogue traders have not only tricked buyers but have seriously neglected the welfare of harmless puppies.
“Our Trading Standards team continue to work hard to protect consumers from being misled out of their hard earned money. Their work defends both consumer rights and the safety of man’s best friend.”
Investigations are ongoing into the breeders.
To report suspicions of illegal breeding contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or report details online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/TSreport.