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Buying any puppy from the side of the road ‘is cruel’

The Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch (AWSS) has noticed an increase in illegal puppy trading across Stellenbosch, specifically in and around the campuses.

The illegal sale of puppies is a problem throughout the year, but definitely escalates with the arrival of first year students. The AWSS would like to appeal to the public that buying any puppy from the side of the road is not an act of kindness, it’s perpetuation of the cycle of animal cruelty.

The hot spots for illegal animal trading include Dorp Street, Stellenbosch student campuses, The Neelsie, Welgevonden traffic lights and Stellenbosch town centre. Puppies are sold for as little as R50.

Given the poor condition of many of the younger puppies for sale, it is assumed they are being bred by corrupt backyard breeders. If the public are offered a pedigreed puppy there is every likelihood it is stolen. The latest trend is puppies with docked tails; this act of cruelty is illegal and can result in imprisonment and / or a fine.

Many of the puppies handed in to the AWSS are also far too young to be separated from their mothers and are susceptible to potentially fatal diseases because their immune system is compromised. This also puts the current puppies in our care at risk of contracting diseases.

Some of the sales pitches and techniques are heartbreaking and obscene – some threaten to dump the puppies if one does not buy it. Students are an ideal target as the sellers prey on the student’s vulnerability and lack of knowledge. Please, if you want to acquire a pet, rather adopt one. At the AWSS you will be spoilt for choice and give an animal a second chance at life.

Should you come across individuals selling any puppies or animals, call AWSS’s inspectorate department 021 883 9129 / 021 886 4901 / 071 169 9922 (after hours emergency line) or Law Enforcement 0218088890. Please give a description of the individual, exact location and any other details that could assist us in the investigation.

V Jessica Perrins is the head of fundraising and communications for the AWSS.

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