The dark trade in sick, underage and illegal pets is worth £millions each year


Roy Wilcox, Director at PBP says: “Pet Buying Protection’s service provides a barrier against scammers and unscrupulous breeders. PBP will inform the seller that we will be holding onto the payment until the buyer has collected and checked the pet. Criminals are more likely to pull out of the sale, saving the buyer from financial loss and emotional trauma. Using PBP will prevent sellers from demanding up-front payments.

“Genuine sellers have everything to gain from association with and through positive recommendation.

“Our clients are more likely to buy healthy and legal pets.

“We charge a small fee to act as an intermediary between the buyer and seller.”

“Payment is forwarded to PBP before the buyer collects the pet. After receipt of the animal, the buyer has up to 7 days to check on the animal’s health and authenticity. If all is well, PBP will then forward the payment to the seller. Bad breeders and criminals are in it for financial gain and animal welfare is not considered. Buyers risk losing their payments, incurring heavy vet bills and suffering from emotional trauma.”

“PBP offer buyers greater control; increasing the probability of receiving a healthy and genuine pet that’s disease free and cared for.” Good sellers needn’t worry, the unscrupulous however, are likely to pull out of the sale.”

Around 88% of puppies bred in the UK are born to unlicensed breeders. [1]. Importers can make over £100,000 a year, attracting criminal gangs from Eastern Europe and Ireland. [2] Scammers use fake websites, heart pulling social media posts and ads. They often offer pets for ‘free’ and then demand upfront payment for bogus shipping and vet costs.

Roy Wilcox, Director at PBP says: “Our service aims to reduce the risk of losing out financially and emotionally to unscrupulous sellers. The protection we offer will deter criminals and reward genuine sellers. Lucy’s Law [4] is a start in the protection against puppy farmers, however it won’t protect other animals. The trade is so lucrative that unscrupulous sellers will and are using other clandestine methods.

Defra estimate 40-80,000 puppies and kittens are sold via third parties per year [5]”

For more information, contact Roy or Debbie Wilcox: 033 221 0588 / 07429 708146
[email protected]


Notes to Editors

  • Pet Buying Protection aims to become the ‘safe and secure’ method to purchase a pet; reducing the chance of financial loss and emotional trauma to criminal gangs and scammers.
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 offers limited protection, with most pets sold judged as consumer goods, such as cameras. There are even less consumer rights for private sales. [3]
  • Our fee is 5% of sale price e.g. £500 = £25 fee
  •  Follow us on Twitter @PetBuyProtect or Facebook.com/petbuyingprotection and Instagram @petbuyingprotection
  1. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Licensed Dog Breeding in Great Britain: Battersea Breeding Report 2015
  2. Animal welfare in England – domestic pets, https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/117/11706.htm
  3. Consumer Rights related to pets, https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/pet-becomes-ill-or-dies-after-buying/
  4. Lucy’s Law, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gove-delivers-lucys-law-to-protect-puppies-and-kittens
  5. Defra, https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health-and-welfare/third-party-sales/supporting_documents/ThirdPartybanSummaryCFECondocJuly2018.pdf