CORONATION Street star Daniel Brocklebank has added another dog adopted from a Denton charity to his growing clan.Now the star – perhaps better known as character Billy Mayhew in the soap – is campaigning to stop the practice of ‘dogfishing.’
Daniel has joined the campaign from Dogs Trust Manchester after recently adopting four-month-old Dachshund Karen-Jean, who was being illegally smuggled into the UK from Poland with her littermates.
She is the second such animal he has picked up after it was brought to the country in similar circumstances.
Colin was one of a litter of six puppies that were smuggled illegally into the UK from Hungary, travelling more than 1,000 miles in horrendous conditions before being seized at the border by enforcement authorities and handed into Dogs Trust, whose centre in based on Parkway in Denton.
Daniel brought him into his home last March. Now the actor has backed the Dog Trust’s campaign to stop ‘dogfishing’ – conning unsuspecting dog lovers into buying puppies illegally imported into the UK, leaving them heartbroken and almost £500 on average out of pocket.
He said: “Both Karen-Jean and Colin had really tough starts in life.
“Sadly not every smuggled puppy is as lucky as they are to be rescued and find a happy home.
Many suffer life-threatening health conditions and some don’t survive, leaving people helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.
“It’s so easy to buy a dog online nowadays but not every seller can be trusted. By advising dog lovers on what to watch out for we hope the campaign will help prevent people being dogfished.
“Colin is such a huge part of my life and is being lovely with Karen-Jean, I can’t wait for Karen-Jean to settle in just as well as he did.
“I’m excited to watch them play together and form a bond, they’ve definitely found their forever home with me.”
The Don’t Be Dogfished campaign is asking potential new owners to take the following steps to avoid being misled when buying a puppy:
• Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once.
• Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.
• If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report it.
A poll of more than 2,000 puppy owners uncovered startling statistics on the practices of ‘dogfishing.’
One in eight puppy buyers suspect they were lied to by the seller of their puppy, rising to more than a fifth (21 per cent) among those who bought via online adverts.
More than half (55 per cent) of puppy buyers think puppy smuggling is a big issue here in the UK
More than half (51 per cent) of puppy buyers were not allowed to see the puppy more than once while more than two fifths (43 per cent) were not allowed to see the puppy with their mum – two signs that all might not be what it seems.
A worrying number of of buyers who were not allowed to see the puppy at the seller’s home, of whom some 19 per cent also revealed they were asked to collect their puppy in a car park or layby – something that no breeder with care for the welfare of the puppies would do.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) said they had concerns, related to health or behaviour, about their puppy within just a few weeks of buying them.
The same number said they would not know they need to speak to their local Trading Standards if they suspected their puppy was smuggled
Worse still some reported terrible conditions where their puppies were “locked in a small cage away from mum”, were so sick they “very nearly died”, or were “scared of their own shadow and very wary of humans”.
Overall, one in six puppy buyers polled said within their first year their puppy had developed significant health or behaviour problems, such as diarrhoea and anxiety, causing terrible suffering for their beloved pet whilst costing them on average almost £500 in additional vet bills.
Some of those people even said their puppy had either died or had to be put to sleep because of the severity of their condition.
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to have Daniel’s support on our campaign warning people ‘Don’t be dogfished.’
“We want to help stop people being duped into buying puppies that have been illegally imported into the country by devious dealers.
“People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade.
“If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report it.”