What to do if you’ve bought an ill pet

If you buy a pet and it becomes ill, you should take it to a veterinary surgeon without delay.

Sadly, you are not alone and many other animal lovers have faced the trauma of having to take a sick animal to the vet just hours or days after buying it from a classified advert or pet shop.

It is important to keep a detailed record of your pet’s illnesses with dates and times of when they occurred. Ensure you obtain a full veterinary report. Similarly, take regular photos and if possible video footage that illustrate your animal’s condition. These records may be essential to show that your pet was ill when you bought it. If you have other pets ensure they are kept separate from your new animal until it is given a clean bill of health.

Tell us about your experience

In order to assess the true extent of unethical or misleading pet advertising, IPAAG would like to hear from people who have had a bad experience buying a pet from a classified advert. Please email us at advice@ipaag.ie with details of your experiences.

Please try to include as much of the information below in your email as possible. We know there are a lot of questions, but it helps if we know as much as possible about your situation.

About you

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Your phone number
  • Would you be happy to be contacted by IPAAG?

About your pet

  • Animal type
  • Animal name
  • Animal’s age when bought
  • Animal’s physical condition when bought
  • Animal’s age at death (if applicable)

About the advert

  • Did you see an advert for your pet?
  • If so, where?
  • What did the advert say or show?
  • Did the newspaper/website/ print any advice about choosing or caring for a pet?

About the sale

  • Date of purchase:
  • Venue of purchase
  • Vendor’s name
  • Vendor’s address
  • Did you buy the pet at your first meeting?
  • Did the vendor give you any health or vaccination records for the pet?

About your pet’s illness

  • How long after buying the pet did it first become ill?
  • Ailments suffered by pet, (include mental symptoms if applicable):
  • Action taken by owner (eg took pet to vet, took pet back to vendor etc)
  • Veterinary diagnosis:
  • Did the pet display any aggression towards people or other pets?

About your actions

  • Did you try to return your pet to vendor when you found it was ill?
  • If yes, what was their response?
  • If your pet died, did you take any legal action against the vendor?
  • If yes, what has happened to date?
  • Has the vendor been helpful in his/her dealings with you?

If you have concerns about the conditions in which animals are being kept in at any breeding establishment (even one that is registered under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010), you should report it to the local authority or to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or the relevant authority.

If you suspect that a breeder is putting profit before the health and welfare of the animal you should not buy a puppy from them as this simply perpetuates the problem.

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