What to do if you’ve bought an ill pet

Bought sick puppy vet

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.  These records may be essential to show that your pet was ill when you bought it. If you have other pets make sure to keep them away from your new animal, until it is given a clean bill of health.


What to do if you see a suspicious advert:

If you see an advert containing clear cruelty or animal welfare concerns, follow these steps:

  1. Report the advert to the online website. (Most classified websites should have a “Report” button.)
  2. Click away and do not respond to the advert.

Welfare issues in online adverts include:

  • Dogs with visibly docked tails or clipped ears (this is illegal)
  • Puppies that are too young to leave their mothers
  • References to dog fighting
  • Dogs and puppies that appear underweight, unclean or display any clearly untreated health issues
  • Dogs or puppies in excessively small crates, chained or tied up

Report your concerns to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline via their online form, or call 1890 515 515.