Dog-buyers should check shop, animal's health carefully

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 October, 2000, 12:00am

Think long and hard before buying a dog. Here are a few points to bear in mind:

If you are committed to owning a dog, choose the place where you purchase it very carefully. A dog adopted from the SPCA would have been thoroughly checked by a vet and given the initial course of vaccinations. If it gets sick, you have the help and advice of the SPCA staff to fall back on.

If you buy a puppy which has been bred locally, you should ask to see its mother. The mother should have been fully vaccinated and should be in good health to ensure her puppies have the best immunity from disease.

The seller should ask you questions to make sure you will be a responsible owner. If he is only interested in your money, be very careful. If he cannot or will not show you the mother, do not buy the puppy.

If buying from a pet shop insist on being given a current, valid vaccination certificate signed by a registered veterinary surgeon. Check that the description on the certificate fits that of the animal.

Make sure you receive an official receipt for your money. The receipt should be on the pet shop's letterhead and dated correctly.

The receipt should have an accurate description of the animal (age, breed, sex and colour).

If you are buying what is supposed to be a pedigree, insist on getting a copy of the pedigree certificate. After purchasing your pet, get it checked by a vet and ask his advice about how best to look after it.

If your puppy gets sick after a few days, complain to the pet shop. If you get no help, do not hesitate to report the matter to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Consumer Council.

Accepting a refund or exchange for another puppy is not good enough.

Never let the pet shop staff administer or prescribe veterinary treatment.

Choose an active, lively puppy. Do not be tempted to choose one that is very quiet or listless because you feel sorry for it.

The SPCA is an organisation that deals with animal welfare. It aims to prevent and suppress cruelty to animals. The organisation welcomes pet owners and non-pet owners to show their concern for homeless animals. If you would like to join or find out more about the SPCA, call the membership department on 2802-0501