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Charity reports rise in online pets coming through its doors
Twelve-week-old Truffle, who was taken to Battersea in December last year after his owner saw an internet advert and met the seller at a train station.

Public urged to do research and consider adopting a pet instead

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is urging the public not to impulse buy pets, after revealing that it took in more than 400 dogs that were bought online last year.

In total, the charity took in 404 dogs that were originally bought online in 2018 - up from 355 in 2017. Whilst some of these were much-loved pets, others were brought to the charity after their owners bought them on a whim, before realising they could not care for them properly.

One example is 12-week-old Truffle, who was taken to Battersea in December last year after his owner saw an internet advert and met the seller at a train station. His new owner quickly realised she had underestimated what having a puppy would entail and found she could did not have the time to look after him.

Although the online ad promised that Truffle was microchipped and vaccinated, Battersea vets soon discovered this was not the case. They strongly suspected he had come from a puppy farm. Truffle has since been rehomed with a new family.

The charity is urging people to do their research before buying a pet to avoid fuelling backstreet breeders, or to consider adopting instead.

Battersea’s centre manager Steve Craddock said: “You can now buy an animal in seconds and it’s very tempting to be sucked in by the cute photos.

"Online pet sales have become a huge industry and research shows that a new dog advert is created online every two minutes, while a cat advert goes up every four minutes. Sadly, the reality can be very different from the pictures and it’s difficult to know if the animal you’re getting will match up to the advertisement.
 
“It’s animal rescue centres that then pick up the pieces and so we’re asking people to, please, think before you click and remember that a pet is a huge responsibility. Better yet, consider coming into Battersea and adopting one of the many dogs here looking for a home.

"All our animals have had thorough medical or behavioural assessments, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting."

Image © Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.