The Animal Welfare Department of the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment advises animal lovers not to adopt or buy dogs from abroad via the internet. Very often, these are fraudulent advertisements. At various times, people who are interested are conned out of large sums of money for a non-existent puppy.
"It is important to watch out for advertisements that appeal to the emotions of animal lovers. The fraudsters make it appear that the animal will die a certain death unless it is adopted or that the living conditions of the animal are so bad that it must be rescued immediately", says the Service.
"To make the advertisement look real, as much information as possible is added, such as an address, a telephone number and even a so-called registration number. Often it is promised that the puppy will be delivered at home. But during the procedure, obstacles suddenly appear: a new transport cage has to be bought, a quarantine fee paid, vaccines ordered, and so on. In the end, the swindled animal lover never gets to see a dog. Those who have fallen victim to adoption dog fraud over the internet should report this to the local police."
In conclusion, the Animal Welfare Department gives an additional tip. "If you really want to help an animal out of its misery, you'd better go to one of our Belgian animal shelters. Many animals are dumped by their owners purely out of lack of time and disinterest. Every year, the shelters have to put thousands of dogs and cats to sleep because a new home cannot be found."