GAIA’s Ann De Greef told journalists that “We deliberately chose the period prior to the end of the year as this is a period in which sales of puppies flourish”.
In a short documentary 7 people testify how they were conned by a puppy farmer. In three cases the sick puppy died just days after it was sold. In addition to the video visitors to GAIA’s website can also find information about puppy farms and download a “How do I recognise a puppy farmer” checklist (only in Dutch and French for the moment). There are also instructions listing what to do if you are conned by a puppy farmer.
"Dishonest puppy farmers box clever. They have a licence to sell dogs from the authorities and this reassures people, while in fact it means very little. They always have pups for sale and are able to respond to people buying on impulse. There sales area is always kept clean and tidy so they look professional. But the passports? They are often forged. They often lie about the age of the pups and about whether or not they have been vaccinated. And if they don’t die after a couple of days the dogs often suffer their whole life with medical or behavioral issues”, Ms De Greef explained.
GAIA’s message is clear “Adopt, don’t shop”. Animal shelters in Belgium are full of dogs (and cats) that are looking for a good home.