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Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Tuesday, 1 February 2011
RSPCA launches Puppy Smart campaign
People are failing to prepare themselves for the practical commitment and cost of owning a dog
People are failing to prepare themselves for the practical commitment and cost of owning a dog

According to new figures, nearly 19% of people who bought a puppy in the past two years no longer have their dog.

The RSPCA believes this is largely down to people letting their heart rule their head when it comes to buying a puppy.

People are failing to prepare themselves for the practical commitment and cost of owning a dog.

The RSPCA's Get Puppy Smart campaign aims to help prospective puppy buyers make the right decision.

RSPCA

The animal welfare charity hopes to encourage prospective puppy buyers to think about what type of dog best suits their lifestyle, the costs involved in having a dog, finding a good breeder and how to select a happy and healthy puppy."

Statistics from a new survey commissioned by the RSPCA reveal that 24% of the owners who bought a pure-bred puppy in the past two years based their decision mainly on appearance.

A massive 56% of buyers did not see the puppy with its mother before they bought it. These are two of the biggest pitfalls the new Get Puppy Smart campaign warns against.

The survey also reveals that many people buying a puppy do a minimal amount of research.

More than 60% of people who bought a puppy in the past two years only visited one litter of puppies before deciding on the one they wanted, while a shocking 40 per cent of those who bought a puppy spent one week or less researching their purchase.

BBC Radio Cornwall's Debbie McCrory went along to the RSPCA centre at St Colomb Major to speak to Julia Patterson the Area Manager who explained more of these very sad statistics.

"A lot of people buy puppies perhaps on a whim and don't do a lot of research, the puppy doesn't fit in with their life style and people also don't realise how much it costs, not only in veterinary bills and food but also in training.

"Consequently when the puppy reaches that two year mark, in effect, its teenage years it can be quite hard work and sadly people end up passing them on or surrendering them to rescue centres."

A new animation at Get Puppy Smart guides you through the process of buying a puppy, and advises what to look out for when considering welcoming a puppy into your life.




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