Actor backs charity campaign warning dog owners of the ‘dogfishing’ scam

Actor Daniel Brocklebank is teaming up with Dogs Trust on its ‘Don’t Be Dogfished’ campaign to help stop dog lovers falling victim to deceitful puppy sellers online.

Daniel is backing the campaign after recently adopting four-month old Dachshund pup, Karen-Jean, who was being cared for at Dogs Trust Manchester after being illegally smuggled into the UK from Poland with her littermates.

Karen-Jean will have to share the limelight with Daniel’s other smuggled pup, Colin who Daniel adopted from the rehoming centre last March.

Colin was one of a litter of six puppies that were smuggled illegally into the UK from Hungary travelling over 1,000 miles in horrendous conditions before being seized at the border by enforcement authorities and handed into Dogs Trust.

Dog Trust launched the campaign after releasing new statistics showing how unsuspecting dog lovers may have been conned or ‘dogfished’ into buying puppies illegally imported into the UK, leaving them heartbroken and almost £500 on average out-of-pocket.

The Don’t be Dogfished campaign is asking potential new owners to take the following steps to avoid being misled when buying a puppy:

  • Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once.
  • Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.
  • If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report it.

Danie said: “Both Karen-Jean and Colin had really tough starts in life. Sadly, not every smuggled puppy is as lucky as they are to be rescued and find a happy home. Many suffer life-threatening health conditions, and some don’t survive, leaving people helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.

“It’s so easy to buy a dog online nowadays but not every seller can be trusted. By advising dog lovers on what to watch out for we hope the campaign will help prevent people being dogfished. Colin is such as huge part of my life and is being lovely with Karen-Jean. I can’t wait for Karen-Jean to settle in just as well as he did. I’m excited to watch them play together and form a bond, they’ve definitely found their forever home with we.”

Dogs Trust polled over 2,000 puppy owners to see how many buyers might have fallen victim of illegal puppy smuggling where puppies are brought into the UK from central and eastern European countries to sell on for vast profits.

Many described how sellers falsified paperwork, offered discounts for a quick sale or lied about age and breed of the dog.

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to have Daniel’s support on our campaign warning people ‘Don’t be dogfished’. We want to help stop people being duped into buying puppies that have been illegally imported into the country by devious dealers. People think they are getting a healthy, happy puppy but behind the curtain lurks the dark depths of the puppy smuggling trade. If it seems too good to be true, as hard as it is, walk away and report it.”

For more information about the Don’t be Dogfished campaign and advice about how to avoid being misled when buying a puppy online, you can visit