Animal welfare warning for pet owners after dogs brought to Yorkshire from Ukraine forced into quarantine

Pet owners have been warned about the dangers of buying animals from abroad without carrying out "extensive research".

It follows a Wakefield resident running into serious problems after they imported two boxer dogs from Ukraine.

Wakefield Council said the owner had purchased the animals from a Ukrainian breeder, but they arrived in the UK with incorrect passports, paperwork and had not met health requirements to travel.

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The council said the "upset" resident had rightly contacted its animal health unit, who investigated the case.

The boxers were sent to the UK by a breeder without the right documentation. File picture of boxer dog.

The dogs were subsequently moved to a licensed quarantine facility, "Where they could receive appropriate treatment, vaccinations and health checks under the supervision of a vet."

The council's deputy leader, Jack Hemingway, who highlighted the case in a report going before elected members next week, said people who buy from breeders abroad can face unexpected costs.

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He wrote: "The decision to quarantine dogs is assessed on a case-by-case basis as the circumstances of importation can vary.

"However, the quarantine period could be up to three to four months, depending on the country of origin and the issues found.

"The fees attached to a quarantine period will vary depending on the length of stay, numbers of dogs submitted, and treatment required, but often runs into thousands of pounds."

Coun Hemingway said "unscrupulous" breeders in countries outside the UK often had "little regard" for animal welfare.

He added: "Animal Health encourages anyone thinking about importing an animal from abroad to undertake extensive research prior to making the decision and to contact their team for advice.

"Hopefully this will discourage residents importing dogs with no idea of their origin, or the implications for animal health on the wider community."