People in the UK are being cruelly dogfished (Picture: Ken Jack/Getty Images)

New statistics released by Dogs Trust have revealed that thousands of dog lovers may have been ‘dogfished’ into buying illegally imported puppies.

The dog charity polled more than 2,000 puppy owners to see how many may have fallen victim, and many described that sellers lied about the breed and age of the dog in question and falsified paperwork.

So what exactly is dogfishing, what does it have to do with puppy smuggling and how can you avoid it?

What is dogfishing?

As Dogs Trust puts it, dogfishing is a verb which means: ‘To mislead someone into buying a dog which may not be what it seems.’

Puppies are illegally imported into the UK every year and are often sold online to people who believe they’re getting a happy and healthy pet.

However many of these pups aren’t what they’re being sold as.

A lot of these dogs have health problems. Sometimes they don’t live for very long, and many that do have lifelong behavioural issues, leaving buyers not only out of pocket but deeply saddened.

There are measures you can take to avoid dogfishing when shopping for your new best friend (Picture: Ella Byworth/

To avoid dogfishers, Dogs Trust says you should:

We’ve previously covered a less sinister definition of dogfishing which refers to an online dating trend.

In that context, dogfishing is when a person poses with pictures of cute dogs on dating aps, only for you to discover that their purported four-legged friends actually belong to other people.

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