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What to Do When You Spot a Puppy Seller

:Nicole Young, for TAPACT 

Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3SEqc9FOK2/ 

At TAPACT, we are dedicated to inspiring cultural change around the treatment of dogs and end the unethical commerce of our four-legged friends. One of the ways that we hope to achieve this goal is by working actively to stop the sale of puppies at the border. 

If you’ve ever crossed the Mexico-United States border in Tijuana, you’ve likely seen the puppy peddlers. They’ll approach anyone and everyone, and will use persuasive tactics to try to guilt unsuspecting, well-intentioned individuals into purchasing a puppy. While it’s undoubtedly difficult to ignore puppy peddlers and turn down a sweet, innocent pup, it’s crucial to say no to puppy vendors to stop the demand, which will in turn stop the selling of puppies all together.

Next time you are at the border crossing and see or come into contact with a puppy vendor, the best thing you can do is to collect as much information as you can so you can report them to Tijuana Authorities and Tijuana Animal Control, or pass along to TAPACT for evaluation. 

Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNyN0VyDep4/ 

Here is the type of information you should aim to collect: 

  • It’s imperative to take as many photos and videos as you can, of the vendor as well as the puppies. This can help the authorities correctly identify the individual in question and put a stop to his or her peddling 
  • Take detailed notes on:
    • What is the condition of the puppies? Include approximate age of the dogs, their appearance, whether or not they have fleas, ticks or mange (a type of skin disease caused by parasitic mites, identifiable by severe itching, hair loss, and the formation of scabs and lesions), their demeanor (are they lethargic, irritable, timid, etc.) 
    • What does the vendor look like? Attempt to capture gender, approximate height, hair and eye color and clothing
    • How are the puppies being kept? Are they in a crate? In a box or bag? Do they have food and water? Protection from the cold? 
    • How many puppies there are and what breed do they look like? 
    • Did the vendors actually sell any puppies that you saw?
  • If a vendor approaches you and you have the chance to interact with them, ask questions if you feel comfortable. Below are the questions we’d recommend asking. We’d also recommend recording the conversation, if safe. 
    • Where did the puppies come from?
    • Where are the parents?
    • How old are they?
    • Do they have vaccinations/have they been to the vet?
    • How do you get the puppies across the border? 
    • How many do you sell a day? A week? 
    • How many do you have with you or at home? 
    • What breed are the puppies?
    • What breed are the mom and dad? 
    • Do you own the mom and dad?

Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/CL7iDBeDzIO/ 

By collecting this information and passing it along to the authorities or to TAPACT, you are performing an invaluable service. Any and every piece of information we can collect on the puppy vendors helps us achieve our goal of stopping the sale of border pups all together. 

If you would like to report a puppy vendor, the number for Tijuana Authorities is +52 664 186 9498, and for Tijuana Animal Control is +52 664 973 7006. Or, you can send photos, videos, recordings and/or information to TAPACT@theanimalpad.com

If you still want to help these animals, adoption or fostering is one of the best things you can, and will ever, do. Contact your local animal shelter or rescue organization – like The Animal Pad – to learn more about adoption, fostering or other ways to help. If adoption or fostering isn’t in the cards, you can apply to volunteer at The Animal Pad or TAPACT here

Together, we can be heard. Together, we can make change. Together, we can’t be stopped.