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To guide budding pet owners on the correct way to shop for animals, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has got 23red to develop a mini-documentary to raise awareness of bad practices.

A play on the Catfish TV series, that explores people pretending to be someone else on social media, the campaign 'Petfished' works in a similar way to show that animals sold online might not be what is advertised.

Given the serious harm, this bad practice can inflict, the campaign stresses the importance of conducting prior research before purchasing a pet. It outlines 'red flags' that buyers should look for when assessing sellers, in the hope, it will increase the number of people who report suspected illegitimate suppliers to local authorities.

The film presents two real stories of pet owners who have been 'petfished' questioned by the journalist, Leah Green.

Each party goes into their traumatic experiences of being scammed by pet sellers that they found locally from seemingly safe family homes. However, shortly afterwards both the new pets became seriously ill, with one pet being so sick that he had to be put down within a week.

The campaign budget is split between PR, social and paid search and is aimed at those considering a pet.