PUPPY SCAN­DAL: More own­ers tell of their heart­break

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

Af­ter the tragic news sur­faced of a puppy bought near Uxbridge with fake vet­eri­nary pa­pers that had to be put down, there have been more re­ports of un­scrupu­lous puppy deal­ing around the Hilling­don area.

We re­ported last week on Ge­orge the Labrador Spaniel cross, who fell ill shortly af­ter she was bought in Den­ham Green near Uxbridge.

The fam­ily who bought her, who asked not to be named, were dev­as­tated when they dis­cov­ered Ge­orge’s vac­ci­na­tion card was fake and the puppy had con­tracted the deadly par­vovirus, and would prob­a­bly have to be put down. Since the story of Ge­orge emerged, two other dog buy­ers have come for­ward be­liev­ing their dogs have come from the same un­scrupu­lous seller.

Ge­orge was put down on Fri­day Septem­ber 16.

An on­line cam­paign has since been launched in a des­per­ate at­tempt to stop these pup­pies be­ing traded with­out re­gard to their wel­fare.

A 17-year-old girl from Ayles­bury got in touch af­ter see­ing the tragic story about Ge­orge.

She said: “We found an ad on a web­site for col­lie labrador pup­pies, we called the num­ber listed on the site and he mes­saged us an ad­dress in Den­ham.

“Me, my sis­ter and cousin met him in Den­ham Green.

“He came out to our car with the puppy walk­ing along­side him, we fell in love with her straight­away.”

She met the buyer on Fri­day, Septem­ber 9, the same day Ge­orge was bought from the same place.

The puppy, named Lola, quickly be­came sick with di­ar­rhoea, but the new own­ers put it down to the puppy’s ner­vous­ness.

It quickly be­came clear that this was not the case when the dog be­came life­less and started bleed­ing, so the own­ers took her to the vet.

She was di­ag­nosed with the con­ta­gious par­vovirus and the vet pre­scribed an­tibi­otics and a re­hy­dra­tion pow­der.

The girl said: “Dur­ing the night she got weaker and passed away in the early hours in my sis­ter’s arms.

“We were ab­so­lutely heart­bro­ken and tried get­ting in touch with the guy who sold her to us.

“He kept telling us he would meet us to give our money y back but when it came to it he said he was in Manch­ester.”

The fam­ily man­aged to get in con­tact with the seller on a dif­fer­ent numbe r , pre­tend­ing to be a new buyer and ar­ranged to meet up a sec­ond time.

They said they con­fronted the seller, who de­nied the first puppy was ill.

The young buyer said: “All of us be­ing such an­i­mal lovers, they couldn’t leave the sec­ond puppy with him so they took her and brought her back to our home in Ayles­bury.”

But again the puppy, called Lucky, fell ill with par­vovirus, and was put down on Fri­day Septem­ber 16.

An on­line pe­ti­tion has since been launched call­ing on sites that sell pup­pies to change their poli­cies.

The cam­paign, which is on change.org and the gov­ern­ment’s pe­ti­tion site, calls on web­sites to re­quire proof of ad­dress from the seller and for the par­ents of the puppy to be seen.

Post­ing on the pe­ti­tion, one sup­porter said they had seen some­one deal­ing pup­pies in the area and had wit­nessed a man kick­ing the pup­pies.

An­other dog buyer has also got in con­tact to say they had bought a dif­fer­ent breed of dog from Den­ham, un­der sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances.

The RSPCA says pup­pies are be­ing traded in the UK ‘like scrap with no re­gard for their wel­fare, or even if they live or die’.

A spokesman has is­sued ad­vice on buy­ing a puppy from a breeder.

They said: “We al­ways en­cour­age peo­ple think­ing of get­ting a dog to first con­sider adopt­ing from one of the many res­cue or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“There are so many won­der­ful dogs pa­tiently wait­ing for their home in ken­nels and foster homes.

“It’s very im­por­tant when search­ing for a breeder and a puppy to do lots of re­search and take time over choos­ing the right dog for your fam­ily and cir­cum­stances.

“We also ad­vise prospec­tive buy­ers to see the puppy with its mother, ask lots of ques­tions, check p pa­per­work and do doc­u­men­ta­tion and to vi visit more than once.

“This is prac­ti­cally im im­pos­si­ble to do if bu buy­ing a puppy abroad or over the in­ter­net so, fo for that rea­son, we would ad ad­vise buy­ers to be very ca care­ful.”

More in­for­ma­tion is av avail­able on the RSPCA we web­site www. ge get­pup­pys­mart.com to he help buy­ers.

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