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Wed, 22 May 2024

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The House Live All
By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
Defence
Press releases

Online pet sale warning after puppy saved from death's door

Blue Cross

3 min read Partner content

Blue Cross regularly treats dangerously ill pets who are bought online and collected from a public location. 


A sick puppy has cheated death and begun a new life thanks to Blue Cross pet charity. Rocky, was bought by a couple who saw his “eight-week-old Labrador“ profile on a popular classified advertising website. He was handed over to his new owners in a car park and within hours became very ill. When the worried couple tried to contact the seller for advice  their calls were not answered.

Rocky was taken to a private vet but his owners could not afford the treatment he needed so he was taken to Blue Cross animal hospital in central London. His owners decided they weren’t ready to take on a puppy so Blue Cross agreed to find him a new home if he recovered.

Amanda Marrington, Blue Cross Animal Welfare Officer at the charity’s hospital in Victoria, Central London said: “Owners are at risk of heartache if they buy a pet online without doing a lot of research and making sure breeders have the welfare of the puppies as their top priority. Rocky was at death’s door when he arrived in our care. He was weak, emaciated and suffering from parvovirus - a serious condition in puppies so young. We really didn’t think he would make it through the night.“

Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease that can kill puppies quickly. It is preventable with a simple vaccination and because Rocky was so poorly it was unlikely his mother had been  protected when he was born. Sadly, it is likely the other puppies in his litter also had the killer disease.

The advertising of puppies online and owners collecting their new pet from a public location is an increasingly worrying trend. Sadly, Blue Cross regularly treats dangerously ill pets bought from unscrupulous sellers in this way. 

Thanks to round-the-clock care, Rocky made a full recovery from the illness. When he was well enough, and there was no risk of contagion to other pets, he was transferred to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Hertfordshire. The charity believes Rocky is younger than advertised and is actually just six-weeks-old. He is also not a purebreed Labrador as claimed by the sellers but probably a collie crossbreed. Happily, Rocky‘s rough start to life is finally over and he is now in a loving home.

Blue Cross recommends taking on a rescue pet from a rehoming charity. If looking for a particular breed ask lots of questions of the breeder and if they insist on handing over the puppy in a public place potential owners should walk away. Puppies should also be rehomed with proof of vaccinations and the vet contact details, plus microchipping paperwork – it is now a legal obligation for puppies to be microchipped before they are rehomed. The breeder should also be asking lots of questions of the buyer before they release the puppy and may ask for more than one visit before a sale is agreed.

For more advice on getting a puppy visit www.bluecross.org.uk/buyingapuppy. Visit the Blue Cross website to see dogs needing homes or to make a donation towards their care.

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