NEWS: Victim Story

Rachel’s Story

I bought a puppy on a classified ad site who died five days after I got  her. The ‘breeder’ was most definitely a puppy farmer who bragged about the hundreds of breeds of puppies he had for sale. There was very little information in the advert about the puppy when I spotted her, so I rang the seller to find out more.

The seller was very unfriendly and I found it difficult to get any information out of him. Eventually, after much deliberation, I decided to go and see the pups and texted him asking for his address. He eventually rang back (on a different number) and said how he had pups stolen last year and since then, he hadn’t brought people back to his house and he would prefer to meet me  elsewhere. I know a good breeder and she had stated how she also feared people stealing her dogs so I figured it was a common thing to do.

I was still a little bit unsure but decided to meet him. He asked if I wanted him to bring all the remaining pups to which I said yes, and I also asked him to bring the mother (which, when I asked, he said was his "pet"). He told me that the puppy’s father was a stud dog from a friend.

I took my mother with me and after a long two hour drive we arrived at the agreed petrol station, where he was waiting in a small white van.

He brought out the mother who was very shy, along with the three pups in an old battered rusty cage.

Two of the pups seemed quite lively and the third, which I had wanted to see, was more timid. I lifted her out and she had mucus around her eyes and nose and her breathing was wheezy and very weak. When we looked at her again we realised she was a very sick pup! The seller seemed alarmed by this and claimed he would "give her some penicillin when he got back". I agreed to take another of the pups  I had fallen in love with, and knew she would have a good home with me. We exchanged money and went our separate ways.

I took the pup to the vets for a check-up and he immediately thought she was a puppy farm dog as her front legs were bowed (due to a poor diet) and she was very shy around people. I told the vet about the  "breeder" and my concerns. The vet also said that our pup was  six weeks old and not eight weeks as stated in the ad.

Everything was going well until Saturday afternoon when the pup (who we named Rogue) slept pretty much all day. I dismissed it as her injection having an effect on her. On Sunday she was still very lethargic but perked up a little in the evening for a few hours and then became sleepy again.

During the early hours of Monday morning she vomited in her bed and became very clingy to me but still very sleepy. 

By mid-Monday morning she could barely stand and would sit by herself looking extremely sick. Her coat had lost its shine and became very dull and she was sick again. I immediately rang the vet who asked me to bring her straight over and she was given a wormer and an antibiotic injection. The vet believed she was suffering from worms that had blocked her intestines, and that this is what was making her so sick.

From that point on, the puppy got gradually worse, whining and crying, not being able to sleep due to discomfort, trying to lie behind the sofa, not drinking or eating. I had to syringe feed her water, and she was generally a very sick puppy.

I put her in her bed beside mine at 11:45pm and my boyfriend checked on her again at 12:30, when she was moving slightly.

I woke at 5:15am to check on her again to find that she had died in her sleep. The vet believed that she had such a poor immune system that she couldn’t even fight the worms with the help of an antibiotic.

Heartbroken doesn't even come close.

I know it was a stupid move and in hindsight realise that my own naivety got in the way of rational thinking. I had always felt so strongly about puppy farms but I can now see how easy it is to fall into the trap, even for someone like myself who takes pride in being a "responsible dog owner". I just felt that I needed to "rescue her".

I really hope by sharing this story with others that they will realise how easy it is to get caught in the trap, even if you are fully aware of what these people are capable of.

It is still quite raw emotionally thinking about it all now.

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