Battersea warning over online pet buying as woman duped in puppy mix-up

04:59PM, Tuesday 02 March 2021

Battersea warning over online pet buying as woman duped in puppy mix-up

Rolo the Lurcher

Animal welfare charity Battersea is warning people over the risks of buying pets online after a first-time owner was duped into buying the wrong breed of dog.

The owner contacted Battersea’s Old Windsor rescue centre in Priest Hill last month after discovering she had been tricked by a breeder she found on the internet.

The woman, who had never owned a dog, was promised a housetrained Jack Russell puppy on a trial period before making a decision on whether to take the pet on full-time.

But when the animal was dropped off at her house, it became apparent it was in fact a Lurcher puppy with bags of energy and no training.

The breeder disappeared so the prospective owner turned to Battersea who took three-month old Rolo in before finding him a new home.

Rob Young, head of operations at Battersea, said: “Despite trying for days to get hold of the breeder, the woman realised she’d been scammed and got in touch with us at Battersea to see if we could help.

“This was by far the most responsible decision under the circumstances and exactly what Battersea is here for.

“We know there might be thousands of owners out there struggling to cope with their pets and want to reassure them we’re not here to judge – we’re here to help.

“Taking your pet to a rescue centre like Battersea means they’ll be cared for, loved and have the best chance of finding the right new home.”

Battersea also admitted a sickly kitten, Morris, to its London rescue centre last month.

The nine-week-old kitten spent the first week with his new owners with chronic diarrhoea and vomiting.

The owners contacted Battersea after failing to get hold of their breeder to find out why they had been sold a clearly unwell animal.

Nine-week old Morris while under the care of Battersea

Battersea’s expert veterinary team provided round-the-clock care to nurse Morris back to help and he has since found a new home.

Rob added: “At Battersea we would always encourage people to consider giving a rescue animal a second chance at love, but if you do decide to buy a pet, we urge you to do thorough research first to ensure you know what to look for, to avoid potential heartbreak down the line.”

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