Desperately sick puppy dies hours after devastated mum bought her on Gumtree

A heartbroken mum has told how an unscrupulous breeder sold her a desperately ill puppy that had been ‘given amphetamine or cocaine’ to disguise how unwell it really was.

Mal, from Kilwinning in North Ayrshire, described how her joy turned to horror within minutes of the breeder dropping off the Border Collie pup that she named Karma.

She had bought the cute pup via Gumtree, paying £1,000 to the breeder named “Sarah” who said they were from nearby Paisley.

The pup had been advertised at £1,300, but when Mal said she could only afford £1,000 the breeder passed her onto another breeder called Sophie who Mal believes may have been the same person using a different name. “Sophie” agreed to sell the dog to her for a thousand pounds.

"She sent me pictures,” says Mal. “I was even sent a video of the puppy running, with her calling the puppy, saying ‘oh, you’re going to a new home tomorrow!’

"Because I’ve never had a dog before, I never thought to ask her to send a video of the mum.”

Sophie told Mal that she had all the documentation for the dog and said that she couldn’t allow Mal to visit the pup’s mother because there was a case of Covid-19 in the family.

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Sophie agreed to drop the pooch off the following day: "The next day came and Sophie said she’d be later than expected because she had to stay longer,” said Mal, “I’m thinking now she didn’t come at 5.30pm because it wasn’t dark enough.

"We opened the door and it was a blonde girl, quite small, with a mask on. And there was another woman standing at a distance with a bag.

"She gave me the puppy wrapped up in a blanket. The woman gave me the bag and said the vaccine papers were in there, some food, some worming products.

Mal told Glasgow Live that within minutes of being handed the dog, she knew something was wrong: There was a foul smell coming from the dog, which appeared to have been drugged. Not long after arriving, the pup began peeing blood on the floor.

Mal added: "This poor puppy, I think they maybe gave her amphetamine or cocaine just to make her a little more drowsy. She was walking and trying to move her tail, she was terrified.

“You can see from the pictures of her in the bath how skinny she was. This puppy could not even drink the water herself. I think she was not eight or nine weeks, but younger, maybe five or six weeks. I tried to give her some food, she was not interested in food."

She added: "I phoned the 24/7 vets, it was 10pm. They said ‘if she’s responding, she’s walking, she’s drinking, you can either come and see us or wait until the morning to see your vet. It’s maybe just a urine infection and she’ll need antibiotics'. It would have cost me £250 and I had already spent all my savings on the puppy.

"I sat with Karma during the night. She was peeing normally, and then with the blood again. She was comfy on the pillow and after 4am, when I had managed to fall asleep for 30 minutes, I just found her unconscious. She wasn’t responding."

Karma didn't make it through the night.

And sadly, since the tragic episode, Mal has seen the same people advertise more puppies on Gumtree, albeit under different names.

She said: "The day after my puppy died, I went on Gumtree and the same woman, using different names, was advertising puppies again. It was the same story all over again.

"It’s not about the money. I know I won’t ever buy a puppy again, it’s my lesson. But I’d like to warn people about it.

"All the excitement of having a puppy for me and my two girls just covered all my reasonable thinking.

"It’s heartbreaking what’s happened to my family.”

When asked for comment, a Gumtree spokesperson said: “We take the welfare of animals extremely seriously and we were sorry to hear about this case.

“We are committed to educating our users on how to buy pets safely and responsibly, and encourage anyone considering purchasing a pet to always check medical records and to go to see the animal in person.”

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