Every year, countless puppies are bred and sold by illegal and unscrupulous dealers, leaving owners to deal with emotional and financial fallout. Maxi and Freddy are two such puppies – bred in deplorable conditions by breeders with no remorse.
Elina had always wanted to have dogs and finally found herself in a position to do. After searching for months, she found a breeder selling Yorkshire Terriers. She immediately fell in love after receiving a photo of the available puppy – Maxi. When the time came, Elina collected Maxi. She was told he was vaccinated, microchipped and had a valid pet passport.
“The emotional rollercoaster I went through was very real and unbelievably painful.”
The first disappointment
Within days of bringing Maxi home, Elina noticed he was barely eating if she wasn’t there to help him. Worried about his lack of appetite, Elina took Maxi to the vets where he was diagnosed with Giardia. He stayed in the veterinary hospital for three days and was prescribed a course of antibiotics. The vet told Elina it was likely that the Giardia was contracted via contaminated water or food and could be a result of unsanitary conditions in which the puppy may have been kept in.
Maxi’s breeder denied any wrongdoing, and eventually stopped answering Elina’s calls, leaving Elina to fight for Maxi’s life on her own.
It took a long time for Maxi to get healthy and a lot of trips to the vets, but he made it.
A year and a half after Maxi’s ordeal, Elina decided he could benefit from a companion, so began searching online for a new breeder. This time, Elina questioned the breeder about the housing conditions and was reassured that everything would be fine with the puppy.
The second try
Elina collected Freddy when he was four months old, vaccinated and microchipped. Freddy was worlds apart from Maxi – from the first day he was energetic and had a huge appetite, so Elina was sure he was healthy. Just a few days later she noticed blood in Freddy’s stool and hurried to the vets again. Sadly, Freddy was diagnosed with a bacterial infection that was spreading through all his organs, and there was a very low chance of survival.
To understand how this was possible, despite the fact that Freddy had all the necessary vaccines, Elina contacted the vet who the breeder claimed had given Freddy his vaccines. The veterinarian openly admitted to accepting a bribe to falsify Freddy’s records and that Freddy didn’t receive the vaccines. Elina was stunned.
Freddy spent 10 days in the veterinary hospital while Elina prayed that he would survive. Incredibly, he did.
Elina, appalled by the situation, contacted the breeder and asked a lot of questions. The breeder offered her a refund if she wanted to return Freddy. Having been through this horrible experience twice, Elina was more than certain she would never give Freddy back to the people who had caused his suffering.
A story with an (almost) happy ending
Although both puppies survived their ordeal, they were left with ongoing emotional and behavioral issues due to their breeding conditions. Maxi has issues with eating and Freddy is afraid of other dogs and strangers, retreating if he hears a loud noise.
If you are planning to buy a puppy, know the potential risks. Learn more!