Maggie was a victim of the cruel puppy farm trade
Dog lovers Gary and Samantha Crouch, from Fareham, Hants, inadvertently fell victim to the cruel puppy trade when they bought their five-month-old crossbreed puppy, Maggie, who was left fighting for her life.
When searching for a small dog to join their home, they spotted a local online advert. They went to visit the breeder and came home with an adorable bundle of fluff – Maggie, a Pom-Chi (Pomeranian Chihuahua cross).
But just a week after joining her new home, Maggie became dangerously ill; vomiting and passing severe bloody diarrhoea. She was rushed to the vet, which is when the Crouch’s nightmare really began. Maggie’s immune system was failing and the vet suspected she had parvovirus, which can be fatal. She spent the next ten days fighting for her life. Her weight plummeted and she lost the sight in one eye.
Gary said: “We didn’t think we were dealing with a puppy farmer and completely fell for their lies. We paid £350 for Maggie and were told she was nine-weeks-old. We were led to believe she had been well-looked after and socialised. But within days of getting her home, we knew something was wrong: she was very small, clingy and we were having to hand feed her. At first we assumed it was because of her breed and she was just missing her mum.”
To date the family have spent over £4,500 on veterinary treatment for Maggie, who thankfully is on the road to recovery. Tragically, this wasn’t the case for all of Maggie’s littermates: the family traced some of her brothers and sisters who suffered similar problems but sadly did not survive.
Gary added: “The vets believe she was probably only four or five weeks old when we brought her home – far too young to leave her mum. Her parents were also unlikely to have been vaccinated – leaving Maggie without the protection normally passed on from the mum and at very high risk of picking up parvovirus and other serious diseases” The family are now helping to raise awareness of the heartbreak puppy farming can cause: “We were naive. We don’t want other people to be conned in the same way or go through the terrible trauma that we have experienced. We fully support PDSA’s PawsFirst campaign and encourage people to do their research before taking on a pet. I’d definitely encourage people to get expert advice before making impulse buys,” concluded Gary.