Recently, Damian Burwitz from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire went to Birmingham together with his wife, Kelly. The couple was about to meet someone who was selling puppies online. However, upon their arrival, they realized that there had been a mix-up. Someone already bought the dog.
The couple was reluctant to travel back home empty-handed. So, they decided to check the internet if other puppies were for sale within the area. That was when they saw one that was advertised for £500 ($655).
Damian and Kelly contacted the seller and were told that the puppy was staying at his mother’s place because his landlord does not allow pets. For a “quick sale,” the man said that he would give the dog to the couple for a discounted rate of £350 ($459), to which the couple agreed.
According to the seller, the puppy was an eight-week-old chocolate Labrador. When the couple took the puppy, they said that she did not look unhealthy, only a little quiet and withdrawn. Damian said that at that time, this did not ring alarm bells. They were just excited to have a dog and named her Leia.
However, during their two-and-a-half-hour travel way back home, the couple started to voice out their concerns to each other. They noticed that Leia seemed increasingly subdued. So, they decided to book for a vet appointment for the next morning.
Damian and Kelly’s sons, Lucas and Oliver, immediately fell in love with Leia the moment they met her at home. However, the puppy soon started throwing up. Because the family was pretty new to dog ownership, they assumed that the car journey caused Leia to feel unwell.
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When night time came, things got worse, though. So, the couple rushed Leia to the vet as soon as it opens the following day. That was when the puppy was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, otherwise known as parvo. This virus is highly contagious and is usually deadly if not treated.
The vet put Leia to sleep, and the family was left heartbroken. She was their first family dog. The time that they spent together, although very short, was enough for them to connect emotionally. They tried to contact the seller but got nothing.
Dogs Trust veterinary director, Paula Boyden, said that it is heartbreaking that dogs are still illegally imported. Usually, they are in terrible conditions as cruel puppy smugglers are only after huge profits. Sadly, it is very easy to dogfish, and it is difficult to know if the puppy that you are buying was smuggled.
Credit: Damian Burwitz