Common problems for a puppy farmed dog are:
- Parvovirus – can be fatal and cost up to €1,000 to treat
- Worms – can be fatal but if it causes bad diarrhoea requiring a drip it could cost €500
- Hip dysplasia – two total hip replacements would cost €7,000
- Patella luxation (dislocating knee-caps) – surgery on both knees would cost €1,500
- Congenital heart problems – if surgery required would cost €5,000-6,000
In August 2009 Clare Marklen decided to get another dog to join her two Jack Russell Terriers (JRTs), She saw an advert online for a litter of miniature JRTs and went to the seller’s house to buy one. There was only one puppy left, a tiny black female JRT crossed with a Chihuahua. Clare immediately felt suspicious as the pup didn’t resemble the ones in the advert, she was not allowed to see the dog’s parents and the sellers did not provide her with a puppy pack about how to look after the dog, but she felt sorry for her so paid €295 and took her home.
“I should have listened to the alarm bells ringing in my head, but my husband and I just wanted to get her out of there so paid the money. Pebbles was subdued and began to pass blood and have diarrhoea almost immediately. The vet said she could have a number of problems, gave her some medication and an injection and told us to keep her separated from my other two dogs so the infections didn’t spread. The next morning I went downstairs to check up on her and she was dead in her basket.
We’d only had her 2 days and I was heartbroken. I repeatedly called the breeder to warn them about the infection in case the other puppies had it, but they just wouldn’t answer the phone. I didn’t want a refund, I was concerned about the other dogs’ welfare.”
Clare now has a five month old Parson Terrier puppy, but it took her a further four attempts to find a reputable breeder willing to show her both parents and provide her with a puppy pack.