Underage puppy discarded hours after online purchase


A young puppy surrendered to a rescue soon after purchase is sadly not an uncommon sight: far too many people still buy dogs on impulse, from pet shops or online – not only unaware that they’re feeding the cruel trade of puppy farming, but also unprepared to take on the responsibilities dog ownership entails.

However, six-week-old Jack Russell puppy Buddy may very well have established a record: not only was he separated from his mother earlier than he should have been, but he was discarded within hours of being bought on Gumtree. Yes, hours.

Buddy was collected by police after they stopped a car in the early hours of a Tuesday morning in July. After telling the officer at the scene that they had just purchased the puppy that afternoon, the owners handed him over; they simply didn’t want him anymore.

Buddy was taken to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, where he’s being looked after – and he already has a forever home ready for him. Not all dogs in rescues are so lucky: some have to wait a long time for their forever home, and often one of the reasons is that they’re overlooked… in favour of puppies being sold online.

Sean Welland, Rehoming and Welfare Manager at Battersea Old Windsor, said, “While it’s shocking that Buddy had been sold on so young, it’s sadly not uncommon for dogs to be bought online and then swiftly discarded by their owners when they change their mind.

“Buying animals online is just as easy as ordering a new pair of shoes or jeans from an internet store. All too many people get a puppy and then decide that it’s just too much work. It’s then animal rescues, such as Battersea, that are left to pick up the pieces.”

Battersea has seen an increase in the number of dogs crossing their gates after being bought online. In 2015, 14.7 per cent of dogs coming into its care had originally been sold online; this rose to 16.6 percent in 2017.

Update 03/02/18

A Gumtree spokesperson said, “We’re glad to hear Buddy was eventually able to find a forever home but it’s disheartening nevertheless to hear of these sorts of cases. At Gumtree, we take the welfare of animals seriously and work hard to ensure our site is a safe place to rehome pets.

“Measures we take include educating users on how to buy pets safely and responsibly with plenty of advice on our Pets Advice Hub. As well as the RSPCA and DEFRA, we work with Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) and comply with – and in some cases exceed – all of their 18 standards. These industry-endorsed standards improve animal welfare in an e-commerce environment.

 “We also do not allow ‘wanted’ ads in our Pets category, as there are plenty of pets to choose from on the site and in sanctuaries across the country, and we delete any ads we believe are encouraging or indicate signs of animal cruelty. Users with any concerns about an ad on our site can use the ‘Report’ button that appears next to every ad. Our dedicated safety team will then investigate and, if necessary, work with the police to secure convictions.”

Images by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.


  1. I baught my jack russel terrier when she was only 6 weeks old. She has short tail and long fur. Shes now 13.5 years old. I was always told that a pup must always stay with its mum until at least 6 weeks old. My pup is always loved and i will until long after she passes one day.
    Its cruel for anyone to just dump their pets just coz they changed their minds. Why not just take them to a place where they can be looked after and maybe even tell the place the details of where they had them from and why they are giveing up their pets? e.g. developed allergic reaction etc
    People can be understanding but those who can harm animals, i believe they can harm people just as easily as pets. Its cruel and should not happen. Animals should be loved just like people

  2. I have had all my dogs from Birmingham dogs home. They have been great companions, the best of dogs and equal family members. To give a dog a chance of love and to rescue an orphaned dog means a lot. Dogs are for life and need loads of love, respect, companionship and time. They are family. They are not clothed you take back or donate to charity.

  3. Absolutely horrendous
    Why did they buy this beautiful little fella
    It’s a good job they were stopped by police it’s frightening to think of the outcome
    By the sound of this callous person he could easily have been abandoned .

  4. All a dog needs is feeding walking and love if you cannot give them those 3 things don’t have one nobody forces a person to have any animal I traveled over 300 miles to get my little dog and we love her to bits she is my best friend.so people think before buying

  5. All a dog needs is feeding walking and love if you cannot give them those 3 things don’t have any animal nobody is forced into buying an animal so stop and think I traveled over300 miles to
    get my little dog and we love her to bits she is my best friend

  6. We rescued our dog from The Dogs Trust in Manchester on 8th May this year (our 4th rescue dog). He is brilliant, a Manchester Terrier 15 inches tall with a huge heart full of love. He will stay with us till the day he dies. Don’t get a dog if you give it back the first time it does something wrong. Think twice before making your choice.

  7. I rescued My cross Lab/ border collie 8 years ago, She is such a lovely charector, she the third rescue dog from the Dogs Trust Bridgend. A dog is a big commitment, so think before you buy a dog

  8. All mine bar one are rescue dogs from Dogs trust!! A high amount of dogs in kennels have no issues!! Other than humans letting them down !! Kennels are a highly stressful environment, some dogs cope better than others!! The LAW needs to change and stop over breeding and low life skum breeding for the purpose of making money!! Severe fines and punishments need to be given to stop poor defenceless animals a life of pain and suffering !!

  9. All dogs are like humans… they too have feelings.. a heart and soul. So if you dont have the time love and patience to care for one, then please dont get one.. Simple really!!


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