Trafficking fears over abandoned puppy

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Fears Pandora could have been illegally smuggled into the UK.  Pic by © Merseyside Dogs Home Facebook.

Fears Pandora could have been illegally smuggled into the UK. Pic by © Merseyside Dogs Home Facebook.

A warning about the illegal trafficking of puppies has been given after an abandoned puppy, which could have been bred as a “designer dog”, was found in Liverpool.

The 10-week-old Husky/Pomeranian crossbreed can cost up to £2,500. Pandora, named by Merseyside Dogs Home, was found by a dog warden at the side of a main road.

Pandora became an internet sensation when a video of her was uploaded to the MDH Facebook page received over 243,000 views. Despite her popularity online, nobody has come forward claiming to be her owner.

Amid fears Pandora could have been born on a puppy farm in Eastern Europe, Paul Dunne, from Merseyside Dogs Home, said: “It seems strange no one has microchipped her or reported her missing, which makes us believe she was being transported to be sold.

“She was found with fleas and worms and was very frightened, but apart from that she was in a good condition.”

Since laws in the UK have been tightened to clamp down on puppy farms, there are fears that the number of puppies being trafficked has increased.

MDH say the trafficking of dogs causes long-term damage leading to families who want to give love and care to a puppy find themselves unable to.

Andy Robbins, Senior National Press Officer for RSPCA, told JMU Journalism: “Puppies that are sold online or by irresponsible breeders could have a multitude of hidden problems, ranging from disease to behavioural problems. This can leave new owners with hefty vet bills or ongoing issues they have to address with the help of dog behaviourists.

“In some extremely sad circumstances, people have had to rehome their pet because of the behavioural problem while others have died because of diseases they were suffering from.”

In September, MPs debated the issues around puppy breeding and their trade, and from this December, no puppy can be lawfully transported to this country under the pet passport scheme unless it is at least 15 weeks’ old.

Mr Robbins added: “Key things to be wary of include sellers who tell you that you can’t see the puppy with its mother where it was born. Alarm bells should be ringing if a seller offers to deliver a puppy to you at your home, or by meeting somewhere such as a car park.

“Responsible breeders will want to know about the buyer and the environment which their puppies will be raised.”

Merseyside Dogs Home is calling anyone who recognises Pandora, or puppies like her, to come forward with information as they could have been illegally smuggled into the country.

About Kayleigh Watthey, JMU Journalism