Battersea warns of the dangers of buying pets through unscrupulous sellers

Battersea is warning people looking for a new pet to be careful after a five-week old kitten was left needing emergency surgery just two days after she was bought from a breeder.

The animal rescue centre took in tiny kitten Alani, after her owners found a lump on her belly and a vet diagnosed her with an umbilical hernia. Unable to afford treatment, the family made the responsible decision to hand her into Battersea.

On arrival, little Alani was rushed to the centre’s operating theatre as Battersea’s veterinary team were concerned her intestines would twist beyond repair. Despite her tiny  size, they were able to treat the hernia.

Shaun Opperman, Battersea’s Veterinary Director, said: “Alani was able to get the treatment she so badly needed. Her previous owners made the right decision by handing her into Battersea as they were unable to afford the veterinary procedure. They’d only had her for two days and hadn’t realised how young she was – far too young to be parted from her mother.

“Sadly, this isn’t the first time we have seen animals like Alani being brought into Battersea needing urgent medical care. Animal lovers across the country have been duped into handing over cash to unscrupulous sellers who sell pets without any thought for their welfare.

“We strongly advise those who are thinking about going to private sellers for their pets to do thorough research beforehand, or consider a rescue. If you’ve bought a pet during lockdown and aren’t sure you can care for it, please do the right thing and bring it to a rescue centre rather than abandoning it.”

Alani spent the rest of her recovery in a foster home with a member of staff where she grew in confidence and affection, showing off her mischievous side. After 30 days, Alani was microchipped and neutered before finding a new home.

Battersea has been here for every dog and cat for 160 years and is now able to take in dogs and cats needing homes again. Like many charities, Battersea has seen a significant drop in income as a direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Now more than ever, Battersea needs your support so they can continue to help animals like Alani.

Visit battersea.org.ukto find out how you can support Battersea.