The hidden costs of buying a new puppy from third party pet sellers

A young couple who purchased a puppy on Gumtree realised their new pet was a victim of unlicensed ‘puppy farming’.

Little Buddy was advertised for sale on gumtree and listed as being vaccinated, microchipped and in good health.

However, his prospective owners were shocked upon arrival to discover 10-week old Buddy was being kept in a tiny rabbit hutch, with one other puppy.

During the first night in his new home, Buddy passed large amounts of watery, milky-coloured diarrhoea, and was obviously on considerable distress.

The couple quickly realised something was wrong and took him to London-based animal charity Mayhew the next day. They agreed to sign him over to the charity and he was placed in medical isolation, so vets could investigate further.

A spokesperson for Mayhew said: “Test results indicated that Buddy was suffering from a gastrointestinal infection or parasite, and so we prescribed him a full course of antibiotics and worming treatment, along with cage rest.

“We also discovered that Buddy had previously been given out-of-date vaccinations, and that whilst he was indeed microchipped, he had not been registered. This information, together with what we knew about Buddy’s background, led us to conclude that he was sadly a victim of unlicensed ‘puppy farming’.”

Deceptive breeders and sellers advertise dogs like Buddy on sites such as Gumtree every single day, and many prospective pet owners are duped into spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on abused, unwell or unsuitable animals.

A spokesperson for Mayhew added: “At Mayhew, we are determined to help and support all animals who find themselves a victim of puppy farming or unlicensed third-party trading. We urge all prospective pet owners to report any suspicious animal advertisements to their local authorities, and to visit registered rehoming shelter to find a furever friend.

“Luckily, after a few weeks in our care, little Buddy seemed like a completely different dog to the drowsy, distressed Labrador who first arrived at our door. He quickly showed himself to be a friendly, inquisitive and energetic little pup, and after being neutered and receiving a second round of vaccinations, Buddy was finally ready to go home for good. He now brightens the lives of his new owners every day.”

To find out more about Mayhew’s efforts to end animal suffering, you can visit