FURIOUS mum Samantha Crouch has hit out at a breeder who sold her a puppy so small, young and sick it is in a critical state at a specialist veterinary centre and has even gone blind.
The 30-year-old, from Fareham, is now warning others of the dangers of buying animals from Facebook pages and her story has attracted hundreds of comments online.
I didn’t set out to start a campaign, I set out to raise awareness about Maggie and her story as it is so heart breaking.Samantha Crouch, from Fareham
Mrs Crouch bought her dog, Maggie, from a man in Waterlooville after she responded to an advert on a buy and sell site.
She said: ‘We were naive really. I saw them on a page with a photo and I contacted the owner and agreed to go round there.
‘He asked nothing about me. He didn’t know me from Adam and he fed me this story about three puppies he bought for his children that he needed to sell as they didn’t get along.’
Mrs Crouch said her suspicions were raised as she could hear other dogs at the address and she bought the smallest of the three puppies.
She paid £300 for Maggie, who she believed to be half Chihuahua and half Pomeranian, and took her home but within seven days Maggie was sick – vomiting, having diarrhoea and bleeding.
The mum-of-two said: ‘Any normal member of the public will try and help which is wrong as we are lining their pockets so you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.’
She rushed Maggie to the vet’s on Friday, August 14 and they diagnosed her with parvovirus – a highly contagious viral disease.
When she warned the seller, he said it was her problem. Mrs Crouch said she has since tracked down the other two puppies, to find one has died, and she has reported the seller to the RSPCA.
Meanwhile, poor Maggie was transferred to a specialist vet in Winchester last week, where she remains in a critical condition and has gone blind in one eye.
Vets have told Mrs Crouch they believe Maggie was only five weeks when she was sold and that she had not built up the antibodies needed to be separated from her mother. They also said they do not know what breed she is.
Luckily Mrs Crouch had insurance but that only covers up to £4,000, which has nearly been reached so she has set up a crowd funding page to help with the costs, to donate go to crowdfunding.justgiving.com/samantha-crouch
Mrs Crouch said: ‘I didn’t set out to start a campaign, I set out to raise awareness about Maggie and her story as it is so heart breaking. But I want to warn others about puppy farming and back street breeding.’
For more search ‘Maggie Making Her Mark’ on Facebook.