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Puppies Die After Being Bred By Dog Farmer Exploiting Covid-19 Rules

Puppies Die After Being Bred By Dog Farmer Exploiting Covid-19 Rules

Cockapoo Maxi and bulldog-pug cross breed Nugget both died days after they were bought by their owners.

Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson

The Scottish SPCA has renewed calls for the public to buy puppies safely, after they have received multiple reports of seriously ill dogs in recent days, with a link identified between the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and puppy farmers.

In recent days, the charity has been contacted about four puppies who were sold by suspected puppy dealers. In the last two days two of these dogs, a cockapoo named Maxi and a bulldog-pug cross breed called Nugget sadly passed away.

A third dog is unwell. A special investigations unit at the charity has launched an investigation amid the escalation of reports of puppy farming.

Maxi (pictured) died on 24 October (
Scottish SPCA)

This month the investigation unit has launched 78 investigations into reports of puppy farming. The Scottish SPCA animal helpline has received 523 calls from people with concerns about puppy farming in 2020. It is believed that dealers are using coronavirus restrictions to confuse buyers into paying large amounts of money for dogs.

Chief superintendent from the Scottish SPCA, Mike Flynn, said: "The combination of coronavirus restrictions and extortionate prices of puppies is being manipulated by puppy traders selling badly bred dogs."

The health of puppies bred by puppy dealers is virtually impossible to regulate and puppies can be born with defects which can seriously affect their health and lead to death.

Maxi the cockapoo passed away on Saturday, 24 October, less than a week after his family bought the little pooch home. They said he seemed lively when he first arrived home but his condition quickly deteriorated.

A dog which has been identified as Maxi's sibling and sold to another buyer unrelated to Maxi's owners is currently unwell. Nugget, a bulldog-pug cross, died on Sunday 25 October just three days after he was taken home.

Superintendent Mike Flynn explains that of the four dogs currently being investigated, three were sold by the dealer taking the dog to the buyer's home and the other buyers were give a fake address to purchase and collect the puppy which turned out to be a car park. "You should never purchase a pup in a public place or at your own home," he warned.

Nugget (pictured) was a bulldog-pug cross breed (
Scottish SCPA)

Tests are ongoing to find out what conditions the two unfortunate pups had but, the charity explains, their conditions are consistent with being bred on a puppy farm. They were less than eight weeks old, meaning they were too young to be removed from their mother, let alone sold.

"There are things we would urge any buyer to do," explains Chief superintendent Mike Flynn, "such as insist on seeing the pup they are buying at the seller's home or premises with their mum. At the moment, we know many dealers are telling unsuspecting members of the public to meet them in a car park or public space to pass over the dog safely. The seller will often be wearing a mask and afterwards they are impossible to get a hold of when the pup gets sick.

"Prices have skyrocketed in 2020 as responsible breeders scaled back due to the restrictions yet demand increased as many people were stuck at home. Now, dealers can charge more than ever before and sell more easily than they've previously been able to. The root of this problem is public demand.

"As we approach Christmas, we are frightened by the prospect of the general public flocking to these people to buy sick and ill puppies.

The Scottish SPCA has issued a warning about purchasing puppies (

"Every single time a pup dies we say the same thing to the public - don't be rushed in to parting with money and insist on seeing the puppy with their mum. Do not buy a puppy until you have seen paperwork and certificates for vaccinations, microchipping and worming."

A spokesperson for the Scottish SPCA told Tyla that the investigation into what happened to Nugget and Maxi is still ongoing.

For more information on buying a puppy safely, visit our Say No To Puppy Dealers site.

Featured Image Credit: Scottish SPCA

Topics: Pets, Coronavirus, Real Life, Dogs