The RSPCA is investigating after five puppies were found dumped at a farm in Wendover – mirroring an incident in which six pups were abandoned at the same site last year.
The animal welfare charity was contacted on Thursday lunchtime (22 February) by a woman who had found the dogs abandoned at the gated entrance to a field.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith, who is now investigating, said: “We are treating this as an abandonment but it seems clear to me that these dogs have come from somewhere nearby where dogs are being bred.
“I believe they were dumped as ‘bad stock’ – puppies which have failed to sell – and the traders didn’t want to spend any more money on them.
“I don’t believe it can be a coincidence that we had a very similar incident last year in which six puppies were found abandoned at the same spot.”
The puppies – a four-month-old shih tzu cross called Hugo and four eight-month-old puggles Beatrice, Esra, Gerard and Lucy – were all taken to a local vet where they received treatment for fleas, worms and skin conditions.
In August, a beagle, Yorkshire terrier, lhasa apso, puggle and two poodle-crosses, were found abandoned. They were taken to the vets before being taken in by the RSPCA’s Chiltern branch and being rehomed.
“These were similar breeds and types of dogs, of similar ages, dumped at the same site,” inspector Smith added.
“When dogs of different breeds – mostly fashionable, designer breeds – are dumped together in a remote area like this it seems extremely suspicious to me.
“I suspect they may have been abandoned by an unscrupulous puppy breeder after they failed to sell. This is, sadly, the reality of the underground puppy trade – where money is put ahead of the welfare of the dogs.
“If you’re thinking of buying a puppy this year we would urge you to consider rescuing. If buying from a breeder be really, really careful before parting with your money and taking home a dog.
“We’d advise anyone who is buying a puppy to use our Puppy Contract which can help ensure you bring home a happy and healthy dog.”
The dogs are now being cared for by the RSPCA’s Hillingdon, Slough, Windsor, Kingston & District Branch and Inspector Smith is investigating. She’s made local enquiries and is also appealing for information and would like to hear from anyone who recognises these dogs, knows where they may have come from or who might be responsible for abandoning them.
Anyone with information which could aid the investigation should contact the RSPCA appeal line by calling 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Smith.
The RSPCA is on the frontline, tackling the puppy trade and is hopeful that proposed legislation will help to crackdown on unscrupulous breeders and sellers. The charity is also urging consumers to be careful when buying a puppy and advises all prospective puppy buyers to use the Puppy Contract: www.puppycontract.org.uk.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs like these, please donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.