Ronnie was presented to his owner by her former partner. He was bought online. Within few days, she lost her home. Ronnie is being surrendered to the world famous pets’ refuge. Battersea say Ronnie has the dubious honour of becoming its first intake of 2018 but the charity is expecting a massive influx of more unwanted animals as the country continues to witness the fall out of the puppy trade.
The Government announced in the run up to Christmas that it wants to crackdown on the way dogs and families are being exploited by unscrupulous dealers. It plans to make licenced dog breeders responsible for showing puppies with their mothers before they can be sold as well tightening regulations so sales are completed in front of new owners to prevent “blind” online sales.
Licenced breeders will also only be able to sell puppies they have reared themselves, while adverts, including those online, will have to have breeders’ licence details. The RSPCA says last year was its busiest tackling the £100 million puppy trade, witnessing an 11.8 per cent increase in complaints and handling 4,125 calls.
For Ronnie, his tragic story has done nothing to diminish his fun-loving ways. Battersea released an endearing video of him playing with rehoming and welfare assistant Alice Holt as he awaits a new forever home. Battersea’s Intake Manager Steven Craddock said it came as little shock that the first dog through its doors in 2018 was bought online.
He explained: “Ronnie is just one of many thousands of dogs who will be bought off an unregulated website in the coming months and end up in a home where the owner is unprepared and unable to take proper care of them. “His new owner did the right thing by bringing him into us where we can look after him and find him a loving new home, which we doubt will take long as he’s such a lovely boy.
“However, this doesn’t change the fact that he never should have been sold online in the first place. “We believe he may have been taken from his mother far too young and likely sold by a breeder with absolutely no regard for his welfare. “It’s so easy to sell a dog online and this is one of the biggest challenges that Battersea faces today. “I’d encourage anyone thinking of welcoming a new pet into their lives to consider rescue over shopping online.”