The RSPCA has launched an investigation after six puppies were dumped by the side of the road in Aylesbury - sparking fears they were rejected from a nearby puppy farm when they failed to sell.
A local woman was passing by when she spotted the dogs abandoned at the entrance to a field in Wendover on Wednesday lunchtime (2 August).
She said: “They were all huddled together in a corner and one puppy was yapping to raise the alarm.
“We dashed there with our crate and some water and quickly rounded them up and brought them home. They were cold and wet, underweight and all had skin problems. They had matted fur and were covered in sawdust.
“It was most unusual because they were all different breeds. I have a feeling they were rejects from a puppy farm because they were all either runts or had something wrong with them, perhaps they just didn’t sell.
“It was awful, it really opened my eyes to what’s going on out there with the breeding of puppies.”
The woman - who doesn’t want to be named - and her family and neighbours took the dogs home and contacted the RSPCA before taking them to their local vets.
The young dogs were a mix of breeds including a beagle, Yorkshire terrier, lhasa apso, puggle and two poodle crosses.
After being treated and cared for by the vets, the dogs were taken in by the RSPCA’s local Chiltern branch where they are now being cared for by fosterers.
RSPCA inspector Lauren Bailey is investigating. She said: “The dogs were absolutely petrified and were in quite a state.
“It’s strange to have a group of puppies of totally different breeds dumped together. The fact that they’re quite ‘fashionable’ breeds and crossbreeds means I suspect they may have been abandoned by an unscrupulous puppy breeder after they failed to sell.
“This is the reality of the underground puppy trade and one we are really trying to raise awareness of. If you’re buying a puppy this summer, please 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 should use our Puppy Contract which can help ensure you bring home a happy and healthy dog.”
Inspector Bailey is also appealing for information about this group of pups.
“These poor, vulnerable pups were abandoned beside a road and left to fend for themselves,” she said. “They could have easily been hit by a car or succumbed to the cold and wet weather we’ve been having.
“To leave them like this is completely heartless. I’d like to hear from anyone who recognises them or who may have information about where they’ve come from to get in touch by calling our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leaving me a message.”
The RSPCA is working to tackle the puppy trade and is hopeful that proposed legislation will help to crackdown on unscrupulous breeders and sellers. But 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.
If you spot an abandoned animal or an animal in distress, call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).