A dog owner has revealed how she faced a £7,000 vet bill after inadvertently buying a malnourished corgi from a puppy farm and discovering he was riddled with health issues including worms and gastroenteritis.
Jessica Price, 26, from Hertfordshire, bought her corgi Scully from Llanwrda, Wales, last summer.
Despite initial excitement after taking home the pup, things quickly went wrong and within 24-hours of going home Scully was rushed to vets where Jessica, and her fiance Dai, 32, were advised to euthanise him, when he collapsed at home.
‘We realised Scully was poorly the night we got him home. He had diarrhoea in the car the whole way home which we put down to stress of being taken away from mum,’ Jessica, who works for ASOS, told FEMAIL.
Jessica has since reported the farmers to RSPCA, Trading Standards and The Kennel Club but has recently discovered her they are still breeding, and hopes to put an end to it.
A dog owner has revealed how she faced a £7,000 vet bill after inadvertently buying a malnourished corgi from a puppy farm that was riddled with health issues including worms and gastroenteritis. Jessica Price, 26, from Hertforshire, bought her corgi Scully (pictured) from Llanwrda, Wales, last summer
‘He was very small, but we were told he was the runt, and he’d been signed off by the vet as being healthy just two days before we picked him up,’ Jessica added.
‘He had been to the vet to be chipped and vaccinated and we were given the documents to prove this.
‘When we got him home, he was very lethargic. He was quiet, he had no interest in toys, and he only ate a very tiny amount of the kibble we were given.
‘We thought he was just tired from the six hour car journey and it was gone midnight when we got home,’ she added.
‘The next morning he wasn’t eating and still had the runs. I spoke to the vets first thing and they said it’s probably just stress and to not bring him down and stress him out more.
‘They said keep an eye and if he got worse to call back.
‘By afternoon he still wasn’t picking up so I called them back and they booked me an appointment for 6pm.
‘I spoke to a lady from the corgi group who advised plain scrambled egg as he still had the runs. He only ate a tiny bit of this.
‘We had him on the sofa with us as we waited for 6pm to come around. He started getting fidgety so I thought I’d put him down to take him for a wee.
Despite initial excitement after taking home the pup, things quickly went wrong and within 24-hours of going home the pup was rushed to vets where Jessica was advised to put him down. Scully is pictured with his brothers
‘When I put him down on the puppy pad his legs gave way and he just collapsed. I took him straight to his food and water to try and get him to eat and drink.
‘He collapsed again. My fiancé picked him up and his legs were all limp. We put him back on the floor to get the phone to call the vets, and he got up by himself and started walking around,’ Jessica added.
‘Then he collapsed again and his eyes were flickering and rolled back into his head. It was absolutely terrifying.
‘I phoned my mother in law and asked us if she could rush us to the vets whilst my fiancé was on the phone trying to get through and tell them we were coming down.
‘My mother-in-law rushed us to a different vets that was closer to our house as she saw how poorly he was.
‘He was all limp in the car and had laboured breathing. Then he started retching as we pulled into the vet car park. I was on the phone to the new vets to tell them we were coming,’ Jessica added.
Jessica knew Scully was ill very quickly, as he had diarrhoea on the car journey home, but she initially believed it was stress
‘They said we couldn’t just turn up due to Covid and that they’d need to see if they had a vet free to see him. I was on hold to them as we pulled up outside and he was retching.
‘My mother-in-law grabbed him and he went all limp and she just ran into the vets saying “this dog is dying and needs help NOW!”
‘This was less than 24-hours after bringing him home. We were told that he was extremely poorly and that we may need to think about euthanasia.
‘I was in tears, sobbing my eyes out in the waiting room. I begged them to do whatever they could to save his life.
The vets told Jessica that Scully was severely malnourished which was causing seizures.
‘His blood sugar had dropped to dangerously low levels. He had worms. He was only 0.9kg (1.9lbs) when we took him to the vet,’ Jessica said.
Scully – pictured next to a water bottle – was less than half the weight of a normal corgi his size – at less than 0.9kg
‘A healthy eight week old corgi pup should be more than 2kg (5lbs).
‘His size was not just due to being the runt but down to the severe lack of care and attention on the breeders part.
‘He was also diagnosed with a severe case of gastroenteritis which was so bad because his tiny body couldn’t fight it off by itself.
The next day Scully was placed in intensive care and stayed there for two nights.
‘When we dropped him off they said they would call me with updates and I’d only get a call at night if things were going bad.
‘I got a call that evening and my heart sank. They said he was extremely poorly, and they needed to set my expectations that he might not make it.
‘I was in pieces again. I couldn’t breathe. My fiancé had to take the phone and speak to the vet because I just went into shock.
‘He had loads of tests done. Constant blood monitoring, a drip for rehydration.
Jessica said she was over the moon when she got Scully as her wedding had been cancelled due to Covid earlier this year
‘He had a test for Addison’s disease and for liver function. Thankfully all came back negative. His blood sugar and protein levels were very low. They were doing what they could to stabilise it.
‘After he was moved from ICU they continued to monitor him and treat his worms.
‘By the time he was allowed home, we racked up more than £7,000 in vets fees in total.
Jessica had gone through ‘all the checks’ about getting a corgi before contacting the breeder.
Speaking about the breeder she added: ‘She asked me about my work and home life. She reserved me a red and white boy, and didn’t require a deposit.
‘She said she will be in touch with photos and updates. I cried when I put down the phone as I was so happy that my dream of finally owning a corgi was coming true.
Jessica only had the four week temporary puppy insurance with the Kennel Club provided by the breeder and was faced with a huge bill
‘Our wedding had not long been cancelled due to Covid and I was having a tough time with personal life, so getting this news was the pick me up I really needed.
‘Before getting Scully, I had been contacting many people in corgi Facebook groups for advice on finding a breeder, as well as corgi ownership. I have wanted a corgi for around 8 years, and I was finally in a position to own one.
‘I spent months researching, contacting, and getting my names on a few wait lists.
Jessica only had the four week temporary puppy insurance with the Kennel Club provided by the breeder, meaning she was left with a huge vet’s bill.
‘I was speaking to a lady called Dawn who was checking in with me to see how Scully and myself were doing. I mentioned to her I was looking at selling my car to pay for his treatment.
‘She went away to another member the Great Corgi Club of Britain Facebook page, Joey, and they set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for our fees, despite me saying I didn’t want anyone’s help and I would sort it myself.
‘I was so overwhelmed by their acts of kindness. I cried so much that week. Between them, and the power of The GCCB and U.K. Corgi Club groups, they raised enough money for Scully’s treatment and saved me from having to sell my car. I am still so thankful and grateful to them to this day, for helping to save my boy.
Jessica is in touch with the owners of Scully’s full brother, named Wilbur, and his half brothers Freddie and Neelie, and has since discovered many of the puppies have health issues. Scully is pictured now
Jessica is in touch with the owners of Scully’s full brother, named Wilbur, and his half brothers Freddie and Neelie, and has since discovered many of the puppies have health issues.
‘I reported it to the Kennel Club. The Kennel Club told me that they can’t do anything about it as they “can’t police adverts” and if I have concerns I need to report to the RSPCA.
‘I reported to the RSPCA and I haven’t heard anything more from them since October/November time when they asked me for more details and said they were still looking into it,’
‘Trading Standards have written to the breeder and told them they need a licence, but said they can’t do anything else. The breeder is still breeding despite this.’
‘It’s extremely frustrating as these dogs are so badly treated and need taking away, but everywhere seems to be palming me off.
Despite still being small, Scully is now healthy due to being placed in intensive care and £7,000 vet bill
Scully is now healthy at seven months old, at 1stone 1lb, but he has severe food aggression which has stemmed from his poor breeding and being left to fight for his food against the litter mates.
‘We’re working on this and he is getting better, but it’s still a very long process. We will always be worried that he might have future health issues, but just trying to do whatever we can to keep him fit and healthy,’ Jessica said.
‘I would advise anyone looking for a pup to do so much research before buying and don’t take Kennel Club registration as meaning your pup will be from a good breeder, as we were made to believe.
‘Look out for anything that might be suspicious, such as registering dogs under a different name.
‘We fell for the sob story of it being down to their mum having cancer. These breeders are very clever and know all the tricks in the book to get round it.
‘Just do so so much research, speak to as many people as you can, use social media to make connections with breed clubs, and just make sure you search the breeders name to see if you find anything suspicious about them on the internet.
‘I also want to add that this breeder is still breeding and currently has pups for sale, so I hope that people don’t fall into the same trap we did.
‘When we took Scully to the out of hours vets for the second time, I was in contact with the breeder to let them know what was happening.
Scully is now healthy at seven months old, at 1stone 1lb, but h e has severe food aggression which has stemmed from his poor breeding and being left to fight for his food against the litter mates
‘They phoned me when I was in tears sat in the car outside the vets. I asked for my money back to help pay the vet fees as I couldn’t afford them.
‘He told me that I shouldn’t waste any more money on Scully’s treatment and that I should have him put down.
‘He said “I deal with life and death all the time on the farm and thing like this happen sometimes”. He then asked me what I would like him to do about it, I said “can I have my money back?” and he said “I’ll pick you a better one next time”.
‘I did get my money back for what I paid to the breeder in the end, but I had to lie to them and make out Scully had died as they said they would only give me my money back if he died.
‘The breeders also told us when we picked Scully up that they weren’t going to breed anymore as they had health issues. Yet they’ve had another two litters since, that we know of, there could be more.
‘We also found out they’ve been saying this to other people who got dogs from them, dating back to 2018.
‘So for two years they’ve been telling people the same story of how they’re going to stop breeding as they have health issues, but then are still doing it. We have evidence of dogs from this breeder going back to 2015.
‘That’s how long they’ve been getting away with it and nothings being done about it.
‘They had over 30 puppies in less than a year. It’s disgraceful and the dogs need to be taken away from them!
A Kennel Club spokesperson told FEMAIL: ‘We are extremely concerned to hear about the puppy buyer’s experience and Scully’s situation. The Kennel Club does not have the authority to investigate individual puppy sales from breeders, unless the puppy is bought under the Assured Breeder Scheme, but we can give our assurance that we can remove breeders from The Kennel Club’s registration system in the event of relevant convictions.
‘That is why it is always important to report any concerns to the RSPCA and The Kennel Club will assist in any way possible.
“The Kennel Club advises that puppy buyers should try to look for a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, who are assessed and certified to offer well-bred puppies and whose premises we are able to inspect.
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