DOG lover Vicky Howells wants to warn people who buy puppies from internet advertisements they might not get the pet they were expecting.
Ms Howells, who lives near Devizes, is an experienced dog owner and agility class trainer, bought border collie Ted after seeing him advertised as coming from a loving home and was used to children and cats. The advertiser who gave her name as Ruby also said she owned the puppy's mother.
But when Ms Howells arrived at the address in Ashbury, just over the Wiltshire border in Oxfordshire she was met by a woman on the doorstep clutching the puppy in her arms.
She said: "As we approached she shoved the puppy into my arms and stepped back into the half opened doorway blocking the way into the house. The puppy was very subdued and shaking alarm bells were already ringing in my head.
"Ruby said how rare his colouring was and wasn’t he lovely. I assumed we would be invited into the house to view the puppy properly." But the woman would not let her inside and said the mother was not available to be seen.
Ms Howells said she could see the puppy was in a poor condition but handed over £350 as she wanted to give him a good home. She said: "He was dirty and trembling and I would not have been able to live with myself if I had left him behind."
But now seven months later Ms Howells is struggling to cope with Ted's behaviour. She said: "It is obvious that he had not had any human association and even now he is very anxious and has difficult behaviour such as wanting to dig all the time.
"I am an experienced dog owner and I can give him a lot of time and attention but if this had been a family with small children they would probably have handed him over to a dog's home. I want to warn people not to take the advertisements for pets at face value."
She was so upset by the condition of the puppy that she reported the seller to trading standards at the Vale of White Horse council and Thames Valley Police.
The Gazette rang the number advertised by the seller but the person who answered said her name was Emily and she did not know about the sale. She said it might have been her daughter Rebecca who was involved. She denied any connection with Idstone Road.
* On May 23 Helen Kay Moorey of 19 Idstone Road, Ashbury is due to appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court in relation to alleged breaches of section one of the Pet Animals Act 1951.