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A common tail: underage pup sold online winds up in rescue

A tiny six-week-old puppy sold online, despite having suspected mange and being underage, has ended up in the care of London-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew.

The breeder of Luna, the Jack Russell Terrier, had arranged for the buyer to meet the little pup in a car park, where the puppy's mother was not present and she had no other siblings around her at the time.

Luna was an internet purchase and ended up homeless like so many others. Credit: Mayhew

Mayhew’s Dog Adoption Officer, Lisa Guiney, said, "Unfortunately as soon as they got Luna home, the owner noticed she was scratching herself all the time and had severe diarrhoea, so they decided to take her to their local vet to get her checked over. The vet suspected that Luna had mites, but sadly the owner couldn’t afford the tests to determine what was wrong, so Luna was brought into Mayhew."

The team at Mayhew's onsite Community Vet Clinic got to work to try and help Luna. They suspected she had sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious skin disease that can be passed onto other animals and humans. Luna was treated with a topical drug that kills mites and was also given a course of antibiotics due to a secondary bacterial skin infection, which was a result of skin damage from scratching. Thanks to all the love and care she received, luna is now back on her paws and has now found the perfect new home.

Head tilt alert! Luna is now back on her paws and has found a home. Credit: Mayhew

Sadly Luna's story is common. She is one of the many animals bought online or via apps on a whim without owners taking into consideration the responsibilities and needs of the pet. The charity's Christmas campaign, 'I am NOT an Impulse Buy', aims to raise awareness of the worrying trend of many pets ending up in rescue shelters due to impulse buys. Mayhew is urging potential owners to be responsible and consider adopting an animal from a rescue centre instead, where the responsibility and long-term commitment can be discussed and advice given.

The charity has also collaborated with Ravensbourne University to produce a video highlighting the campaign.