The Mayhew Animal Home reminds people a pet is for life and not just for Christmas

The black Labrador cross has been named Madison (Pic: Mayhew)

The black Labrador cross has been named Madison (Pic: Mayhew) - Credit: Archant

An animal charity is reminding people that a pet is for life and not just for Christmas after a puppy bought online as a present ended up in its care.

The eight-week old Labrador cross named Madison by staff at the Mayhew Animal Home in Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green, ended up under its roof after it was abandoned by a man who bought it for £295.

After buying the pup for a relative the present turned out to be unwanted and Madison was handed to the Mayhew.

In a further twist when the Mayhew checked the microchip and health papers that were given to the buyer of Madison they turned out to be false.

The seller was an illegal breeder and Madison had worms, which was causing her diarrhoea, and has since been treated with antibiotics, round-the-clock care and a special diet.

Madison has now found a new loving home.

Gillian Notton, the Mayhew’s head of animal welfare, said: “There are already so many unwanted animals in rescue centres like ours that have come from people who buy pets on a whim, especially around Christmas time, without taking into consideration the responsibilities and needs of the pet.

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“Unfortunately many people don’t realise that bringing a new animal into their home takes a huge amount of preparation, perseverance and patience.”

“Absolutely anyone over the age of 16 can walk into a pet shop or buy any animal they want online. There are no checks on the reliability and ability of buyers to look after pets and buyers won’t be aware of the pet’s background.

“We see a lot of unwanted dogs as they are bred purely to be sold for profit or used as a breeding machine. It is completely irresponsible to buy a puppy online, from pet shops or from illegal breeders, but unfortunately we see this happen far too often.

“Purchasing pets in this way fuels the already huge problem of illegal breeding and unwanted animals and animal charities like ours are left to pick up the pieces.

“If you do decide to get a puppy from a breeder, try to get recommendations from owners and breed clubs about reputable breeders. You should always make sure you see the puppy with its mum and litter, checking that they really are the puppies’ family. Responsible breeders should be happy to give you a full medical history of the animal.”

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