When purchasing a new puppy, it's so important that you do your research and avoid being tricked by illegal breeders.
One man has been slammed 'master manipulator' by animal welfare chiefs, for allowing parvovirus – a highly contagious and deadly virus – to spread.
Three adorable Labrador puppies were dumped by the unknown black market breeder on Tuesday in broad daylight just before 4pm.
The poorly pups were spotted in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and taken in by the Scottish SPCA – which was tipped off about a similar puppy who had died days before.
Microchips from the late pup matched the chips from the rescued litter, and it is suspected they were abandoned after discovering the virus was a risk.
The trio are recuperating in safe hands
Scottish SPCA / SWNS)
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The seller had convinced an unsuspecting owner to meet in a public place with two other pups and a dog he claimed was the mother.
But when the illness became apparent, the buyer was left spending thousands attempting to save the pet's life.
A Scottish SPCA undercover special investigations unit inspector said: "We suspect these puppies are linked to prolific low-welfare puppy dealers operating in Scotland.
"In the past we have come across similar cases where puppies have been dumped as soon as they're no longer profitable because they have have fallen ill.
"We cannot stress this enough: the supply of badly-bred puppies will only disappear if public demand stops.
"Every year, thousands of pups are dying at just days or weeks old to fuel the trade.
"We will continue to fight the puppy trade every step of the way, but we need each and every person to do their bit to help us stop it.
"There are thousands of adverts on websites like Gumtree for puppies, but there is no guarantee you are buying from a responsible breeder when you shop online.
"Under no circumstances should someone meet a breeder to purchase a puppy or allow a pup to be dropped off.
"Do not accept any excuse, no matter how plausible it seems.
"These people are master manipulators and will try anything to make you believe they are legitimate and responsible breeders.
"We are urging the public to be vigilant when buying a puppy and not to accept any excuse not to see the puppy with mum.
"We would always advise adopting over buying a pet but those with their hearts set on buying a puppy should do their research and make sure they are buying from a responsible breeder.
"Although you may have to wait slightly longer, you will be getting a happy and healthy dog.
"The Scottish SPCA is dedicated to tackling the illegal puppy trade.
"If anyone has any information regarding this incident, or is concerned they may have purchased a pup from a low-welfare breeder, they should call our confidential animal helpline."
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