This fluffy puppy called Simba could be yours – if you have £ 4,500 spare.
“A luxurious, petite, chocolatey and white Pomeranian girl with green eyes is now available for booking,” gushes the Facebook page of a Cheshire company called Tiffany Chihuahuas, which says it sells Kennel Club registered puppies.
Every responsible vet, as well as the government, say you should always see a puppy with its mother before purchasing, so you can check its breeding conditions.
So, pretending to be a potential buyer, I emailed Tiffany Chihuahuas asking her to see Simba and her mother.
This, it turned out, would not be possible – the mother was hundreds of kilometers away.
“She is an import from a reputable partner breeder, so both parents are not here to be seen,” he replied. “However, I have their photos.”
This explains why photos of the same puppy, and many more, can be found on the Facebook pages of Tiffany Chihuahuas and a breeder in Russia.
Tiffany Chihuahuas is directed by Elena Katerova, who bowled viewers in August when she appeared with “teacup” dogs on Good Morning Britain and some seemed bowled over by the studio experience.
“One of the little dogs was literally shaking which suggests he is not very happy or strong,” tweeted one viewer.
“They are terrified! posted another.
I asked her why she hadn’t declared on her Facebook page or website that the dogs were imported from Russia.
“I’m saying when people come in contact with me, but at the end of the day it’s business, I don’t want my competition to know what I’m doing,” she replied.
She insisted that “I work with reputable breeders overseas because they have the best quality dogs,” and said there was nothing wrong with importing the dogs, which are taken to Moscow and then transported to Great Britain via Amsterdam.
“They travel with a courier on an airplane, they pass legally,” she said.
“If you have the right transportation, if you follow all the rules, there is nothing unethical. They are the right age, they travel fully vaccinated, I have all the necessary papers.
But how can potential buyers follow the official advice for seeing puppies with their mothers if they are in Russia?
Elena said she can provide videos, or buyers can travel to Russia – which doesn’t seem very convenient.
Earlier this year, Elena was in court after a client found out the Pomeranian named Bella she had purchased had a metal splint in one leg.
“Six weeks after the operation, the seller sold the dog to me for £ 5,000 and claimed the dog was a perfect example of the breed,” Jane Martin posted on Trustpilot.
She was reimbursed by her bank but then refused to return the puppy, saying, “I made it clear that I was prepared to pay an appropriate price, but it was refused.
Elena admitted the puppy broke a leg, but said he had recovered and accused Ms Martin of trying to get it cheaply.
She sued and Ms Martin was ordered to pay her £ 1,201. In a counterclaim, Elena Katerova was ordered to pay Ms Martin £ 927.
The Mirror’s Lucy’s Law campaign led by PupAid campaign veterinarian Marc Abraham will ban the sale of puppies by anyone other than the breeders themselves.
Environment Minister Michael Gove has pledged to support the campaign to end puppy breeders.
Elena said: “Lucy’s law is not in place at the moment.”
It’s just a matter of time.
In other puppy news, one of Britain’s largest puppy farms has been raided by police and the RSPCA.
A total of 94 dogs were collected from Little Rascals of Brant Broughton, Lincs, last week.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “As an investigation is ongoing, we cannot go into details at this time.”
Little Rascals Pets Limited was put into receivership by HM Revenue and Customs for unpaid tax earlier this month, and it has four outstanding county court judgments totaling more than £ 28,000.
It was licensed for 200 breeding bitches but the license expired on October 17th.
Former manager Edward Swindells said the family business would continue, saying there were around 100 dogs left at the site.
“I will respond to you when the RSPCA responds to me,” he said.
“We have not received any information from them yet, we have not received any allegations or requests for an interview.”
During this time, around 60 dogs and puppies were rescued in County Durham.
Search warrants have been executed under the Animal Welfare Act on buildings in Bishop Auckland where a suspected puppy farm has been discovered.
Police reported that some of the animals were seriously injured.
“With Christmas approaching, we are encouraging people to buy puppies from a reputable breeder,” said Inspector Andy Reeves of the Bishop Auckland Police Team.
“Make sure you see the puppy with its mother, all papers are in order and the injections are up to date.”
Or, better yet, if you want a dog, go to your local rescue center, where you can find your new best friend – and you won’t be helping puppy breeders.