The following are brief details of puppies that suffered from ill health shortly after purchase.  Some were diagnosed by a vet with minor conditions, some with more serious diseases, others had problems related to temperament or behaviour.

Willow Park Kennels, Suffolk - Now known as Cremdella Kennels and Ella Kennels
 A sad end.
This very sad story is written by the puppies owner after the loss of Buster in the hope it will warn others. 
Buster's Story
Last year me and my partner decided to buy our first dog. We found an advert on an internet site for a little westie. We called Cremdella Kennels in Suffolk and arranged to view the little puppy. We travelled the long journey to Suffolk and it brought us to Mildenhall, Willow Park travellers site in Becks Row, Suffolk.
The kennel owners seemed ok and I was pleased the dog came with a full vet check and was licensed by the local council, so we handed our money over and we took home Buster, my little westie.
When we got home we noticed Buster had terrible diarrhea. I called the vets and they suggested rice and chicken diet. This did not work, so I took Buster to the vets with a faecal sample. The vets started Buster on anti-biotics and sent the sample away for testing. The sample came back as poor Buster having Ecoli poisoning. Buster had also had to start on a stronger set of anti-biotics. My friends daughter had been handling the puppy and came down with classic signs of Ecoli poisoning. The doctor suggested that the little girl be tested for Ecoli. My heart sank. Luckily the little girl was Ecoli clear. But I was told we had all been very lucky.
Buster started to have some strange behaviour and one day he snapped at me. I also noticed Buster was excessively chasing his tail. I went to look at my friends puppy and realised there was something wrong with Buster. I was also sick of people stopping me in the street questioning me if Buster was old enough to be out for a walk. I went home and immediately booked an appointment at the vets.
I took Buster to the vets and asked the vet to confirm Buster age and give my little dog an MOT. My vet confirmed my little dog was 2 weeks younger than the vaccine card stated and what the kennels had sold him to me as, by looking at the dogs teeth. My vet started to get worried as he noticed that one of Buster's pupils would not dilate. This means there is pressure on the brain and was causing him to tail chase and be aggressive. The vets book Buster in for an MRI scan. There were other physical signs on Buster that it was possible Buster's parents were interbred.
The next day, Buster was playing in the garden and had an enormous burst of energy. After 5 minutes of running around, I noticed my little dog was having problems walking and kept failing side ways and seemed disorientated. I went and called Buster and he fell on his side and started to have a seizure. I called my vet as the seizure was happening and he explained to me that he had spoken with the neurologist who he was due to see and he believed that Buster could have Hydrocephalus. Because of the puppies age, the prognoses was grave and the best thing I could do is put the little dog to sleep. After the seizure, Buster back leg kept giving up. I had my little dog only 4 weeks and there I was taking him to be put to sleep. It broke mine and my partners heart.
If you want to buy a puppy, please don't buy from these kind of establishments. I am about £1000 out of pocket but don't regret a penny. I know i did the right thing for Buster. We miss him everyday. What is left of poor little Buster is in the picture above.

Willow Farm Kennels, Lincs
Willow Farm Kennels operate under a Pet Shop licence and first came to my notice about 15 years ago for selling puppies with health problems.
Recently  I was contacted by a person who purchased a beagle puppy and were told it was 10 weeks old, vaccinated and wormed. But they were not in receipt of vet certificate, pedigree or registration documents, however paid the price asked for the puppy £525.  On arrival home the puppy was passing blood in diarhoea, contacted the kennel owner John Phillips by email but he did not reply.  Booked into vets for puppy check and vaccinations but vet said the puppy was not of the correct age, much younger than 10 weeks, maybe 7 weeks, vet did not vaccinate but prescribed medication as the puppy was bloated with worms and had a cough.  Three days later puppy rushed back to the vet as it had deteriated and was lifeless.  Placed on drip to get fluids in and blood samples taken, sadly the puppy died the following day, 8 days after purchase.

The result of the blood tests were as follows the puppy was anaemic, severe liver damage, leptospirosis and possibly distemper.  The purchaser contacted the seller Willow Farm Kennels to make them aware.

When the purchaser contacted me I contacted N Kesteven Council and advised them that a puppy had died after purchase and named the conditions (the purchaser also contacted) they said they would contact the kennel owner.  It has taken two weeks for an inspection to take place and the inspection was pre-arranged.  The Council saw no urgency in visiting the kennels even though the blood tests came back with leptospirosis and distemper as the reason why the puppy was so unwell.  Lepto is a zoonosis and distemper is supposed to be all but eradicated in the dog population.

Willow Farm Kennels sold a puppy underage, was not vaccinated or wormed even though purchaser was verbally told it was but given no Vac cert. The puppy was sold unwell,  the puppy was carrying contagious diseases placing all others on the premises at risk.  The puppy died 8 days after purchase.

The Council verbally (still waiting for their email response and info under FOI) that there were no records for the puppy in other words they cannot say where it was born or who supplied Willow Farm with the puppy.  This is a breach of the pet shop licence conditions, pet shops have to keep records of who they have obtained or sold puppies to.  


Ben a Golden Retriever was purchased from a retail outlet in Middlesex.  He was sold with a pedigree that did not arrive until a few months after purchase.  The pedigree did not match the information given by the seller at the time of purchase, if it was correct the puppy would have only been 26 days old at the time of sale.  The details on the pedigree did not give a name for the breeder, but the dam and sire were Kennel Club Registered and located to owners in Wales.

The puppy suffered from a very high temperature a few days after arriving in his new home, due to other symptons the vet diagnosed enteritis.  During his first year Ben became very unpredictable and would snap and bite at family member's hands and faces. The bites were so severe that sadly after 6 - 7 severe bites the owners had no choice but to have Ben put to sleep.

Seller: Elizabeth Watts, Middlesex 




Candy: A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, her owner said it was obvious that something was wrong with Candy from the start as she did not grow in size past the puppy stage. She was extremely small and thin, and her kidneys didn't grow to a normal size.  Candy only weighed 5 pounds when put to sleep due to complete kidney failure, aged 18 months.        

Breeder: J Howell, Cynnyl Elfed, Wales

Outlet: Casmac Boarding and Breeding Kennels, Rayleigh, Essex

* Outlet now under new ownership and name.




Mimms: A West Highland Terrier,  since her owners purchased Mimms she had problems with her hips and knees and was operated on for Legge Perths Disease (excision arthroplasty) she also suffered from an allergic skin complaint and violent fitting attacks which resulted in her owner deciding on euthanasia. 

Mimms was Kennel Club Registered and sold with pedigree and  insurance.

Breeder: Mrs M A E Price, Cwm Duad, Carmarthen, Wales

Outlet: Casmac Boarding and Breeding Kennels, Rayleigh, Essex

Outlet is now under new ownership and name.


Bonnie: Newfoundland puppy, sold at 10 weeks of age as Kennel Club Registered and with a pedigree. When purchased the new owners found the puppy had ear mites and fleas. The owners lived in a first floor flat with stairs but were advised by the outlet that sold them the puppy that it would be alright for them to own a newfoundland puppy - a giant breed. But of course it was not, care must be taken for giant breeds, they require limited walking and should not go up and down stairs on a regular basis. The owner took the difficult decision to allow Ben to be rehomed through Newfoundland Rescue where a home could be found to better suit his needs.

Breeder: S E Berriman, Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthen, Wales 

Outlet: East London Puppies & Simons Pets, London


Yorkie, on purchase first vaccination signed by vet, ear mites, fleas, cough. No paperwork given at time of sale.

Outlet: Animal Magic, London 


German Shepherd,  sold at 9 weeks of age with no paperwork, within days the puppy had an upset stomach, was taken to vets and placed on a drip, suspected parvo virus. Puppy became progressively worse and sadly one week after purchase puppy put to sleep to save further suffering.

Outlet: Casmac Breeding and Boarding Kennels, Rayleigh, Essex

Outlet now under new ownership and name. 


Puppy had kennel cough, runny eyes, eye infection diagnosed by vet within days after purchase. When the owner of the puppy contacted the seller they were told 'Pup was healthy when you bought it, none of our dogs have kennel cough, if it dies you just claim for it from the free Pet Plan insurance'.

Outlet: DogsAboutTown.


Labrador: Puppy was 16 weeks of age at time of sale. First vet consultation confirmed the puppy had high blood pressure, swollen glands, skin disorder, flea infestation, problem with back legs and a cough. No paperwork.

Outlet: Denton Hall Kennels, Brampton, Cumbria.

Outlet now closed by Carlisle Trading Standards, RSPCA intervention and Court action.


West Highland Terrier: Puppy 11 weeks of age. Registered with the Irish Kennel Club. Puppy within hours developed diarrhoea and sickness and was riddled with worms. It took seven weeks of visits to vets to get puppy well but still has a delicate stomach. The puppy was difficult to toilet train and  would still suckle on owners fingers until it fell asleap, thought due to having been weaned too early. 

Outlet: Lalghbalsarroch, Dalrymple, Scotland

Breeder: Mr N Kingston, Co Kildare, Eire 


Bassett Hound: Puppy developed diarrhoea followed by sickness, puppy became dehydrated and was placed on a drip at the vets.  Tests were carried out with the results revealing the puppy was suffering from campylobacter, giardia and cocciciosis. The veterinary bill came to £769.00. on top of the purchase price of £450 - all in one week!

Outlet: Hot Dog Kennels, Dobe Farm, Wickford, Essex 

Owner: Loretta Toye (Bastin) subject to Court action by Essex Trading Standards and Office of Fair Trading in 2004 under the Enterprise Act 2002 for selling sick puppies. Chelmsford Borough Council still grants a pet shop licence to the premises. 

Breeder: No name on pedigree


Pommeranian: At 7 months the puppy weighed 14lb but should not have weighed any more than 5lb when fully grown. As the puppy grew the owners realised that due to the puppy's description, a long nose, large ears, his oversize body for breed and age, plus the fact that he did not have the undercoat that usually appears between 3 to 4 months that this puppy must be a x breed, although it was sold as a pommeranian.  The puppy also became aggressive, the owner paid £200 for specialist advice to help with the behaviour issues but as an elderly couple they could not cope and the puppy was given to rescue. 

Outlet: Little Rascals, Brant Broughton, Lincs

Breeder: B Dickens of above address.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: Two puppies were purchased and the owners advised they were 6 weeks of age, both puppies developed pneumonia within 24 hours of purchase.  Neither puppy was vaccinated. Both puppies died within two weeks of each other.  £500.00 for veterinary costs in two weeks on top of the initial purchase price of the two puppies.

Outlet: Misterton Carr Farm, Derby


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Purchaser was not given a receipt or vaccination certifificate, the puppy was covered in fleas and smelt awful. After one week the puppy developed a cold and diarrhoea. The vet diagnosed a heart murmur and pneumonia, after 4 weeks the puppy was getting sightly better but still wheezing with a cough and a rapid heart beat. The purchaser said at the time 'the outcome looked bleak'.

Outlet: Puppy Paradise: The same premises as above and now closed by Doncaster Trading Standards.


Cocker Spaniel: The puppy as he grew into adulthood had repeatedly bitten every mmber of the family. He was sadly euthanased on the vet's advice.

Outlet: Dogs4Us, Manchester


West Highland Terrier: High temperature, sticky discharge from eyes, pale mucus membrane, and various other symptoms, the vet suspected parvo virus. Even with aggressive treatment  the puppy failed to survive and died a few hours later.

Outlet: Dorma Lodge Kennels


Puppy delivered to new purchasers house in response to an advertisement in a free ad newspaper.  The seller took the money, handed puppy over with some paperwork and left.  The purchaser noticed the puppy was not very responsive and took it immediately to the vets, sadly the puppy died the next day.  Cause unknown.

Outlet: Denton Hall Kennels (John Walsh) Brampton, Cumbria

Now closed by Doncaster Trading Standards. 


Puppy was diagnosed at the vets within days of purchase with a chest infection, severe cough. The puppy was also very small and nervous, it took the owners nine months before she was properly socialized. The vaccination certificate indicated that the puppy was vaccinated and bred in Eire.

Outlet: Petsville, Surrey


Border Collie: The puppy became very aggressive to all family members. The owners checked with the vet for possible underlying physical health issues that may be causing this to happen. They were advised that none could be found. and the vet advised on euthanasia.

Outlet: Petsville, Surrey


Schnauzer: The puppy within a day or two of purchase suffered from diarrhoea and sickness. Later the puppy was diagnosed with water on the spine resulting in euthanasia.

Outlet: Blackpool Pet World, Lancs

These premises have now closed.


Shih Tzu: Puppy was taken to the vet and diagnosed with suspected upper airway tract infection and started on antibiotics. The puppy then improved, a week or so later the puppy again became unwell was lethargic, crying with diarrhoea, the abdomen was tense and the puppy had a high temperature but was not dehydrated, the owner was advised to offer fluids during the night and bring the puppy back in the morning. The temperature had risen and the puppy's chest congested and was in a semi collapsed stage.  Further antibiotic was administered, anti-inflammatory injections were given plus an injection to improve heart function. Later in the day the puppy was sitting up, not dehydrated, but still with a temperature and breathing was dyspnoeic, vomiting was reported. A poor prognosis was given. The puppy was examined again and found to be recumbent with a painful abdomen and was admited to veterinary hospital given intravenous fluids and antibiotic injection. Profuse vomiting and diarrhoea were found during the evening.  The puppy died later in that evening. 

Outlet: Bailey Kennels, Dobe Farm, Wickford, Essex (these kennels now trade under the name of Hot Dog Kennels, same owner Loretta Toye (Bastin).  2009 these kennels are now called Runwell Kennels, same owner and address.  Recently issued a dog breeders licence in addition to a pet shop licence. 

Breeder: Sean Horn, Carrycirik, Cork, Eire 


Westie: Puppy purchased on the 23rd of the month had worms, fleas and a skin condition. The puppy became lethargic disinterested in food by 25th and seen by vet by 27th, was hospitalized and treated for parvo-virus and kept in until he sadly died on the 5th, 8 days later. Cost of puppy, cost of vaccination plus cost of treatment was nearly £1,000. The owner had the puppy home for little over 48 hours before it became ill and admitted to the veterinary hospital.

Outlet: Dobe Farm Kennels, Wickford, Essex, same outlet as above

Breeder: unknown 


All the details of the above puppies were submitted by their owners to Puppy Alert. I would like to thank all purchasers that have contributed in an effort to enlighten others of the pitfalls and sadness that can occur when purchasing a puppy offered for sale from a retail outlet.  This action may enlighten and warn other prospective purchasers to be aware of what may happen. Please do your homework first before venturing out to buy a puppy, research and find a responsible breeder that carries out all the relevent health checks. Do not buy on a whim if you wish to purchase a well bred, healthy, sociable puppy.

There are many, many more case files, all making equally sad reading. Puppy Alert offers its condolences to those owners that have had to face a very traumatic experience and some very hard decisions on what should have been a very happy occasion, the purchase of a new puppy.

Puppies should not be sold from pet shops. 

The puppy trade needs a complete overhaul. The licensing conditions relating to dog breeding are not protecting the breeding bitches and their puppies.  Dealing and pet shop selling of puppies is detrimental to the welfare of the animals, their welfare needs are seriously compromised from beginning to end. Puppies should not be bred in deplorable conditions in both licensed and unlicensed premises, transported hundreds of miles by dealers to be sold in pet shops then to die a few days later, or to be euthanased to prevent further suffering. The commerecial trading of puppies has to stop. 

Please write to your MP and complain about puppy farming, commercial dog breeding by licensed and unlicensed breeders, dealers and pet shops.

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