Poor little cockapoo Maxi and bulldog-pug cross Nugget died within days of being bought by hopeful dog-lovers as cruel puppy farmers exploit the pandemic to flog badly-bred pups
Animal welfare experts are warning of a surged in seriously sick puppies being handed to families as scammers exploit the coronavirus pandemic to milk more money for the mutts.
Cockapoo Maxi died on Saturday, less than a week after his family purchased him, the Daily Record reports.
While Nugget, a bulldog-pug cross, died on Sunday just three days after he was bought.
Both the dogs' appalling health was consistent with being bred on a puppy farm.
They were less than eight weeks old, meaning they were too young to be removed from their mother, let alone sold, the SSPCA said.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The combination of coronavirus restrictions and extortionate prices of puppies is being manipulated by puppy traders selling badly bred dogs.
“There are things we would urge any buyer to do, such as insist on seeing the pup they are buying at the seller’s home or premises with their mum. At the moment, we know many dealers are telling unsuspecting members of the public to meet them in a car park or public space to pass over the dog safely.
"The seller will often be wearing a mask and afterwards they are impossible to get a hold of when the pup gets sick."
Maxi seemed lively when he was first taken home but his condition quickly deteriorated.
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