Members of a local animal charity say they are furious after finding a puppy that was obtained from a Derry dog pound, for sale on Gumtree.
Volunteers from Animals in Need North West has reunited an Akita pup with her mum after they intervened in the sale.
“We heard there was an Akita mum and pup in the pound,” one of the volunteers told the ‘Journal.’
“But when we got to the pound the pup was gone.
“We then got a tip off that the pup was for sale on Gumtree.”
The charity said that the pup was for sale on the Internet selling site along with the documents provided by the pound, and a neutering voucher given by the Dogs’ Trust.
“These vouchers are very hard to get,” said the volunteer.
“I emailed the person who put the ad up and asked how much the dog was and was told £80.
“She admitted that they had got the dog from the pound.
“We found out the dog had originally been given to a woman who needed a hip replacement but it didn’t work out, so it was put up for sale.”
The charity said that as the pup was aged between 10 and 12 weeks it was old enough to be given away.
“However, the mother dog was very depressed when the pup was taken,” she said. “They had been together in the same kennel and her baby was ripped from her. It was very stressful for them. When we got them together again it was really lovely. They had a perfect reunion.”
The charity says it is concerned that animals are being taken from the pound and being sold online for profit.
“There are no checks in place about where the animals are going,” said the volunteer. “At Animals in Need NW we don’t just hand the animals out.
“We run a number of checks. And when the dog is adopted we follow up with checks and make sure it is getting the proper treatment. This continues for years after the dog is adopted.”
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed that the matter had been reported to the dog control team.
“When rehoming animals from the pound every effort is made to ensure that the animal is going to a suitable home and all potential new owners must obtain a dog licence from the Council which records the details of the new owner and the location where the dog is to be kept,” the spokesperson explained.
“Council also works closely with a number of local rehoming organisations to ensure the majority of healthy animals go to suitable owners.
In partnership with the Dogs’ Trust we are also able to microchip dogs for free to enable owners to easily identify their pets.
“When reclaiming a stray animal proof of ownership must also be presented before dogs are returned to their owner. However, when a dog is rehomed from the pound the new owner is entitled to sell the dog or have the dog rehomed free of charge providing the dog’s licence reflects the new owner’s details,” the spokesperson added.
A spokesperson for Animals in Need NW confirmed that the pup and its mum are going to live together in a rescue home.