A TINY six-week-old Jack Russell puppy is being cared for by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor after being taken away from his mother too soon and sold online.

Buddy was collected by the police after they stopped a car in the early hours of a Tuesday morning in July. After telling the officer at the scene that they had only purchased the puppy that afternoon on Gumtree, the owners said that they did not want him anymore and handed Buddy over.

Buddy was only around six weeks old. The minimum age before puppies should leave their mother is eight weeks old.

Sean Welland, rehoming and welfare manager at Battersea Old Windsor in Priest Hill said: “While it’s shocking that Buddy had been sold on so young, it’s sadly not uncommon for dogs to be bought online and then swiftly discarded by their owners when they change their mind.

“Buying animals online is just as easy as ordering a new pair of shoes or jeans from an internet store. All too many people get a puppy and then decide that it’s just too much work. It’s then animal rescues such as Battersea that are left to pick up the pieces.”

In recent years Battersea has seen an increase in the number of dogs that had been brought online. In 2015, 14.7% of dogs coming into its care had originally been sold online which rose to 16.6% in 2017.

Mr Welland said: “Luckily for Buddy, he’s waiting to go to a new home in the next few days. But there are still so many animals at Battersea who are looking for a second chance. If you’re thinking about rehoming a rescue dog or cat, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.”