A family say they feel “tricked” after being told the dog they bought on Gumtree for £500 needs surgery – at a cost of £14k.
Sophie and Paul McDonnell purchased black labrador Maya six months ago.
But they quickly realised the pup wasn’t well – claiming she was riddled with worms and underweight.
The couple, from Walney Island, Cumbria, then took her to the vets – where they were given troubling news.
Sophie, 28, and Paul, 38, were told Maya needs two full hip replacements – at a cost of £14,000.
The pair say they don’t have that sort of money so are now asking for donations.
Meanwhile the poor pooch can’t climb the stairs or squat to go to the loo – and is taking six painkillers a day.
Customer relations worker Sophie said: “It’s heartbreaking. She’s such a loving and fun dog. It’s horrible to see her in so much pain.
“She’s on a massive dose of painkillers and she’s so young. It’s about her quality of life.
“Without the operations her hips could totally lock at any time and she won’t be able to move.
“That leads to arthritis, and her quality of life could become so poor we’d have to have her put down.
“The vets said it’s one of the worst cases of hip dysplasia they’ve ever seen.”
The couple, who have a young son, bought Maya in June.
She was one of a litter being sold on Gumtree, advertised at £1,200 each.
So Sophie thought she was getting a bargain when she called up and the seller said she could have the last one for £500.
The pup, their first, was then handed to them at the gate without papers, food, bedding or toys, Sophie claims.
And she also weighed only four kilos at nine weeks old – when she would be expected to come in at around nine kilos.
Sophie says she thought Maya’s strutting walk was comical at first.
But the dog, now nine months old, began limping and whining all the time in October and can now only manage a ten minute walk.
Vets at two hospitals then diagnosed severe hip dysplasia in December.
The condition – more common in larger dogs – is considered to be one of the most serious problems in dog breeding, studies say.
It is hereditary but can be eradicated by selective breeding tactics such as screening of the parents.
Vets have told the family Maya’s surgery needs to be done by March.
And their insurance policy has a £3,000 limit per year which is currently being used for x-rays and medicine, Sophie said.
And she added, of the sale: “Now I look back at the pictures I think [Maya] spent all her life in a crate
“Her hip problems were likely present before we bought her. And she stunk so bad! The woman was shaking all the time. I think she was on drugs.
“When we were driving home we were so shocked by the experience. I feel really bad and also stupid like I’ve been tricked.
“It would be amazing if we could raise enough money. We just want her to be painfree and happy.”
Sophie says she has reported the seller to the RSPCA.
To donate please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-labrador-puppy-needs-two-new-hips.
Paul is not working currently.