A WARNING has been issued about puppy sellers, after a couple bought a dog who died just three days after they got her home.

Jordan Moore bought an 11-week-old Bernese mountain dog from a woman in Evesham as a surprise for his wife, Kelly, and one-year-old daughter, Aviana, on Thursday, September 12.

By the Sunday, the puppy, which they had named Luna, was dead.

She had to be put down by Vale Vets in Dursley, Gloucestershire because she was seriously ill with suspected parvovirus – a contagious virus spread via contact with dog faeces, which attacks the intestines – and also had a heart murmur.

Jordan, 26, said the woman who sold him the dog, Anna Walenczykowski, told him she had taken the puppy to a vet in Evesham for a check and the dog was healthy.

However, Jordan said he “feels conned” and believes Miss Walenczykowski may have known the dog was sick, and Mark Norcott of Vale Vets said it was likely, but not definite, that any vet who examined the puppy would have found the heart murmur and other conditions.

Jordan said: “I found the advert for the dog on Gumtree and went to the woman’s house to see her. She said she was selling the dog for her mum. She said she’d taken her to the vets and she’d had her first set of jabs, and she gave me her health card. The dog seemed fine. I paid her £900 for her and took her home.”

Jordan said that when he got Luna home to Dursley on that Thursday she seemed withdrawn and refused to eat, but he put that down to her being nervous as she was in a new place.

However, by the Friday she was still not eating and had diarrhoea, was vomiting and was crying out in pain. Realising Luna was seriously ill, Jordan took her to Vale Vets. “They found parvovirus and a heart murmur,” Jordan said.

Despite trying their best, the vets decided the most humane course of action was to put Luna down.

Mr Norcott said: “The condition of the puppy was very poor medically. We suspected parvovirus which is closely associated with ‘back street breeding’.

“It’s possible that the heart murmur would not have been heard by the vet in Evesham. But it’s my gut feeling that the dog had not been taken to a vet before we saw her.”

Mr Norcott added: “In my experience some dog sellers lie.”

Jordan said that, in hindsight, he realises that buying the dog the way he did “was a bit stupid”, but that he wanted to surprise wife Kelly, 29, and daughter Aviana and he “just fell in love with the puppy” and wanted to take her home.

He paid Miss Walenczykowski £900 for the dog and spent a further £500 on vet treatment, leaving him £1,400 out of pocket in total, because the terms of his pet insurance meant he was unable to claim for anything within the first 14 days.

After contacting Miss Walenczykowski to explain what had happened, Jordan said she agreed to pay him back the £900 in £100 instalments, but she only sent him £300 and then stopped responding when he tried to contact her.

When the Journal contacted Miss Walenczykowski, 30, she was adamant that she had taken the puppy to a vet for a health check and that the dog was given the all clear. She said she believes that Luna contracted parvovirus after she’d handed her over to Jordan, but he said he did not take the puppy outside and she didn’t come into contact with another dog or faeces.

Miss Walenczykowski said she started to repay the £900 to Jordan because she “felt bad about what happened” but stopped after £300 because “I have two kids and only my husband works so I cannot afford to pay any more”.

The Journal contacted the Evesham vet to which Miss Walenczykowski said she had taken the puppy, but a spokesman said they could not comment as it would breach their customer confidentiality policy.

Explaining why he approached the Journal over the matter, Jordan said: “I just want people to know what happened to us so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. The whole thing was devastating for our family – it has put us off getting another dog.”

Carol Fowler, from Wotton-under-Edge, who founded the Dog Breeding Reform Group (DBRG) and created dogbreedhealth.com, warned anyone considering buying a dog to do their research first.

She said: ‘This is a very sad case but sadly not unusual. Our organisation was set up to campaign for better regulations for dog breeding in the UK and to provide help and guidance for members of the public who are looking for a puppy.

“New regulations for dog breeding came into force in 2018 which require dog breeders to adhere to certain health and welfare standards. A further new law prohibits the sale of puppies by anyone other than the breeder.

“Purchasing a puppy via an online advertisement is never advisable. The golden rules are to visit the breeder more than once and see the puppies with their mother and siblings; use the Puppy Contract (RSPCA/AWF) (www.dbrg.uk/puppy-contract.html); ask the breeder about checking the health of puppies by a vet; ask to see the 5-generation pedigree of the puppies; ask the breeder about the health testing of the puppies’ parents for breed-specific health issues.

“We urge people to take these steps and take their time when purchasing a puppy.”