Every year the advice is given out not to buy dogs as Christmas presents.
Many times a year, the advice is given out not to buy dogs online.
Poor Ronnie is living proof that that advice is given out for a reason. Because Ronnie was bought online as a Christmas present - and on the 2nd of January he found himself a resident of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and in need of a new home.
You may ask why Ronnie did not find himself back at the breeders to be rehomed by them. The sad answer is that only reputable breeders care enough about their puppies to offer to have them back in the event their new owner can not keep them. Of course reputable breeders also want to meet and question prospective owners to ensure they will offer the pup or dog a good home.
Ronnie's owners had seen the dog who they were told was his mother, but were told very little else about his background. Another sign of a good breeder is that they bombard you with information about their dogs, showing you relevant health checks, and talking about their dogs' temperaments, and much more.
Sadly, the couple who owned Ronnie split up, and couldn't keep him.
Fortunately for Ronnie, the team at Battersea will now set about assessing him, vaccinating and microchipping him (a legal requirement of all breeders in the UK now), and finding him the forever home he deserves.
Intake Manager Steven Craddock said: "It doesn't shock any of us that the first dog through our doors in 2018 was bought online. Ronnie is just one of many thousands of dogs who will be bought off an unregulated website in the coming months and end up in a home where the owner is unprepared and unable to take proper care of them. His new owner did the right thing by bringing him into us where we can look after him and find him a loving new home, which we doubt will take long as he’s such a lovely boy.
"However, this doesn't change the fact that he never should have been sold online in the first place. We believe he may have been taken from his mother far too young and likely sold by a breeder with absolutely no regard for his welfare.
"It’s so easy to sell a dog online and this is one of the biggest challenges that Battersea faces today. I’d encourage anyone thinking of welcoming a new pet into their lives to consider rescue over shopping online."
Let's hope that 2018 ends better than it started for poor Ronnie.