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Last Updated: Friday July 11 2008 15:14 GMT

RSPCA warning over poorly puppies

Frank was seriously ill after the RSPCA bought him undercover
Frank was seriously ill after the RSPCA bought him undercover

Be careful if you're going to get a puppy or you might end up with a poorly or dying pet, according to a new campaign by the RSPCA.

A secret operation found that lots of uncaring traders are selling sick puppies through the internet, newspapers ads or even some pet shops.

Undercover, the charity bought six puppies this way - and two of these became very sick, with one dying.

The RSPCA says that you should always see a puppy with its mum at its home.

The charity said last year there were about 700 calls from new puppy owners who were concerned because their new pet had become sick or had problems with its behaviour.

Chardonnay was bought undercover and despite constant care, sadly died
This pup was bought undercover and despite constant care, sadly died
Mark Evans, from the RSPCA, said some dogs were made to have litter after litter of puppies which were then passed onto uncaring traders or sold to unsuspecting customers.

He warned: "The RSPCA believes that many are likely to have been exposed to disease and may become seriously ill, or even die, within days or weeks of entering their new home."

Mr Evans advised would-be owners to go to rescue centres or well-known breeders.