We bought a puppy for £500 – but she needs £14,000 surgery

We bought a puppy for £500 from Gumtree – but we ‘feel tricked’ after being told she needs £14,000 hip surgery

  • Sophie McDonnell and her husband are asking for donations for their dog 
  • They have discovered black Labrador Maya needs £14,000 hip replacements 
  • Couple from Walney Island, Cumbria, purchased the pup for £500 months ago
  • READ: I resent my dog because she has become so aggressive I can’t see my grandchildren – should I have her put down?

A family say they feel tricked after being told the dog they bought on Gumtree for £500 needs a £14,000 surgery. 

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie purchased black Labrador Maya six months ago, but quickly realised their pup wasn’t feeling well, claiming she was underweight and riddled with worms. 

But a trip to the vet confirmed tragic news as the couple from Walney Island, Cumbria, were told Maya needs two full hip replacements. 

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie purchased black Labrador Maya six months ago, but quickly realised their pup wasn’t feeling well, claiming she was underweight and riddled with worms

‘She’s such a loving and fun dog. It’s horrible to see her in so much pain,’ Customer relations worker Sophie said. ‘She’s on a massive dose of painkillers and she’s so young. It’s about her quality of life.’

Nine-month-old Maya at the moment can’t climb the stairs or squat to go to the loo – and is taking six painkillers a day.

Sophie explained that without the operations she needs, the dog’s 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 owner continued. ‘The vets said it’s one of the worst cases of hip dysplasia they’ve ever seen.’

Sophie, 28, and Paul, 38, are now asking for donations as they don’t have the money to finance the procedure – and are ‘heartbroken’ to watch while their pain-ridden pooch suffer

The couple, who also have a young son, bought Maya – one of a litter being sold on Gumtree – in June. 

While the pups were advertised at £1,200 each, the seller – who Sophie says she has reported to the RSPCA – told her she could have the last one for £500. 

Sophie claims Maya was handed to the couple at a gate, without papers, food, bedding or toys, and weighed only four kilos at nine weeks old; when she would be expected to come in at around nine kilos.

‘Her hip problems were likely present before we bought her,’ she said. ‘And she stunk so bad! The woman was shaking all the time. I think she was on drugs.

The couple, who also have a young son, bought Maya – one of a litter being sold on Gumtree – in June

‘When we were driving home we were so shocked by the experience. I feel really bad and also stupid like I’ve been tricked.’

The owner admits she at first found the dog’s strutting endearingly comical – but Maya can now only manage a ten minute walk, after beginning to limp and whine all the time in October.

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.

The owner admits she at first found the strutting endearingly comical – but Maya can now only manage a ten minute walk, after beginning to limp and whine all the time in October

It is hereditary but can be eradicated by selective breeding tactics such as screening of the parents.

Vets have told Sophie and Paul – who is not working currently – that Maya’s surgery needs to be done by March.

Sophie said their insurance policy has a £3,000 limit per year which is currently being used for x-rays and medicine. 

‘Now I look back at the pictures I think [Maya] spent all her life in a crate,’ Sophie revealed. ‘It would be amazing if we could raise enough money. We just want her to be pain free and happy.’

To donate please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-labrador-puppy-needs-two-new-hips.

MailOnline has reached out to Gumtree for comment.

READ MORE:

  • I resent my dog because she has become so aggressive I can’t see my grandchildren – should I have her put down? 
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