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Tragic puppy heartbreak as bid to close down dog kennel owner grows

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Dec 21, 2015


The horrors of puppy farming and the heartbreak it brings are highlighted once again – this time by the tragic story of Buddy.

At Christmas, when so many pups are bought and sold, the tale of Buddy’s short life is a timely reminder of this cruel business.

Buddy was a French Bulldog pup – an increasingly popular breed – who was bought by the Taylor family from Liverpool.

They met him and immediately fell in love with the cute pup. 

Mum, Jane, says she was ‘besotted’.



Tragically short life – Buddy


But now she’s contacted us because she wants, more than anything, to publicise the terrible experience her family had.  And to help others avoid the same.

“We lost our lovely little pup, Buddy,” Jane told us. 

“But if we can help highlight the awful business of puppy farming, and those who don’t seem to care about the dogs and only want to make money, then at least some good can come from what we’ve been through.”


Buddy becomes one of the family

The Taylor family – Jane, dad Glen, and their three children – decided they would like to bring a puppy into their home a little while after the family suffered a bereavement.

They had owned dogs before, but had never bought a puppy.

“We discussed it and all agreed the time was right,” said Jane.

“I did some research and we decided we really liked the French Bulldog breed, so I kept a look out for puppies being sold through Pets4Homes.”

That was how the family encountered Mr Lawrence Moran, owner of Total Dogs in Sefton, Merseyside. 

Mr Moran’s website advertises dog training classes and he runs a kennelling service. The site also has a ‘news’ section. 


undefinedBut the section failed to highlight that Mr Moran is locked in a legal fight with his local council.


He’s been ordered twice by the local authority to cease trading and to demolish his kennels because they do not have planning permission. 

He has also been featured in the local press when pet owners and their supporters staged a protest at his business after three dogs allegedly died while in his care.

The Taylor family didn’t know any of this. 

They visited him, they say, and found two pups available after Christmas. They say Mr Moran told them these pups were left over after people had bought the dogs prior to the festive season to give as pets.

“It seemed reasonable,” said Jane. “I fell in love with Buddy and, I looking back it’s fair to say I let my heart rule my head.”

Buddy, who was just 10 weeks old, had a cough and the family were told it was probably just ‘a bit of kennel cough’ and were given the children’s cough medicine, Tixylix.

£800 was handed over for Buddy, which Jane said she now knew was cheap.  

“Pups of this breed will sell for much more than that, sometimes up to £4,000. But we just thought the fact that he was left over from Christmas seemed believable.”


Worsening health

It turned out Buddy had much more than a mild cough.  

He had a serious congenital problem with his oesophagus and was never really able to eat properly or breath without having to struggle.

And eight months later, after almost £3,000 of vets’ fees and two operations, Buddy died in Jane’s arms as he was rushed yet again to the vet.

It was at this point that the vet told the family Buddy had been ‘poorly bred’. 

What that means is that his parents had not been properly health screened for problems and as a result he had inherited the serious condition that ultimately killed him.

Jane said she contacted Mr Moran after Buddy’s death and says he accused the family of not treating the dog properly. He also pointed out that his name was not on the papers registered with the Kennel Club as the breeder.

“He didn’t want to know,” said Jane. “And it’s true to say we never really checked the paper work when we bought Buddy. We were just too smitten with him.

“We won’t get Buddy back, but I want people to understand how to buy a puppy responsibly.

“This breeder seemed knowledgeable and I must admit I didn’t have a clue.”


What next?

Jane now stresses how important it is for buyers of puppies to educate themselves about the correct way to go about buying a dog.  See our guide to buying a puppy here.

Meanwhile, campaigns against Mr Moran continue. 

Not only is there the council battle, but there’s also a Facebook group and a petition with almost 17,000 signatures.

For the Taylor family, at least, though, there’s a happy ending.

They now have a new French Bulldog puppy called Luna. 

They paid a more realistic £1,600 for her and Jane says the contrast with dealing with Luna’s breeder was marked.

“They had so much time for the animals they were dealing with and were quite happy for us to visit as often as we liked before we bought Luna,” said Jane.  “It wasn’t all about money.”

It is only by people knowing how they should proceed when buying a puppy that irresponsible ‘puppy farmers’ will be put out of business.  See our guide here and pass it on.

If you're shocked by Jane's story, and want to support her cause, you can do so by registering with A Spokesman Said and hitting the support button on her complaint

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