An adorable eight-week-old puppy has become the first dog to be dumped in 2018 after he was given as a Christmas present.
Mongrel Ronnie was left at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London on January 2 after his owner became homeless.
The owner was therefore unable to look after the little pupper, so he became the first pet to be dropped off so far this year.
The Very Good Boy is currently undergoing medical checks, and the MailOnline reports that he is staying with member of staff Alice Holt, but could be up for rehoming just next week.
Ronnie has only been at home with me for one night but he is settling in so well. He’s so affectionate, even with new people, and loves a cuddle and a fuss.
He also loves playing with toys and running around the kitchen. He’s such a sweet boy.
Home 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.
He said it is incredibly easy to sell a dog online, and that it is one of the biggest challenges faced by the animal welfare centre.
This news comes as Battersea have launched their In From The Cold fundraising campaign in so they can help stray pets this winter.
It is estimated that over 20,000 pets in the UK will be abandoned over the course of the winter, meaning Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will be housing up to 550 doggos at any given time.
— BatterseaDogs&Cats (@BDCH) January 4, 2018
Mr Craddock added:
I’d encourage anyone thinking of welcoming a new pet into their lives to consider rescue over shopping online.
Ronnie will be vaccinated and microchipped before he is ready to go to his forever home with his loving family.
Sadly, these stories are becoming more and more common with greater numbers of homeowners ending up on the streets or being financially unable to care for a pet.