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Suffolk family buys dog from fraudulent puppy farmers

A north Suffolk family who purchased a dog from a gang of fraudulent puppy farmers found it was suffering from ear mites, worms and was "caked" in faeces.

Jennifer, who does not wish to use her full name, said she found their puppy, Harvey, on Gumtree in March 2017.

They paid £450 in cash for the Lhasa Apso cross toy poodle and left with their new puppy and his paperwork, which was later found to be fraudulent.

“Harvey also had poo caked all around his rear end and that seemed wrong. He had ear mites and worms that needed veterinary treatment and, despite being told he was microchipped, two different vets could find no trace of a chip.”

Jennifer was one of more than 60 people who had fallen victim to fraudulent puppy farmers selling dogs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Jennifer's puppy Harvey, which she found on Gumtree.
Jennifer's puppy Harvey, which she found on Gumtree.

This week, two members of the gang were jailed while a third was given a suspended sentence.

Michael Rushmer, 27, of Low Road, Thurlton, Norfolk, his sister Zoe Rushmer, 26, of no fixed address, and her partner Jacob Murphy, 27, of The Street, Norton Subcourse, all admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between June 1, 2016 and June 18, 2018.

Michael Rushmer and Murphy were sentenced yesterday (June 25) at Norwich Crown Court to 3.5 years in prison while Zoe Rushmere was given a two-year prison term, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

They were all disqualified from keeping dogs for life.

Jennifer said almost 18 months on from purchasing Harvey, he has become a "happy, friendly, much-loved pet".

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