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The breeder who imported Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury's puppy from Russia has spoken out on the Instagram page for her business Tiffany Puppies after the couple's pet died just six days after they brought him home.
Posting alongside an IGTV of videos and photos of Mr Chai, breeder Elena Katerova maintains the dog was treated properly, despite it being imported from Russia when it was just weeks old.
She wrote: "I am truly devastated to learn about the death of Mr Chai. He was a beautiful young dog with a loving and playful temperament. I had watched him grow up, having regular video calls with his birth family. My heart goes out to Molly Mae and Tommy at this time.
"Mr Chai was a healthy dog. I only work with trusted people and have a small network of reputable breeders who care for their dogs to the very highest standards and see animals as part of their family. I have rigorous processes in place to check animal health and the suitability of forever homes providing support and guidance for health and well-being throughout.
"I have worked with dogs my entire life and this has never happened before."
Although the sale of puppies through third-parties is illegal in England thanks to Lucy's Law, the law doesn't apply to Wales. Tiffany Puppies is registered in Cheshire as a breeder, and Flintshire (which is just over the Welsh border) as an agent.
The same company has been criticised in the past for the way it trades. Elena, who runs the business, also upset This Morning viewers when she appeared on the show with tiny, 'teacup' puppies. One fan notes the animals' distressed appearance, tweeting: "They're terrified!"
As reported by The Mirror, in 2018, Elena Katerova was taken to court after a customer found that the Pomeranian called Bella, which she'd bought, had a metal splint in one of its legs.
The customer, Jane Martin, wrote on Trustpilot: "Six weeks after the operation the seller sold the dog to me for £5,000 and claimed the dog to be a perfect example of the breed."
She was refunded through her bank but then refused to return the puppy, saying: "I made it clear I was willing to pay an appropriate price but this was declined."
Elena then admitted that the puppy had broken its leg, but said it had recovered and accused Ms Martin of trying to get it on the cheap.
Ms Martin was ordered to pay her £1,201. But in a counterclaim, Elena Katerova was ordered to pay £927 to Ms Martin.
Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury shared a YouTube video, which said the dog's autopsy showed it was suffering from genetic disorders.
In the footage, Molly-Mae said: "The autopsy results showed that his skull wasn't fully developed and part of his brain was exposed. He didn't have a single white blood cell in his body."
The Pomeranian dog was a present from Fury for Molly's 21st birthday, but the couple have attracted criticism for bringing the pet in from outside the country, particularly from one of Russia's controversial puppy farms.
The couple were understandably devastated, having taken on the dog in good faith, when the Pomeranian pup died just six days after they brought it home, from health issues that were out of their control.
Former Love Island star Olivia Attwood also spoke out on the issue, saying she had been approached by these 'breeders' in the past, and has been offered free dogs to advertise companies as if they were a 'commodity', likening their treatment to as if they were a 'pair of shoes'.
In the video, which was posted to her Instagram story, Olivia said she feels that Molly-Mae and Tommy were 'conned', adding that the lives of the mothers of imported puppies are 'miserable'.
She also added that many of the puppies from these dealers do live healthy lives, and to those people she added: "Good for you, but the whole chain of misery that follows that dog is not fine."
Pet well-being specialist firm ITCHpet.com's in-house vet Zoe Costigan said: "People are unaware of the dark side of imported pets and we need to raise awareness for the cause, as it is a growing issue where people are making huge amounts of money from irresponsible and dishonest pet breeding or importing.
"There are serious welfare implications not only for the baby animals being born but also for the so called 'farmed' parent stock who often have very little quality of life.
"It's becoming more and more common for people to buy pets online, and people aren't fully aware of the risks. Time and time again, pet owners bring in their beloved new pups or kittens to see the vet because of severe health issues that they had no idea about before purchase."
Dr Samantha Gaines, a dog welfare expert at the RSPCA, told LADbible: "We don't know the details of what happened, but it is heartbreaking for any owner to lose a beloved pet.
"We would urge all potential pet owners to adopt a rescue dog that is looking for a loving new home - but if they do decide to buy one we would encourage them to use the Puppy Contract to help them make sure they find a happy and healthy dog."
LADbible has reached out to Tiffany Puppies for comment.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/YouTube
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