Northumberland County Council’s public protection service is warning people who are thinking of buying a puppy to carefully check the background of the animal and ensure that it has received the required vaccinations.

This follows two puppies from two separate litters being taken into quarantine after it transpired that they had been imported from Holland without the necessary vaccinations. A further two puppies from the same litters have already died after contracting parvovirus.

Philip Soderquest, acting head of public protection said: “It is important that we trace all the puppies from these two litters and we would like to hear from anyone who may have purchased a Shih Tzu or a Maltese puppy from an address in Newbiggin in the last two weeks, or from any vet who may have treated such an animal recently. The puppies have been micro chipped and would have been sold with a Dutch passport.

“I would take the opportunity to urge anyone thinking about buying a puppy that they give careful thought to the needs of the animal before doing so and only then, buy from licensed shops or breeders or better still, consider re-homing a rescue dog.”

The Public Protection Animal Health team can be contacted on 01670 623869