An adorable pup has become the first Christmas dog to be dumped.
Eight-week-old mongrel Ronnie was bought online by his owner’s ex-partner.
But Ronnie was left at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London on January 2 after his owner became homeless.
While they had seen the dog purported to be Ronnie’s mother, the buyers knew very little about his background.
The poor pup has now become the first unwanted pet at the south London rescue so far this year.
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.
“It’s so easy to sell a dog online and this is one of the biggest challenges that Battersea faces today.”
He added: “I’d encourage anyone thinking of welcoming a new pet into their lives to consider rescue over shopping online.”
Ronnie is now undergoing assessment at Battersea and will be vaccinated and microchipped before he is ready to go to a loving new home.