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We bought a puppy for £500 from Gumtree – but we 'feel tricked' because she needs £14,000 surgery

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie bought a black Labrador Maya six months ago but quickly realized their pup wasn't feeling well, saying he was underweight and riddled with worms.

A family say they feel cheated after learning the dog they bought on Gumtree for £500 needed £14,000 surgery.

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie bought a black Labrador Maya six months ago but quickly realized their pup wasn’t feeling well, saying he was underweight and riddled with worms.

But a visit to the vet confirmed tragic news as the couple from Walney Island, Cumbria were told Maya needed two full hip replacements.

Sophie, 28, and Paul, 38, are now asking for donations as they don’t have the money to fund the procedure – and are heartbroken to watch while their suffering pooch suffers.

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie bought a black Labrador Maya six months ago but quickly realized their pup wasn't feeling well, saying he was underweight and riddled with worms.

Paul McDonnell and his wife Sophie bought a black Labrador Maya six months ago but quickly realized their pup wasn’t feeling well, saying he was underweight and riddled with worms.

“She’s such a loving and fun dog. It’s horrible to see her in so much pain,’ said Sophie, customer relations manager. “She’s on a massive dose of painkillers and she’s so young. it’s about his quality of life.

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At the moment, nine-month-old Maya cannot climb stairs or squat to go to the toilet – and takes six painkillers a day.

Sophie explained that without the surgeries she needs, the dog’s hips could ‘totally lock up at any time and she won’t be able to move’.

“It leads to arthritis and her quality of life could get so bad that we would have to have her put down,” the owner continued. “The vets said it was one of the worst cases of hip dysplasia they had ever seen.”

Sophie, 28, and Paul, 38, are now asking for donations as they don't have the money to fund the procedure - and are heartbroken to watch as their suffering pooch suffers

Sophie, 28, and Paul, 38, are now asking for donations as they don’t have the money to fund the procedure – and are heartbroken to watch as their suffering pooch suffers

The couple, who also have a young son, bought Maya – one of the litters sold on Gumtree – in June.

As the puppies were advertised at £1,200 each, the seller – who Sophie says she reported to the RSPCA – told her she could have the last one for £500.

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Sophie claims Maya was handed over to the couple at a gate, without papers, food, bedding or toys, and weighed just four kilos at nine weeks; when you would expect her to come in at around nine kilos.

“His hip issues were probably there before we bought him,” she said. “And she stank so much!” The woman was shaking all the time. I think she was on drugs.

The couple, who also have a young son, bought Maya – one of the litters sold on Gumtree – in June

The couple, who also have a young son, bought Maya – one of the litters sold on Gumtree – in June

“When we were returning home, we were so shocked by the experience. I feel really bad and also stupid like I was cheated.

The owner admits she found the dog’s parades adorably comical at first – but Maya can only walk ten minutes now, having started limping and whining all the time in October.

Veterinarians at two hospitals later diagnosed severe hip dysplasia in December. The condition – more common in large dogs – is considered one of the most serious problems in dog breeding, studies show.

It is hereditary but can be eradicated by selective breeding tactics such as parent screening.

The vets have told Sophie and Paul – who are not currently working – that Maya’s operation must be completed by March.

Sophie said their insurance policy had a limit of £3,000 a year which is currently used for x-rays and medication.

“Now I look at the pictures, I think [Maya] spent her whole life in a crate,” Sophie revealed. “It would be amazing if we could raise enough money. We just want her to be pain free and happy.

To donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-labrador-puppy-needs-two-new-hips.

MailOnline has contacted Gumtree for a comment.

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