The 31-year-old from Portugal found the two-month old mongrel on eBay's Kleinanzeigen. The dog sellers were a couple living in a Munich suburb, claiming to find new homes for puppies that had been rescued from Slovakia.
“They said the puppies had been rescued by an organization in Slovakia to be brought to Germany to find new homes,” Bárbara told The Local. “All of the puppies were apparently equipped with a EU pet passport, papers and were chipped.”
Bárbara, who works for the European Geosciences Union, phoned the number on the advert and was told to come that day.
Last Thursday, together with a couple of friends, she drove to see the puppy. “Everything seemed so normal,” she said.
Bárbara decided to take the female puppy that day and was given its passport which had a stamp and signature from a vet in Slovakia.
“It was a crazy and a rushed decision,” she said. The seller did not give Bárbara a receipt or proof of payment, but she thought she was rescuing it.
As she was leaving the house, the man told her that the puppy's stool might be a little “soft”. She thought this was probably just due to a little stress from travelling, as the puppies had only arrived in Germany the previous day.
But within a couple of hours arriving home, the puppy had diarrhea three times within three hours.
On Friday she took her to a vet. “The vet looked at the passport and said the 'vaccine' stamp was a protein shot and not a vaccination at all,” she said. The puppy had crossed the border illegally.
She said the vet told her about a mafia that smuggles puppies from eastern European countries to Germany. The dogs are are taken from their mothers when they are too young and many often have diseases and are then transported in poor conditions.
The vet also discovered the puppy had thin, dry flaky skin and was unwell.
“The puppy got progressively worse and on Saturday morning I felt desperate, I tried my best to care for her, but she was vomiting a lot," she said.
On Saturday the puppy died from a virus.
“I tried to provide treatment for her, but it was too late. She was brought into Germany weak, sick and illegally and I bought her without knowing any of this," Bárbara said.
She will go to the police when she is feeling stronger.
“The advice the vets gave me is to share the story with friends to stop this happening,” she said. "I believe this is just one piece of the puzzle."
Puppies given alcohol
Cases involving animals smuggled into the country under inhumane or harmful conditions are not rare in Munich.
A 24-year-old Macedonian woman and her 25-year-old Bulgarian partner were arrested in Munich last Friday night after trying to sell two husky dog pups out of the boot of their car.
After police were called, the dazed dogs were found to have been fed alcohol to keep them quiet on the journey, and the animals' travel documents were forged, officers said in a statement on Monday.
Police delivered the dogs to a vet clinic, and they are now fit and well. They have been named Ben and Jerry.
Their suspected smugglers stand accused of fraud, forging documents and breaching animal protection laws.
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