A TRIO of sick puppies found dumped in a cardboard box by a layby may have been “victims of the cruel puppy trade” animal rescuers fear.

The spaniel puppies were discovered without food or water by a cyclist who had stopped for a rest on Shopland Road, in Rochford, on Saturday at about 4pm.

Sadly one of the one of the puppies, aged around eight weeks old, had already died.

The other two puppies were very skinny and the RSPCA is now investigating how they came to be abandoned.


Tests carried out by vets near Southend Airport, found they had parvovirus, a highly-contagious virus which causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.

It usually only affects unvaccinated dogs under six months old.

RSPCA inspector Adam Jones said it is thought the puppies may have been imported from abroad to sell, but were then abandoned when they became sick.


He described it is as “very touch and go” for the surviving puppies, a male and a female, who are now on fluids and medication, but it is hoped they will pull through.

Mr Jones said: “They are microchipped with a Hungarian chip which isn’t registered in this country so it could be that they have been imported from abroad to sell on but have been abandoned when they became poorly.


“It would appear that these pups are the victims of the cruel puppy trade and we are keen to find out what happened to them.”

Anyone who has information is asked to call the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.