Giving pets as Christmas gifts is never a good idea but buying them from puppy farms is worse. Our East Midlands polygraph examiner dealt with a query last week regarding the dubious origin of a puppy.

Q: Will a lie detector test prove where by friend’s boyfriend bought a puppy for Christmas?

Not sure if you can help me but my best friend’s boyfriend, George, has just bought a puppy for her little girl for Christmas. I don’t agree with giving pets as presents, but Tessa has always had dogs and her daughter, Alice, was devastated when their old dog passed away a few months ago. They’d had him since he was a puppy and he was 17 when he died from basically old age.

The reason I’m writing is I’ve been asked to look after little Max until Christmas Day.  I’m worried he isn’t the pedigree George paid for and he seems unwell. He isn’t behaving like a puppy. He should be bounding around and being a general pain in the backside but he isn’t. Max doesn’t seem to be very hungry and his nose is quite dry. I wanted to take him to the vet but I’m scared of the diagnosis.

I spoke to Tessa and she said she’d come over and we’d take him together. The puppy and its health are a problem, but I’m also concerned about where George has picked him up from. He’s always been a cheapskate and it wouldn’t surprise me if his claim that he bought Max from a pedigree breeder is untrue.  He says that he is waiting for the pedigree papers and will be able to collect them before Christmas.  If the dog had come from a breeder I’m sure he wouldn’t be in this state.

I’m wondering if we could book a lie detector test to ask George where the puppy came from. I think Tessa should know if he has tried to dupe her. If he has bought the dog from a puppy farm then we need to know so that it can be reported.

The vet discovered the puppy was full of worms and he has tiny embedded ticks all over him. If this dog is sick then the others more than likely are too. George would never admit to Tessa that he’d bought a dog from a puppy farm and I think he’d take the test if I threatened to tell Tessa what I suspect.

M L., East Midlands

Response from East Midlands Polygraph Examiner

If you believe you can get George to take a lie detector test then I will be happy to administer it. However, the only way he’s likely to agree to it is if he thinks he can beat it in some way.  As a qualified forensic psychologist and highly trained polygraph examiner, I can tell you no one has beaten my tests.

Nevertheless you might find it difficult to persuade him.  If you call our free helpline our customer service team can give you some hints as to how to do that.

You are right to be worried about this pup and any others from his litter.  As you say if Max is ill, the chances are the others are too. I can understand your suspicions because usually when a pedigree puppy is purchased the paperwork is already prepared for the buyer when the puppy is collected.

I am happy to help in any way I can to identify any puppy farm and shut it down.  There are lots of ordinary puppies in registered animal shelters that are healthy and they all need homes.

I hope Max recovers and that this all works out well. But often dogs that are bred in puppy farms have health problems all of their lives.

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