A MALNOURISHED crossbreed puppy, sold for less than £2 in the ‘last chance section’ of a livestock auction, has been found a loving home.

Dog lover, Hazel Richards, 26, from Teesside, gave puppy Lottie the chance of a new home when she bought her at auction in Somerset.

She said: “I was horrified when the last lot was unveiled as a cardboard box containing filthy, severely malnourished, six-week old puppies.

“I couldn’t just leave them so immediately bid on them and bought the box for £7.50.”

On collecting the box Miss Richards found the puppies were in a terrible condition and although sold as a box of three, tucked in the bottom was the smallest fourth pup, starving and with a deformed jaw.

They were too young to be separated from their mother and one of them passed away.

Miss Richards was able to find homes for two and the remaining pup was brought to the Dogs Trust charity, in Sadberge, near Darlington, where she was affectionately named Lottie by staff, nursed back to health and found a new home.

Sue Embleton, Dogs Trust Darlington rehoming centre manager, said: “We were shocked to hear of the circumstances in which Hazel acquired Lottie, it sounds like something which would occur centuries ago.

“We advise people to buy a dog from a reputable breeder or get a rescue dog so as not to encourage unscrupulous puppy traders who show little regard for welfare.”

If you would like to give a dog a home or are interested in re-homing another rescue dog call the rehoming centre directly on 01325-333114 or visit at Hill House Farm, Sadberge DL2 1SL.