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Aileen
21st August 2007, 08:00 PM
Puppy Farming

Hello everyone, it’s Poppy, the Dogs Trust Office Dog with an opinion.
I love coming into Wakley Street with my human every day to the Communications Department.
It’s a busy place with lots of keyboard tapping and important sounding talk going on.
While I’m relaxing in my bed with a good rawhide chew, I get to overhear about all the key and current issues in the dog world. The other day I got to thinking that perhaps I ought to share some of this info with all of my friends on the web (not that I’m a gossip), and I thought that maybe you’d like to join in too.
Puppy farming

The other day I was out on my walk as usual, running about with my Frisbee, sniffing around and looking for others of my ‘hairykind’ to meet and play with, when I came across a friendly looking young Labrador. I ran up to him and bowed down to invite him to play. He started to run towards me, but suddenly yelped and sat down, as if he was in pain.
“How strange”, I thought, in my ‘lurchery’ way. “How can running hurt like that? Running should be the most fun thing ever!”
Always curious (and just a little nosey), I asked him what was wrong, never expecting to hear such a sad tale as I’m about to repeat to you…
A miserable start in life

Sam was just 7 months old. He’d been born somewhere called Wales, although he didn’t know that at the time because when his eyes opened all he could see in the dark, cramped surroundings were his mother, brothers and sisters, a concrete floor, wooden walls, and a bit of dirty straw. The only light was through cracks in the walls and ceiling, and the smell was horrible. He thought there were lots of other dogs there too, because he could smell them as well as hear them barking and whimpering. This was all that he knew for the first five weeks of his life.
Although he knew that his mother loved him, she was tired, thin and had given birth to too many puppies already in her young life, so sometimes there wasn’t enough milk to go around and he was often hungry. He was also cold and damp most of the time, and he could feel lots of little creatures running all over him that used to make him itch terribly and his belly was swollen with worms that used to take most of the nourishment from his food.
Most days a strange, large shouting creature on two legs (a human, he later found out) used to come into their ‘world’ and throw in some food for his mother. It was always over very quickly, but none of the pups knew what this scary thing was and they would cower and squeal until it went again.
A terrible journey

When Sam was five weeks old, the human appeared and instead of throwing in food, it picked up Sam and his littermates by the scruff of their necks and slung them in a box. He could hear his mother growling and then crying as he was lifted into the air and carried out into what he was to find out was the real world. He’d never been so frightened in his short life. He could see strange objects and everything was so bright! The unusual smells and sounds were just too much to take in all at once and all he could do was try to bury himself at the bottom of the pile of puppies to get away from it all.
The box was plonked down and each puppy was pulled out in turn and sprayed with something foul smelling that stung their eyes and made them choke. Apparently this was to try to kill the fleas that they were infested with, but it only worked for a while. They were put back into the box and there was movement again until they were dumped down again in a small space where he could hear lots of other puppies. There was a loud bang and then it went dark.
Some time later they were all awoken by a strange noise and the whole world seemed to be shaking – and then it felt like they were moving, a really strange sensation that made Sam feel sick to his stomach. He cried for his mother, but she wasn’t there.
They travelled in the van without food and only the smallest amount of water all day, until they stopped at night. The following morning they were off again, by which time they were all desperately thirsty, hungry, scared and dirty. Tragically, for the very weakest, some of whom were very ill, this proved too much and several of the puppies died.
Time to be sold

Finally they arrived at Sam’s destination - a pet shop. He and his remaining littermates were put into a wire pen at the back of the shop and were finally given some food and water, although because they were so young and not used to solid food, it upset their stomachs terribly. Also there were lots of those humans around and so the pups spent much of their time cowering in the corners, until they realised that they didn’t want to harm them and in fact would bring nice things like food and to clean up after them. They started to get used to the humans and their strange new surroundings, but anything else novel or new was certainly not to be trusted.
Over the next few days they were looked at and poked at by several people, all different and scary in their own ways, although some spoke in kind voices and touched the puppies gently so it wasn’t all bad. One by one, Sam’s brothers and sisters were taken away to new families - and then it was Sam’s turn. A woman came into the shop and although she knew that she shouldn’t really buy a puppy away from his mother, she couldn’t walk away from such a sad, pathetic little thing. She bought Sam, because she felt sorry for him and wanted to ‘rescue’ him. I suppose she didn’t even think that he’d be replaced with a whole new litter in a couple of days...
After another scary ride he arrived at his new home. This really was terrifying. Five humans of different sizes, surrounding him, touching him and talking much too loudly! Strange smells bombarded his nose and made him sneeze, and there were weird objects all around him, some making noises, some with moving images - everything was so strange, he thought he’d never be able to get used to it or feel happy or secure. His new family were kind to him though and loved him, so things did get better with time.
A lifetime of pain

The second day in his new home he was taken to the vet, who said that he was too thin, had a nasty skin condition and was infested with fleas and worms. He was too young to be vaccinated yet and apparently he was very lucky that he hadn’t already died from a nasty disease called parvo virus, which is very common in puppies with his background.
Over the following months he slowly got used to his new home and life. Although he dearly loves his humans, he spends much of his time feeling worried about strangers that come near, but life isn’t so bad. However, a few months ago he started to feel pain in his hips during boisterous play with his little human friends. This got worse over time, until now he can’t run at all without suffering and walking has become really uncomfortable. Apparently he has a condition called hip displasia, which is usually a result of irresponsible breeding – if the parents have ‘bad’ hips this can be passed down to their puppies.
Sam said that he’d been to the vets that week and he’d overheard the humans saying that when the pain gets too bad he’ll be “put to sleep”. He doesn’t understand what that means, but he thinks it’s something nice as he loves his cosy, comfy bed and snoozing during the day. I think it’s better to let him believe this, so I’m not going to tell him the truth, although it breaks my heart when I think about what’s really going to happen to him…
This is a really sad story isn’t it?
Of course Sam isn’t real, I made him up to get my point across, but the shocking fact is that his story and worse, is real for thousands of puppies all over the UK and Ireland (and I haven’t even touched on the miserable lives of the stud dogs and bitches used for breeding). ‘Sam’ was born in a puppy farm, where dogs are bred for one reason only – to make money.
The puppy farm problem

A puppy farm is hard to define, since it could be any size, any location and any number of dogs involved – it doesn’t have to be on an actual farm. A puppy farm can also have a license and sell puppies that are registered with the Kennel Club and come with ‘pedigree’ certificates. The best way to describe a puppy farm is to say that it is a place where puppies are bred, purely as a way to make money, without any regard for the welfare of the dogs involved.
Since responsible breeding is actually an expensive business, puppy farmers will cut as many costs as possible so that they can make the maximum profit – they don’t care about the suffering or if a few puppies die in the process. Cost cutting includes; breeding from bitches too often and from too young an age, cramming dogs into unsuitable kennelling and feeding only enough for them to survive and breed, not giving proper vet care or vaccinations and sending pups off for sale when they are too young to leave their mothers.
If you buy from one of these places, you could easily end up with a puppy with physical defects, severe parasite infections, hereditary diseases and/or behaviour problems. In the worse cases puppies can die within days from serious illnesses such as parvo virus, distemper or gastroenteritis, leaving you with nothing but an expensive vet’s bill.
How can you tell if a puppy is from a puppy farm?
It’ll be pretty obvious from the conditions if you walk into a puppy farm itself, but puppy farmers usually sell to dealers, who will sell the pups on, either through newspaper/website adverts or to pet shops - so you can’t always know if a puppy sold in either of these ways came from a puppy farm or not. So to be sure, don’t buy from a pet shop, or from anyone advertising several breeds of dog.
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Aileen
21st August 2007, 08:11 PM
The most effective thing is pretty simple – don’t buy a puppy from a puppy farm. Hit them where it hurts – in their pockets!

Buying a puppy from a puppy farm or pet shop is no cheaper that buying from a responsible breeder - in fact it will probably work out more expensive when potential vet’s bills and behaviour/training fees are taken into consideration. And of course, you can’t put a price on all that suffering…
So, you now all know what I think about puppy farms, please email me at poppy@dogstrust.org.uk (poppy@dogstrust.org.uk) and give me your opinions.
Best woofishes,
Remember:

Puppy farms can be unlicensed or licensed and the puppies can be Kennel Club registered, so it is up to you to make checks on the breeding methods and conditions used.
If you must have a pedigree puppy, ask for details of recommended breeders from the official breed club – contact the Kennel Club for details of the Accredited Breeder Scheme.
Always insist on seeing the puppies with their mother. If a ‘breeder’ offers to meet you with the puppy, perhaps in a car park or motorway service station, steer well clear as this is a practice commonly used by dealers.
If you’re not happy about the living conditions, or the state of the animals, do not buy! If you believe that the dogs are suffering physically as a result of cruelty or neglect, contact the RSPCA and let your local council know. Please also contact us, here at Dogs Trust with as many details as possible, so that we can add the establishment to our list of suspected puppy farms.
Don’t buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it or to ‘save it’ – you’ll only be making room for more puppies to be bred.
If it’s too easy to buy a puppy, be very cautious. A good breeder often has a waiting list and will ask you lots of questions to make sure that you’ll be a good owner for one of their puppies.
Last but not least – why not adopt a puppy from a rehoming organisation like Dogs Trust? They get wonderful puppies of all shapes and sizes – like me!So what can you do to help stop these puppy farmers?

The most effective thing is pretty simple – don’t buy a puppy from a puppy farm. Hit them where it hurts – in their pockets!

if not allowed please move
Aileen and the gang (Barney---Jazzie---Sam)

cavi lover
21st August 2007, 09:18 PM
I have rescued 2 puppy farm breeding bitches. They were very sorry little souls when they came but given time and love have blossomed into the most beautiful loyal girls. One is extremenly good at obedience too!

Do think about rescuing one it has been an amazing and immensley rewarding experience.

cmd123
7th May 2008, 02:37 PM
hi how do you rescue dogs from a puppy farm
i reasontly purchased a puppy from one i thought were good
i took the puppy home he suffered from the runs with blood in it and i think its possible it was parvo i took him back saying he wasnt well and needed to see a vet instantly they told me he was healthy and it was the worming treatment causing the bleeding they gave me my money back no questions asked my husband said if they could garentee the pup was healthy we would keep him and they said no no its ok
i have called the rspca and asked for them to check it out
the thing is i really feel for the puppy which is why i called the rspca i want the dogs removed whether that will happen i dont know
when i saw the mum they brought her to me carrying her (why)it is horrible
the lady took the puppy from me and just put it back in its cage with the other two puppies didnt even look him over i felt sick and disgusted