Mitzy and Grace's story: Irish puppy farm breeding bitches
These two poor dogs were taken into rescue at Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) in Ireland in July 2005.
When you buy a puppy that comes from an Irish puppy farm/puppy mill -- or Welsh, or American, or Eastern European -- THIS is what you are supporting with your purchase: these are the mothers of those puppies that look so cute on the website of the person who says her relative breeds cavaliers back in Ireland, or that she has cavaliers in all colours from 'champion Irish stock' (substitute UK or US for dogs from other regions), or the puppies are available RIGHT NOW and she isn't interested in a long talk with you about the kind of home you will offer her dogs (ethical breeders want only the best homes for the puppies they produce). She is then almost certainly a broker not a breeder, and buys them from the vermin who breed dogs in this horrific fashion, or she breeds dogs she obtained from a puppy farm.
It is very difficult for animal welfare authorities to stop this trade for a range of reasons that vary from country to country -- in Ireland, it is weak legislation coupled with widespread ignorance that dogs are farmed like this, in such appalling conditions that would not be tolerated for regular farm livestock (which ironically have much stricter welfare protections). Also there is a thriving US market for slightly cheaper cavaliers -- the brokers buy these puppies for a pittance, typically about $50-$100, then charge YOU $800-$2500 or more, almost always pricing them lower than ethical breeders to appeal to bargain-hunters. This is why puppy buyers need to carefully research breeders; see the 'buying a cavalier ' section in the FAQ for what to look out for. Also see the story in this section on the Irish puppy farm industry. Please support ethical, responsible breeders.
From the LAW website (posted with kind permission):
[size=6]SHOCK AND HORROR AT CONDITION OF BEAUTIFUL CAVALIERS[/size]
GRACE WHEN RESCUED:
MITZY WHEN RESCUED:
JULY 5TH: We have taken two female cavaliers into our care and into our heart. They were used for breeding. Their owner no longer wanted them and was about to put them down.
They had no names so we have called them Grace and Mitzy. Both dogs were totally neglected. Their beautiful coats were matted and the smell that came from them was indescribable. Their coats were bleached from urine and faecal matter. The knots on their coats were so big it was hard for them to move. The moment we laid eyes on Grace we could tell she had a serious eye condition. Both her eyes were clouded with yellow matter.
When we cleaned this away we could see both her eyes were very inflamed. We noticed by the way she moved her vision was impaired. Grace is just 6 years old. Mitzy is 5 years old. Mitzyâ€™s nails were so long that they had grown into her pads. We took both dogs to the vets. Windows of our car were wide open to prevent us getting sick from the smell.
Despite the cruel life these dogs had endured in true cavalier fashion they wagged their tails and gave lots of kisses to everyone they met. The vet diagnosed Grace as suffering from kerotonitis. This is an autoimmune disease, which causes the eye ducts to cease tear production and as a result the dog suffers with dry eye. Cavaliers are prone to this condition, but early treatment will prevent complications. However Grace had been totally neglected by her owner and her condition had now reached a chronic stage. We have commenced her on treatment; we are hoping for a positive response. We have observed Grace over the past two days and she manages very well with her restricted sight.
Grace and Mitzy paid a visit to the groomers today and when we went back to collect them we didn't know them. They looked so beautiful and must have felt so much better as they were literally jumping with joy! We brought them on a visit to our charity shop where we endeavored to take photos but both Grace and Mitzy were too excited to stand still. These two dogs who were starved of love and affection could not believe the attention that was showered on them. It brought tears to our eyes to see these little dogs who had been locked up bred from and both physically and mentally neglected so happy. Photos below might just show you how happy they now are.
MITZY CHECKS OUR HER NEW IMAGE IN THE MIRROR AND JUMPS FOR JOY:
NO MORE KNOTS OR LONG NAILS -- MITZY CAN RUN!:
GRACE'S APPEAL: Grace is 6 years old and it is obvious from her physical examination that she has had litter after litter. She has one of the nicest natures of any dog that we have ever rescued. Grace's eyesight is impaired but she manages very well with her disability. We are hopeful that the eye ointment Grace has been commenced on will have positive results. The aim of the treatment if for Graces tear ducts to start producing tears again.
We need a home for Grace with a person who is kind caring and understanding. Grace will need eye ointment applied to her eyes for the rest of her life. As and if her condition improves the level of treatment will be reduced. This ointment costs â‚¬36 a tube. At present Grace will need a tube a week but we hope to reduce her to a tube a month if all goes well.
Grace will need a quiet home with a routine. She loves people so ideally we would love to see her in a home with a person who will take her with them as much places as possible such as in the car, visiting etc. She will make a perfect and faithful companion.
MITZY'S APPEAL: Mitzy is a five year old black and tan very small cavalier except for her ears they are so big! Mitzy is extremely lively she just loves to run and play. She is very affectionate adores people especially children. Mitzy needs a home where she will be treated like a lady. We do not want her left alone as she has had enough isolation in her life already. Mitzy needs a home where some member of the family will be at home. She loves other dogs so would do very well in a home with the company of other dogs. Mitzy is one in a million and she is already turning heads. Mitzy will be neutered in a weekâ€™s time.
JULY 15th: Both Mitzy and Grace remain in a foster home. They are in very good form. Mitzy has adapted very well to family life. She has gained some condition and is loved by everyone she meets. She is a real character full of life. She adores people and loves to play with other dogs. Mitzy will be soon going to a new home. Grace's vision remains poor. The infection has cleared up and her eyes look a lot better. She continues her treatment, but she is very restricted visually. However she copes very well and her disability does not interfere with her quality of life what so ever. She is a real sunshine girl who adores people. Grace still awaits her special home.
NB: Both these dogs are now homed.
Limerick Animal Welfare: http://www.limerickanimalwelfare.com/
Grace and Mitzy's story original link: http://www.limerickanimalwelfare.com...ueltycases.htm
You can donate to help defray Grace's growing medical costs here: http://www.limerickanimalwelfare.com/law/donations.htm