Me: "Hello, I am calling about the ad you have in the *** and **** paper I see that you have cavaliers for sale"
Ms X: "Yes I have Blenheim, Rubies all colours and ages."
Me: "Can I come and visit on Saturday?"
Ms X: "Yes I will meet you at the Statoil station in ********"
We met at the agreed petrol station and Ms X had a puppy in her arms. I said that I wished to choose my puppy if that was appropriate and convinced her to take me to see the others.
As I walked up to the run down semi detached house in a regular housing estate I had a strange feeling come over me. I did not quite know what to expect but the report I had been given signalled to me that the situation was not good.
Ms X: "Apologies for the mess, but I am working night shift as a care nurse in ******** hospital"
I flattered her telling her how lovely her home was and how excited I was to finally own my first dog. I thought it best to lead her to believe I had no idea about dogs or their needs and that way I may get to see more of her 'breeding establishment'.
She opened the front door and the stench hit me like a ton of bricks. The ammonia and stale scent in the air made me cough out loud. I was invited in and as soon as I stepped into the hallway by eyes started to sting from the acidity in the air. We walked through a dark hallway, the carpet was covered in dust and dirt and I was ushered into a side room. I turned around to see at least 10 faces peering at me, all silent, all fearful, all helpless. I will never forget the face of one female who was standing on a bed - she had almost an entire white face, very long legs and she looked so afraid but she looked right at me as if she was asking for help.
Along the wall there were boxes with dirty blankets covering them. Inside these boxes were litters and litters of puppies. The ages varied from newborn to 6 weeks. Ms X put a dirty blanket on the floor and took a puppy out to show me. She placed the pup on the blanket on the floor and said "You can have this one cheap because IT has a skull problem". The puppy squirmed on the floor disorientated and afraid. I picked it up and I could feel a gaping whole in the puppies crown. The mother was no where to be seen.
I asked to see their paperwork and she went to find some. I put the sickly puppy back in it's box with it's litter mates where it took cover between them. I took the opportunity to take as many photos as I could. I left the room and went to look around. There were approximately 10 males in the kitchen area, feet covered in excrement and urine and what looked like mice droppings sprinkled were all over the floor. None were injured physically but all looked to be suffering from some sort of psycholgoical problem.
I went to look out the back garden through a window at the rear of the house...more cavaliers everywhere amongst make shift kennels and debris. They all looked at me in shock as if they had never seen a person before. Some barked, some stepped backwards, some ran into their kennel areas.
As I was taking photos out the window I noticed my feet felt damp and I looked down to see that my running shoes were soaked in urine ... the carpet was saturated through. I began to feel a mixture of nausea, anger and sadness. I gathered myself and pretended to get lost in the house.
As I walk back to the original "puppy" room I am met at the bottom of the stairs by Ms X, she holds some paperwork that I could not identify. She tells me that I can have a pup for €240 or 2 for €400 as if they were apples on a stall. I ask about vaccinations and she tells me they don't need any that the puppies have been with their mother for over 5 weeks and they have built up an immune system. She offers me a weak, quiet and disorientated 5 week old puppy. I take her and cuddle her under my clothing, she smells bad not like a puppy should smell. I feel a huge amount of anger come over me so I place her back into her box with the other puppies and I step back for fear I may lash out at this woman. Then I won't be able to help any of these puppies. I am tempted to pay for one of them but I know this will only fund another series of litters and I won't do that.
I tell Ms X that I need to think about the pup and I leave. I get into my car, I drive away and I stop down the road to breath and think about what I have just witnessed. I cry out loud and the face of the white female in the bedroom appears in my thoughts. I wonder if I could go back later with a van in the middle of the night and somehow remove them all. Anywhere would be better than that place even my own small shed would be clean and warm. It's amazing what you consider when faced with such a situation.
Needless to say I didn't go back that night and remove them all. I did however deal with Ms X.
I plan another visit to Ms X soon to make sure she got what she deserved. Details of how and when I cannot give. But I know there are thousands of these places all over the country.