** UPDATE **
This is now reaching the media and a number of articles are appearing in national and regional press.
You can read more here in the Express newspaper.
It’s a real-life horror story when you receive a heart-breaking call at 0130 to let you know that a very poorly pup, Noel (pic left), didn't make it.
Sold at just 4 weeks old as a 'stud' dog, he had not been vaccinated nor was there any money from his owner or breeder to try to save his life when he came down with the deadly parvovirus at 14 weeks old. Already weak and compromised from a heavy worm burden, the odds were stacked against him, and he just wasn't strong enough to fight any longer.
So now it's our staff crying, our supporters who raised the funds to battle to save his life left shattered and our vets are devastated. There will have been no sleepless night or worries for the backyard breeder as they have already banked the money they charged for him. Noel was a victim of human greed, pure and simple. The only consolation we have is that he died with people who cared, and we thank everyone who donated and tried to help him.
This week we also stumbled across a local Gumtree advert for a litter of puppies, ready to go on Christmas Eve. They were advertised as Chihuahua x Pugs. If breeding two brachycephalic (flat-nosed) breeds wasn't bad enough, they also introduced a Chinese Crested into the mix so several of them also have no hair! We’ve dubbed these poor little mites ‘Frankenstein Pups’, and they’ve even been given a name by the breeder – “China Chugs.”
The cherry on the top of this particularly nasty cake is that the ones with no hair cost twice as much as the others! So now you can buy a genetically messed-up dog for the princely sum of £650. No responsible breeder in their right mind who cares about the welfare of dogs would be breeding these crosses.
Hope Rescue is not anti-breeding. We believe that of course, there is a place for responsible breeders. What we oppose and campaign against is irresponsible breeding for profit alone, irrespective of the damage caused.
The question we need to ask is when is it going to end, when will the exploitation of these poor, poor dogs stop? These aren't necessarily puppy farm dogs in the true sense, these are from ‘backyard breeders’ who breed dogs in their own homes and back gardens. It could be your neighbour, a member of your family or a work colleague. ‘Rare’ colours and ridiculous crossbreeds come at a premium. And the puppy buying public just doesn’t seem to care. The more outlandish the crossbreed, the better.
These poor pups are likely to face a lifetime of health problems, which are often life-limiting. Will their new owners pay large vet bills? Or will these poor dogs be discarded as unwanted and expensive presents?
There is a welfare crisis looming and we call ourselves a nation of animal lovers? We just don’t see that at the moment, where consumer demand comes before the welfare of the dogs,
If you are considering buying a puppy, please make sure you do your research into all of the health and welfare considerations. Please help us to make sure that little Noel's short life wasn’t in vain.