Picking up the pieces of back yard breeders again

Another day, another victim of the miserable backyard trade in designer puppies. We are angry, upset and frustrated yet again. Little Enzo was given away by his breeder at just 3 days old as he had a cleft palate. No cash to be made, only huge vet bills looming so it was easier for the breeder to pass the problem on. Fortunately, he ended up with someone who actually cared. They tube fed him until he was 5 weeks old, but could not afford to continue his care so reached out for help and Enzo moved in to our care.

Enzo’s prognosis is very guarded. He has barely any soft palate and his hard palate has a hole right through it. We can opt to euthanise now, or refer him to specialist vets Langford’s in Bristol to see if he is a potential candidate for surgery. If Langford’s think he is suitable for surgery, we need to keep everything crossed that he will survive until he is 14 weeks old. Sadly many pups don’t make it due to complications such as aspirated pneumonia, which we sadly lost Aerwen to last week. Once he reaches 14 weeks old he still needs to be re-assessed for surgery and may not be suitable. Sadly without surgery the only option is to put him to sleep. Tough choices. However, whilst he is teeny weeny, he is currently a very strong and happy pup. His vet costs could total around £4,000 with the referral, pre-op care and surgery. We’ve decided to give him the very best chance and refer him, taking it one day at a time. If at any point we feel his welfare is being compromised we will make the right decision. He is still at the vets, but will be moving to one of our experienced vet nurses to foster. Please keep him in your thoughts and if you could donate to his pre-op costs we would be very grateful. You can donate here: http://www.justgiving.com/campaign/saveenzo or by paypal@hoperescue.org.uk 

We don’t know why Enzo was born with a cleft palate but brachycephalic (flat-nosed) breeds such as English Bulldogs have a 30% higher risk than other breeds. Although genetics are considered the main cause of this problem, nutritional deficiencies and viruses that affect the mother during pregnancy may also increase the risk. Backyard breeders don’t care about health though. The breeder probably knows their bitch is churning out pups with cleft palates but they are collateral damage. Yet again Enzo is a “rare” and sought-after colour. The blame mainly lies with the puppy-buying public – how many times have we explained it is public demand demand that is fuelling this miserable trade. Our plea to the public is do not buy these genetically flawed pups. Do not buy a puppy purely because it has a “cute” flat-face and is a “pretty” colour. Check out your local rescues first. Research responsible breeders who are breeding for health over aesthetics. If they breed specifically for these “rare” colours walk away – they are only interested in £££s. The public hold the key to helping stop this terrible welfare crisis - it’s basic economics as supply will always equal demand. Rescue centres should not be picking up the pieces time and time again. Please share Enzo’s story on our social media pages to raise awareness.