Lovely Chunk arrived in our care from the local pound. 

On arrival, it was clear from Chunk’s conformation (his shape and structure) that he was in a lot of discomfort. He was also struggling to urinate. 

As soon as Chunk reached our rescue centre, he was rushed to the vets as an emergency where he had a bladder scan. Thankfully this was clear, so he was prescribed pain relief and antibiotics to keep him comfortable until he was able to be booked in for x-rays to further assess any underlying issues. 

Chunk's x-ray results

Sadly, his x-rays were harrowing. They showed his hip sockets were virtually non-existent causing pain every time Chunk took a step. At just 4 years old, Chunk also had arthritis already present in both of his front elbows.

To have arthritis at such a young age only meant his condition was going to deteriorate over time. Despite being on pain relief, Chunk was still unable to partake in playtime or enjoy his walks, so we made the sad decision to let him pass peacefully whilst under anaesthetic.

How do we feel? 

Naturally, we were deeply saddened that we weren't able to give Chunk his happy ending. But we were also angry that we are continuing to see these deformities in Pocket Bullies and other bully type breeds; deformities deliberately bred in to achieve a desired aesthetic. 

These are deformities that we see week in week out, due to our work with stray dogs and dogs seized from illegal breeders. Dogs suffering, then discarded and left for animal welfare organisations to pick up the pieces and make the tough calls. 

We also have numerous dogs in palliative care, due to their ongoing health needs, as a result of their breeding and conformation. We have had to make difficult decisions on too many young dogs who should have their whole lives in front of them.

Irresponsible breeders are continuing to churn out these poor dogs. Many XL Bully breeders are still breeding Pocket Bullies, oblivious of the role their actions played in the Government's decision to ban them. 

What needs to change? 

On 17th January, we joined other colleagues in our sector on the BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours, to talk about canine fertility clinics and their links to low welfare breeding practices. 

There is still so much work to be done in improving breeding legislation, and importantly, in providing adequate enforcement resources to tackle the issues and sheer volume of illegal breeders.

Rest easy Chunk, you deserved so much more 

Tap to listen to the You and Yours episode