An initial 27 puppies and dogs were seized from an illegal breeder, growing to 45 after pregnant dogs give birth.

Earlier this year, Hope Rescue received a call from a Local Authority and the Regional Trading Standards Investigation Team asking for urgent help removing a large number of puppies and dogs from an illegal breeder.

On arrival at the breeder’s residence, colleagues from Hope’s welfare team were appalled by the condition of the premises where the dogs were being kept but were even more horrified by the condition of the dogs themselves.

Sara Rosser, Hope Rescue’s Head of Welfare said the condition of the dogs were some of the worst she’d seen,

“You never know what you’re walking into when you’re asked to come and collect dogs but the conditions we came up against during this rescue were absolutely terrible and unacceptable. The dogs were in an awful state; their fur matted and caked in dirt, some to the point of not being able to see or walk comfortably.”

It became evident to the welfare team on examination that several dogs were pregnant. One of those dogs being little Custard Cream (pictured above). Her coat was severely matted, and it is was heart breaking to imagine her being mated in this terrible condition. The heavy amount of matted fur on her small body meant that giving birth could have caused severe complications and risks to her life and the lives of her litter, even more so as she went on to have a c-section.

What began as 27 puppies and dogs turned into 45 after all the pregnant dogs had given birth. The breeds of the dogs were the most popular breeds including Cavaliers, Pugs, Dachshunds and Bichon Frises, plus a variety of crossbreeds. This case is another clear example of a low-welfare, illegal breeder breeding for wealth not health and looking to maximise profits.

This week, all 45 dogs were signed over to Hope Rescue after an initial court hearing. The investigation into the illegal breeder is ongoing. It’s important to recognise that this breeder was not operating a puppy farm hidden away in West Wales. They lived and operated from a residential property in an urban area of south Wales. An illegal breeder operating in plain sight like this highlights the importance of asking the right questions and making all the relevant checks on a breeder when buying a dog. Follow the advice of the RSPCA.

The ‘Puppy Farm Next Door’ is an issue we’ve previously highlighted and this case adds further evidence to what is a growing problem across Wales and one that has been exacerbated due to the high demand for dogs during the pandemic .

After hours of grooming and vet checks, all the dogs were safely moved into foster homes where they’ve since been receiving the care and attention they deserve; but the cost to Hope Rescue for preparing these dogs for rehoming will be substantial. The costs of will include neutering, essential dental work and any required BOAS surgeries and is expected to come in around £15,000.

This added cost comes at a time when our monthly vet bill has exceeded £40,000.

We know times are tough right now due to the cost of living crisis but any donations are greatly appreciated. Without the help of our fantastic donors and supporters we wouldn’t be able to ensure dogs like Custard Cream and her puppy Garibaldi go on to live safe, healthy and happy lives.

You can donate by phone 01443 226659 9am-5pm or text INTAKE followed by your donation amount to 70085.

Over the coming weeks, we’d like to introduce you to some of the amazing little dogs who came to us from this rescue. They are truly the most charismatic little survivors you could wish to meet.

We would urge anyone with concerns about dog breeders in your area to report them to their Local Authority or to Crimestoppers (0800 555111)

Please donate what you can...