We are beginning to experience the reality of working in animal welfare and the man-made crisis that we are now facing as we ease in to the post-Covid era. It is a perfect storm of high demand for puppies being met by low welfare breeders, high demand for dogs and puppies being met through dodgy online sales, and the economic and social impact of Covid on dog owners.

We have lost count of the number of times we have advised of the health issues associated with brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds. Regular followers of our social media pages will see first-hand how many times we’ve tried our best to improve the welfare of these poor dogs. We’ve treated their poorly ears and eyes. We’ve put them in oxygen tents and treated them for aspirated pneumonia. We’ve operated on them just so they can breathe properly. We’ve spent thousands and thousands of pounds trying to correct their inherent health issues, issues caused by man’s selfish desire for certain breed characteristics. It’s not just the money the though, these dogs are suffering and it’s heart-breaking. We’ve pleaded with puppy buyers to choose a healthier breed. We’ve shared posts from veterinary professionals including the BVA. But nothing changes and the Kennel Club’s latest statistics put the French Bulldog at number 2 and the English Bulldog at number 4 in terms of registrations. Once again, we are pleading with the public to choose another breed. No-one “needs” a brachycephalic dog and ultimately, it’s a choice. If you can’t adopt one, choose a healthier breed it’s really that simple.

We currently have four brachycephalic dogs in with breed related health issues. Montana the French Bulldog came in last week. Due to his colour he would have cost quite a lot of money. We know he has passed through several hands, most recently ending up on an on-line selling site. However, no-one treated his obvious health issues and fortunately the last owner surrendered him so he can finally get the help he urgently needs. His ears are the worst our vets have ever seen and whilst he has started topical medication, he is very likely going to need surgery. He is also very underweight and is drinking and urinating excessively so is undergoing tests. His vet costs could exceed £2,000.

Penny is a little Pug puppy who needed her eye removed and is facing surgery for a liver shunt. She was sold despite looking so poorly. Her vet costs will be in the region of £5,000. Pongo the Pug was surrendered recently.  He has stenotic nares (pinched nostrils) and is really struggling with even gentle exercise so he has been in this week for surgery which will cost around £800. Gabriella is a French Bulldog. She has scoliosis (curved spine). Whilst there is nothing we can do for her surgically she will require ongoing management.

All of these wonderful dogs are being cared for by our dedicated foster homes. They are the first four poorly dogs we are sharing with you this week, but their vet fees alone total almost £8,000. We truly are facing a crisis as demand for our services is exploding at the same time as donations are understandably easing off as the financial impact of Covid hits. If you are able to support our work then please click on the donate button. You can also call to donate over the phone 01443 226659 or Text HOPERESCUE to 70085 to donate £10

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