By Julie Higham
|The words "Puppy Farm" conjure up images of chubby fluffy puppies frolicking in the sun whilst their adoring mothers look on from the comfort of their beds. This could not be further from the truth. The Dogs Trust have recently coined the phrase "Batttery Farmed Dogs" for that is what they are. We can all recall the images of battery farmed hens shut in tiny cages, never seeing the light of day or breathing fresh air until they are no longer useful at which point they are disposed of as if they were rubbish. Well, that is exactly what happens to the dogs on the puppy farms.|
A Labrador straight from a puppy farm -
and a few months after being fostered by Julie
I had no idea such places existed until I adopted a black Labrador bitch who had been used for breeding. I was horrified at her condition, both physical and mental, and decided to look into it further. What I discovered disturbed me greatly. Up and down the country, hidden away from prying eyes, are farms where so called "breeders" have 60, 70, 80 or more bitches shut in sheds, outbuildings, cages, even the boots of cars, where they are bred at every season from their very first when they are just puppies themselves. They exist (for it is no life, just an exisitance) in squalid conditions and are bred half to death, and is some cases literally to death. They are surrounded by other bitches at various stages of pregnancy and have dead and dying pups in with them as well as the living.
Click here for videos showing the appalling conditions that dogs are kept and born in -
|"How could anyone buy a puppy from such a place?" I hear you cry. They do, every day without realising it. They buy from what seems to be reputable sources - pet shops, free ads, internet ads, local newspaper small ads, men in lay bys, cards in shop windows, signs outside the most innocent of looking residences. These puppies are supplied to these sellers from puppy farms and are sold for hundreds of pounds a time. They are often in poor health and many die or suffer lifelong illness as a result of poor breeding. The puppy farmes do not care. They have made their money and will carry on breeding untill they no longer have a market to sell them.||
Emerald, an ex breeding Yorkie, came to me as a foster for Many Tears & I soon realised I couldn't let her go so I adopted her. She was literally skin & bone when she arrived & virtually bald. The second photo is a few months on.
PEOPLE'S IGNORANCE & DEMAND FOR PUPPIES KEEPS THIS EVIL INDUSTRY ALIVE
Of course this neglect and cruelty is not confined to bitches, the males have equally sad lives. Often living in solitary confinement they live out their days in the dark waiting to be mated. They too are in appalling physical and mental condition and are disposed of when they are no longer up to the job.
I will not go into detail about what happens to these poor souls but I will tell you that there are happy endings for some of these dogs. Some are handed into rescues by the puppy farmers where they can be rehabilitated and taught how to be a dog. It takes a lot of time, patience, love and dedication to help these dogs become what they should always have been but it can, and is, done. I myself foster such dogs and help them on their journey to a new life. I consider it an honour and a priviledge.
I never cease to be amazed how a dog can come to me crawling on her belly and wetting herself in fear can become the most loyal, gently and loving dog you will ever meet. I have seen it happen time and again and every time it humbles me. These dogs have so much love to give and are capable of great things. Do not pass them by if you are considering taking on a dog for they will repay your kindness a thousandfold and be at your side for as long as they live.
2010 Copyright: Julie Higham
About the author of this article -
"I have been involved in rescue for twelve years in various capacities and for the last two years I have been fostering and rehabilitating rescue dogs. I mainly take in traumatised ex-breeding girls and boys as I find them so rewarding to work with. I foster for Many Tears Animal Rescue in Llanelli in South Wales"
See also -
Lucy Beagle - Fostering by Julie Higham
Lucy Beagle by Sheila Thomas
Gracie the Fearful Labrador by Elizabeth Sargeant
Petition to Tattoo Spayed Bitches