We are no strangers to the horrendous damage that backstreet breeders, commercial breeders and puppy farms do to the health and wellbeing of dogs, having taking in close to 100 dogs from local puppy farms in recent years. With Covid-19 becoming something we are learning to live with, we had hoped that the huge demand for dogs would fall as people returned to work. Sadly this is far from the case as there is still a huge demand for puppies, which is encouraging breeders to cash in while they can!
This current demand for puppies has resulted in 90 dogs and puppies, living in horrific conditions, being removed from a single Devon property, with 23 of them coming in to our care.
The dogs, a mixture of small “designer breeds” ranging from 7 days old to 12 years old, had been living in terrible conditions resulting in them all suffering from overgrown claws, flea and worm infestations, as well as severe malnutrition. On arrival with us most of the dogs were extremely matted and covered in their own faeces as well as suffering from ammonia burns on their skin from living in their own urine. The tight matts have made it difficult for the dogs to move about and go to the toilet as well as causing incredibly sore spots on their skin. The huge flea burden has resulted in some of the dogs constantly scratching, leaving them with open sores from the self-inflicted wounds. The mothers of the puppies have been struggling to keep up with the demand of having to continually nurse litter after litter in these conditions. It is feared that it may already be too late for the weakest of the little puppies, but we are doing everything we possibly can to keep the puppy alive. We have also started supplementing all the puppy’s diets with specialist puppy milk to give them the best chance of survival, while their emaciated mothers start to build up their own strength.
All the dogs have been seen by our contracted vets, Filham Park in Ivybridge, and there are concerns some of them may have some serious underlying medical issues caused by inbreeding as well as the terrible living conditions they have been forced to endure. Tests will need to be run to determine the appropriate course of treatment needed. Other health issues that have been identified include dental disease and hernias, both of which require surgery.
Deputy Manager, Ruth Rickard said: “When we were contacted about these dogs I could not believe help was needed with yet another local puppy farm, it was truly heart-breaking. These traumatized dogs have to suffer such terrible conditions purely for money. It is so frustrating how easy it still is for breeders to get away with it. I am glad we are able to give these dogs the love, care and attention they deserve and our priority is to carefully remove the matted fur and give them the support and treatment they need to go on to find new loving homes”.
It is estimated it will cost an additional £5,000 to cover the costs of all the treatments these poor dogs require as well as their basic care such as flea and worm treatments and ensuring all the dogs and puppies are neutered before looking for their forever homes.
We do not receive any government funding and have felt the financial strain from the Coronavirus pandemic, but we are determined to help all these poor dogs. If you can help to ease our financial burden by making a contribution to our ‘Puppy Farm Palaver’ Vet Appeal’ we will be very grateful
If we are lucky enough to raise more money than is needed for these poor dogs, the excess will go towards helping the other animals in our care.