Welcome to my blog

For years I have campaigned against puppy farming, dealers and pet shops, in fact any outlet that is involved in the breeding and selling of puppies by third parties. Why you may ask? Because it is a clandestine trade that lacks public awareness and Governments fail miserably to accept that puppy farming resulting in puppy trafficking is detrimental to animal welfare. Through my thoughts on my blog I will highlight some of the daily happenings from my perspective as a campaigner against the puppy trade.

Disclaimer: My name is Patricia from Puppy Alert, the opinions and views expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

Friday, 30 December 2011

All Party Government Animal Welfare - Meeting

Reading the minutes of the meeting was informative and enlightening concerning dog breeding.

However one comment by James Yates (RSPCA) made me want to scream and it went something like this:

The RSPCA have done a lot on puppy farming and has been the main force in tackling this as well as other issues of cruelty that Marc mentions.  But if we do not receive a complaint about an issue we are not authorized to investigate it, so Marc please let us know if you have specific cases as we are then able to investigate it. WOW!!!       

When have the RSPCA 'done a lot on puppy farming'?  They are not in a position to enter a licensed dog breeders premises, even if a concern of animal welfare is raised by the general public.  The RSPCA passes all complaints on to the Council to attend and will only attend themselves if invited to do so by the Council. They call it the joined up approach to working - a working partnership.  Which in effect achieves nothing.

But I will remember James Yates words and quote them next time I have reason to contact the RSPCA, maybe rather than ignore emails sent someone may respond.  Please take note Mr Hubbord (RSPCA) I am still waiting for a reply to my last emails.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Planning Application - Penparc, LLangynin, St Cleares, Carmarthenshire SA33 4BA



Carmarthenshire County Council Planning Department, Application Number W/25841.
Here is a link to Carmarthenshire planning department where you can view the plans.http://online.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/eaccessv2/PlanningAppRefSearchResults.aspx

Objections to this application must be received by Carmarthenshire Planning Department by the 10th January 2011. The planning officer is Jonathon Locke who can be contacted on 01267 224867 email: jglocke@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
The retrospective planning application submitted by the Elizabeth M Roberts of Penparc is for dog breeding kennels, they are already licensed by Carmarthenshire Public Protection Department for 107 breeding bitches and 17 stud dogs and have been for the past few years, yet planning permission was neither applied for by the applicant or asked for by the licensing officer when granting the licence. An Enforcement notice was served on the applicant Number W/ENF/05396 resulting in the applicant submitting the planning application.

The applicant E M Roberts also has a working sheep farm at the same premises with 750 sheep as well as the dogs numbering 124 in total in addition litters of puppies. The litters of puppies it is stated in the application are not sold direct to the public but are sold as trade on a wholesale basis with their transportation taking place once a fortnight. As well as the applicant there are two part-time workers employed on the site. The12 month dog breeding licence (renewed annually) is current until August 2012.

The dog breeding kennels can be viewed on the application plans, they are agriculture buildings, made of concrete and brick , the upper walls and roof with asbestos sheeting and profiled metal sheeting. The one window in Unit 1 is of brown PVC, and is reliant on artificial light, there are some sky lights for natural light but doors are solid and swing type, there are some exercise runs to be seen in photos. Unit 2 the whelping unit has 4 doors with a mesh grid on top of doors for natural light.

The applicant replied on the application form when asked - 'Trade effluents and waste, as NO ' this should be answered with yes as some waste from dog breeding premises is classified as hazardous waste and needs to be disposed of correctly.

Remember objection to be effective need to be on planning issues as welfare issues are only a consideration and not a reason for refusal for a planning application. Never the less it is important to place objections to these applications to enable Councils to see that the general public are not accepting of the commercialization of large scale dog breeding and the selling of puppies through dealers and pet shops. Therefore it important to highlight and make objections to the Council when these applications are submitted by dog breeders.

Thank you for your co-operation.

email: puppyalert@btinternet.com

Thursday, 8 December 2011

When rescue is a step too far.

Originally I did not intend to write about rescue on this blog because most operate efficiently doing a brilliant job but there are the occasions when something catches my eye and I feel justified in commenting and asking the question, is this just one step too far?

Some rescues concentrate solely on dogs and puppies and in particular dogs from puppy farms and pounds, which in itself should not really raise alarm bells in my thoughts.   After all to rescue a dog from an atrocious situation in a puppy farm or to take dogs on death row must be so rewarding and I have much admiration for those in rescue that tackle the task of neglected and unwanted dogs and puppies.  But this must be responsibly undertaken with care and integrity by those who rescue the dogs and are responsible for their aftercare.

The details I am referring to are on public view on their own rescue web site, therefore one must presume they are comfortable with public awareness of their decisions and actions taken in response to the dogs and puppies that arrive in the centre.  Transparency, unfortunately, may also at times bring with it criticism if the public does not feel comfortable with what they are reading.

My concern relates to an 9 year old female dog, a breeding bitch who was offered for fostering on the 30th November 2011 and this is what followed, taken from their web site.

05-12-11 UPDATE
Poor sweet Jelly!!!! She came to us an older lady and rather thin. We got a little weight on her and sent her to our vet to spay. She was opened up only to find she has at least 3 pups in her tummy. They are already large and well formed so she has been closed and will get a high quality food and a whole lot of love to help her.  Jelly does however need a wonderful foster home - one who is savvy and able to cope with mum dogs in this condition and whelping them

The rescue after 5 days of getting a little weight on this dog she was sent to be spayed, only for the vet to find that after opening her up, she had at least 3 large well formed puppies inside her. Now whether the rescue or vet were unable to determine if  the dog was in  pup prior to being opened because the puppies could not be felt or ultra sound equipment was not available it does not say.  But should the rescue, in view of this dogs age (nine years) not have ensured she was not in pup before being prepared for spaying?  Due to this poor dogs age and numerous previous litters, would it have been advisable for the vet after removing the puppies for them to be humanely euthanized and the vet to continue with spaying the bitch?  Would this have been a better decision than opening up this dog, stitching her back again and leaving the puppies to go full term?  Which has left  this dog with a fresh wound, stitches which maybe still in when having to give birth in the very near future and suckle puppies or stitches out but a tender wound by the time of the birth, followed yet once more by an operation and spaying?

Another incident caught my attention written on the owners blog, which was as follows.

I  have had highs and very lows. Yesterday a very low. A dog that had only just been given to me died on our vet's table. She was full of infection. The vet needed to operate to save her. Even as she put the towel clamps on her pus broke out of her skin. The whole of her insides were full of this and she was poisoned by it. She had Pyometra that is what's called a Closed Pyometra.  This is an infection in the womb that never showed itself instead manifested inside and made her body septic. We could not save her. She had barely any time in her many years of love and she did not even recognize that. She was cheated and me also of knowing and helping her. If she had been spayed it would have never have happened.  Maybe a lesson for those of you who tell me you love your dogs far too much to spay them.  Maybe the question is do you love them far too much to kill them?  I must say a huge THANK YOU to Jo our vet and the vet nurses this week, for they too have lived my sadness's as we all shed tears together. Never have I met a vet with such love compassion and kindness.  I pray she will stay working for our dogs and our sakes. End

I am aware that a closed pyometra  is very difficult to detect but they can be diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs, which include time of season (often within a month) increased drinking, off colour, and raised white blood cell count.  Furthermore as the uterus is generally distended with pus, this distension can often be detected by x ray or ultra sound.

The rescue said in the blog 'the dog had just been given to me'.  Therefore has the rescue contacted the RSPCA?  Because if this is a case of neglect by the owner of the dog they should  be made responsible under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for failure to get veterinary treatment for their dog, instead of handing it into a rescue and the resulting consequences.

This rescue undertakes a massive task of rescuing dogs and puppies but I do wonder if it does go a step too far in its eagerness to rescue all at all costs. Does the rescue take in too many dogs and distribute them too quickly into a foster homes which are situated,  I understand, all over the country, without giving themselves adequate time to assess the dogs properly in  the rescue beforehand?  Most dogs have very little time in the actual rescue before spaying takes place and then moved from the centre into a foster home which could be hundreds of miles from the rescue in Wales this is sometimes within hours of being operated on and having travelled hundreds of miles to reach the centre from Ireland in the first place. I have to ask is this acceptable from an animal welfare point of view?  Everything happening at this rescue appears to be too hurried, too fast in the eagerness to rescue as may dogs at all cost, regardless. 

At one time the breeding bitches from the puppy farms in Wales were the priority for this rescue (sometimes they ae still taken) but it appears of late they have ventured into fresh pastures and Ireland is favoured more.  But where ever they take dogs from I sincerely hope the rescue will report what they find and see in the premises they visit and not close their eyes to what is happening around them for fear of not being allowed to continue to take the dogs, leaving the unwanted ones to languish in misery until next time...when really these premises should be closed down.   But they will not be unless the authorities have the evidence, the evidence that rescues have if they are involved in taking dogs in from breeders but while people keep quite and say nothing, the vicious circle of over breeding and the rescue of the neglected and unwanted will continue.  We must all do more to stop this happening it is not the answer to continue to rescue and say nothing it is perpetuating the problem of the over breeding of dogs and the production of too many puppies.



Wednesday, 7 December 2011


In the recent week Dogs4 Us were highlighted by the media, Manchester Evening News who wrote about  Manchester United footballers who in recent years purchased puppies from the Dogs4Us pet store.   Manchester Evening News should not be proud of highlighting celebs and footballers buying puppies from a pet shop, it only shows a lack of knowledge and awareness by the footballers and celebs in the correct way to purchasing a puppy.  

Pet shops and dealers in puppies are not the ideal way to purchase a puppy because it is not possible to see the puppy interacting with the dam or to speak personally with the breeder.  It is very important to ask the breeder about health screening (that reputable breeders undertake) in conjunction with the Kennel Club and BVA screening schemes for known hereditary conditions in pedigree breeds of dogs and the prospective purchaser to view the premises where the puppies were born. This is not possible when buying puppies from pet shops and dealers, a very valid reason why they should be avoided.

Having looked at Dogs4Us web site it appears they cannot make their mind up as to whether they purchase from licensed or unlicensed breeders as the contradict themselves.  But regardless of this, if a pet shops source of puppies is from Wales, it is unlikely to make any difference, due to the poor conditions found in both licensed and unlicensed premises, something that has been highlighted through the media and campaigning groups, the connection between irresponsible commercial dog breeding, dealers and pet shops.  If Southern Ireland is the source then as yet there is no requirement for the licensing for dog breeders so I will leave that to your imagination as to the conditions and the plight of the dogs and the puppies they produce.  N Ireland like S Ireland have some exceedingly large commercial dog breeders who have hundreds of dogs in agriculture sheds (just like Beili Bedwi and many others in Carmarthenshire,Wales) selling all their puppies to dealers and pet shops.  A commodity on a conveyor belt system of mass produced puppies from weary dams and sires who are used repeatedly  to serve the needs of the buying public. This is the sickening puppy trade.

If Manchester Evening News had any concern for animal welfare it would not be highlighting celebs and footballers cuddling their puppies purchased from a pet shop but would engage an undercover investigator to trace the source of where the pet shops and dealers buy their puppies from.  They may get a rude awaking to the reality of the pet shop puppy and the plight of the breeding dogs instead of glitz and glamour of celebs holding puppies and cute puppies displayed inside glass fronted cages in pet superstores, it would be dark sheds, stench, deprivation and suffering. This is not what the public sees (unless anti puppy farm groups highlight through the media) and it certainly will not be what the dealers and pet shops want the public to know when they charge massive over inflated prices for a cute puppy.  The public are getting duped and it is time they realised it.

Maybe publicly Dogs4Us may like to explain what does their vet actually check when  the vet examins the puppies, when they say 'good physical condition' and '6 month guarentee'?  The vet can only give a very basic health check such as heart, eyes and ears of the puppy.  The 6 month guarantee is meaningless because anyone purchasing a puppy from a seller who is in the business of selling puppies is covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 the same as it they had  purchased any other commodity such as TV, car of washing machine.

What is the 7 day settling in period they offer?  The consumer has the right to return, replace or repair under the Sale of Goods Act 1979,  therefore what are they offering other than what is the consumers right under consumer law with or without their guarentee?

If the purchaser does not receive details of health screening of the dam and sire of the puppy because they have not been screened under the BVA, KC schemes.

The purchasers does not receive a pedigree or registration document that can be authenticated providing the puppy purchaser the assurance that the puppy they purchased was bred by the named person on the paperwork.  This means they also cannot always check where the puppy was bred and by whom therefore they only have the sellers word that the puppy they are purchasing was not bred on a puppy farm.

What is a puppy farm? There is no legal definition of a puppy farm.  A puppy farm can only be described   by an individuals interpretation of what they envisage a puppy farm to be. A puppy farm as far as my own interpretation is that it is a dog breeding establishment that breeds for commercial gain and sells puppies to dealers and pet shops, they maybe licensed or not licensed it does not make an difference, they are mass producing puppies for the puppy trade. 

Dogs4Us on their site say 'a very small percentage of people in the UK are trying to discredit our good name by linking us with puppy farms.  This is utter nonsense and does not represent what Dogs4Us is about'.  Then maybe Dogs4Us need to explain when they buy in and resell puppies where they actually do purchase their puppies from that can offer them a constant supply of puppies 365 days of the year if it is not the puppy farmer/commercial dog breeder?