A cause supported even by Sir Bob Geldof himself MUST be worth it, so I wanted to invite you along to a very special event in Brighton this Sunday (18th Sept) – PupAid 2011! Sir Bob lent his support to this growing campaign to ban puppy farms – he even held up a PupAid poster on the Alan Titchmarsh show – so why did he feel it was so important? Why should we do our bit?
As you know there are some causes that are very dear to my heart. Something that crushes me time and time again is when I am called out to see a family with a puppy that already has problems from day one. When I ask the owners where they got the puppy from, the answer is often ‘an ad in the free paper’ or ‘Internet’. Now this is not to say that the pups advertised in these places are all bad of course. The owners then tell me that the puppy was sent to them – they met up at a service station because the breeder ‘lived too far away’, or ‘there wasn’t anyone with puppies nearby’.
It is time for a wake-up call.
Did you know that puppy farms exist in large numbers, often in places a little more out of the way – in Wales it is well known that Camarthenshire is somewhere puppy farms abound, but puppy farms are everywhere. Did you know that the breeding bitches are kept in pens without any social contact? The puppies they produce are often unhealthy (ever paid a vet bill? so you know you need a healthy pup, right?). Due to lack of early socialisation the puppies make poor pets. Why? An undersocialised dog can be more like a wild animal, terrified of everyday things. Training does NOT sort out this particular problem.
So why am I writing so fiercely about this today?
This last month in my job as behaviourist and trainer, I have seen 3 puppies that all came from terrible beginnings. In two cases the puppies had to be put to sleep because their health problems were so terrible. No, the owners did not get their money back and did not have their vet bills paid. Their grieving was awful to see – they adored their baby dogs and were hoodwinked into believing they were buying a nice pet. In the third case the puppy has been sent almost by mail order to someone who really is not capable of looking after a dog. 3 puppies in one month alone is enough to make anyone weep.
What can we do to help?
It’s time to talk positively about what can be done. Firstly, spread the word. PupAid 2011 is on Sunday 18th September at Stanmer Park in Brighton. It is a celebrity judged dog show with music and fun, and ALL to help spread the word about puppy farming and how devastating it can be. It also helps to teach folks about how to choose a decent puppy from a good breeder. TV Vet Marc Abraham is the man behind this astounding charity event. Marc told me why he feels so strongly about the cause:
‘For many years frustrated dog-lovers across the UK have been unable to do anything significant to tackle the horrors of puppy farming – the mass commercialised breeding for profit of diseased pups which are then sold onto pet-shops and dealers – but by attending events like PUP AID 2011 and helping to raise awareness of this cruel industry, as well as promoting alternatives like rescue dog adoption and responsible dog breeding, we can all play a constructive part in reducing the demand for farmed pups, ending this suffering, and securing the future health and happiness of all our nation’s dogs.’
I am really looking forward to going. Anything we can do to celebrate the good, and teach awareness of the bad, has to be worthwhile. PLease do share this blog and share your comments or stories below. You never know, you might just save a lot of heartache.