On National Puppy Day (23 March), Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are urging dog lovers thinking of getting a new puppy to carefully consider where they get their new pet from.
The leading animal charity is drawing attention to the health and welfare of breeding dogs, after taking in a neglected and shy breeding bitch who had been discovered tied to some railings in South West London.
The two-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux was covered in sores, had swollen mammary glands, sore feet, eye and ear infections, and dental issues. She’d been microchipped with the name ‘Puppy number 5’ suggesting she had been treated as a breeding machine, not a pet.
With the help of the charity’s staff, in time the once quiet and reserved dog learnt how to be more confident and to trust people and eventually she was ready to embark on a new life in East London. She was also given her first real name: Maggie.
Battersea Centre Manager Steve Craddock said: “When she was rescued, Maggie was in a terrible state. Her sores and overgrown nails indicated that she’d spent a lot of her life in cramped conditions, and her swollen mammary glands suggested she’d had at least two litters of puppies.”
“For such a young dog to have spent the first years of their life being bred from and then carelessly discarded is truly heart breaking.”
Last year, Battersea welcomed new Government regulations requiring any breeder producing three or more litters a year to apply for a licence through their local council and prove they meet the basic standards of animal welfare.
Steve continues: “We hope these new regulations will help put an end to unscrupulous breeding practices. We know that there are dogs just like Maggie all over the UK, who have been forced to produce multiple litters over and over again until they are carelessly dumped when they’re no longer of use.”
“If you are thinking of getting a new dog it’s important do your research. Make sure you go to a reputable breeder and see the puppies with their mother first. Even better, visit your local rescue centre. There are hundreds and thousands of rescue dogs across the UK who are looking for a second chance of happiness, many of them still under two years old. Rehoming a rescue dog is so rewarding and you will be given advice and support to ensure you take home exactly the right pet for you.”
If you’re interested in rehoming a dog, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.