March 26th
Email from Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

This is an email we received from Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. It contains a powerful message about the consequences of backyard breeding. It's a heartbreaking story, but one definitely worth sharing. 

What are the true costs of buying a pet online from a backyard breeder? How does this purchase enable and support animal cruelty? Dr. Adrian Walton of Dewdney Animal Hospital in BC shares his experience with us.

“The most heartbreaking animal story I have seen as a result of backyard breeding is one that irretrievably changed my life as a vet.
 
In 2005 I was working in an Emergency Practice in a semi-rural area. One day, we had a woman come in with a boxer. The dog had given birth to a litter just a few months before and the litter was getting close to being sold. The woman brought the mom in claiming the dog had digestive problems and that the puppies had stopped eating. The dog was NOT vaccinated as the owner did not feel it was worth doing it, but she had purchased some vaccines to vaccinate the puppies before sale. 
 
Several people had come to see the puppies in the weeks before and had put down deposits. Given that history, we started first and foremost with a parvo test, and lo and behold - they all tested positive. The puppies had been vaccinated the week before and we hoped that would provide appropriate protection. 
 
We explained to the owner that the dog would require immediate hospitalization and IV fluids and that the prognosis was guarded. I didn't even get to give her an estimate when she elected euthanasia. Due to the condition of the animal, euthanasia was warranted, but I advised her that the puppies would need to be isolated and could not be rehomed till they were cleared.

48 hours later, the same woman came in with 11 puppies - all severely depressed, dehydrated, and with serious health problems. We discussed options and went over how she vaccinated them. The vaccines were purchased a couple of months before and stored in a cupboard.  
 
We euthanized all 11 puppies.
 
If the owner had spent $10 each to vaccinate the adults, we wouldn't have been in this situation. 

24 hours later, she comes in again - with two more litters (25 puppies total), a male and female golden retriever, a male Labrador retriever, and three female poodles. All for euthanasia. 42 dogs and puppies dead by my hand in less than 1 week.
 
My shift was over after that.
 
I went home, had a beer, and decided to quit veterinary medicine. I took a trip up to Vancouver for my time off and sat on the beach in English Bay. I watched so many people walking their dogs - people to whom their dogs were not something to make money off, but rather a member of their family. I moved back two months later and recommitted to my career as a veterinarian.”
 
Many people aren’t aware that animals bought through online classified ads don’t come from reputable sources and are often bred in deplorable conditions. These animals often spend their lives in cramped wire cages. Many never have their medical needs taken care of and are killed when they are no longer able to breed. 

How can you help? Help us spread the word!

Please visit our newly-launched information page www.PetsAreNotProducts.com and SHARE this link on any of your social channels to help us raise awareness about this urgent issue. The more people we can inform can mean fewer people supporting these rogue backyard breeders.
 
Please share today and help us fight the #1 reason for pet overpopulation in Canada – backyard breeders.  

By: Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation