More than Walter Left The Puppy Farm That Day
Walter was born in a Welsh puppy farm. He spent years there. He wasn’t one of the lucky ones. He didn’t get out young. He wasn’t sold into the puppy trade, bought young, loved as a puppy, his origins ignored, or just unknown by his new family. Fate didn’t smile on Walter when he was born, it was to be a few years before he would ever know what kindness is.
For until recently, Walter, a miniature schnauzer, was a stud dog in a Welsh puppy farm. A licensed puppy factory, supplying the booming trade in puppies. Puppy farmers like schnauzers. I’ll clarify, when I say “like”, they like the money schnauzers represent; liking the actual dogs would be a stretch. For them it’s all about the big cash to be made from the fertility of dogs like Walter and the females he would have impregnated in his puppy farm years. Schnauzers and their crosses are popular with the puppy buying public.
Then, one day Walter did have a stroke of luck – if you can call it luck to be taken from a place of absolute horror where you’ve spent your entire life just existing. But let’s run with it, luck: Walter was lucky the day that rescuers from Puppy Love Campaigns arrived. They got on, did what they’ve been doing for 11 years, they gathered evidence. They filmed the filthy pens where dogs were confined with no water, no bedding, no comforts, no basic care. They filmed the dogs in their rat infested, barren, straw and sawdust lined (illegal but licensed) prisons.
Their hearts broke as they knew that while they would save a handful of dogs the puppy farmer was giving up that day, including Walter, it would be many months before the authorities would take action. This is after all a Welsh puppy farm, where councils issue licenses to places where breaches of animal welfare regulations are rife.
The filming was fast and rough but real. This footage is authentic and horrific. This is where Walter lived. The volunteer investigators were undercover and the puppy farmer had no idea when they handed over Walter that footage as well as dogs would leave that day. Evidence that will one day bring justice for the dogs.
When Walter left the puppy farm he was traumatised, terrified and filthy dirty having lived in his own mess for years. Together with his rescuers I arranged for him to begin his new life in the safe, experienced care of the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre.
I also got the privilege of gifting him his first ever name. No names exist in puppy farms where dogs are mere commodities. Walter seemed to suit, so Walter it was.
He spent a few weeks adjusting to life outside of the puppy farm. Although he was fragile and fearful he had an obvious wish to love and to be loved. Physically, he didn’t appear to have any serious problems. But his traumatic, lonely years in a breeding shed surrounded by the sounds, sights and smells of dogs suffering had taken a toll on his mind.
When he was ready, Walter headed off to the best possible family. He now lives in Devon, with canine sister Peggy. His family love him beyond anything any of us could have hoped for. It took Walter a good few weeks to be brave enough to explore his new world. Everything was terrifying, all was too overwhelming in the beginning. When we see where he’d spent so many lonely years, it’s no wonder the big wide world petrified him.
But, with a courageous heart, bolstered by his new family’s patience and unconditional love, Walter took one step at a time. Now, a few months on he’s leaping through life in Devon.
Without the brave work of the volunteers of Puppy Love Campaigns Walter’s life would be far different. Their work to bring an end to the suffering of dogs like Walter is hard. They never give up, but action can be a long time coming for the dogs.
The case of Walter’s breeder is ongoing and they are doing all they can to stop more Walters suffering.
If you want to help, please follow and support the work of Puppy Love Campaigns. Tell others, do your bit to educate.