Puppy Breeding, Seized Dogs and Rescue Reality
Wales has a dismal reputation as a hotspot for commercial dog breeding, both legal and illegal. A recent report from RSPCA Cymru has revealed that over the past two years across Wales enquiries, investigations and prosecutions of illegal breeders has increased. In some ways this is encouraging news. It may indicate that there is more public awareness of poor, or illegal breeding going on and reporting it. Plus, an increase in enforcement of regulations by the authorities. The Welsh government said it is training more enforcement officers.
But there’s no room for celebrating. While 366 cases are being investigated by councils, prosecutions stayed in single figures across the period. Moreover, behind every one of the figures sit a lot of suffering dogs. But, it does seem that enforcement of regulations is having some impact; even if, as is believed, the report reveals just the tip of an iceberg of poor puppy breeding practices in Wales.
Schnauzerfest helps with seized dogs
Schnauzerfest last year provided grants to three rescues which took in seized dogs involving operations against illegal breeders, including Hope Rescue based in Wales. The grants were a contribution to high veterinary costs faced by rescues doing this work. In the last 12 months Hope took in 219 dogs seized by local authorities from illegal breeders. (Read more).
These are difficult cases for rescues. When they take in seized dogs, both adults and puppies, they are not able to rehome them quickly. Even if their medical needs are soon sorted out, until the legal process is worked through the dogs stay with the rescue. Thus the rescue incurs the costs of caring for the dogs while awaiting legal decisions and/or prosecutions. This will be a period of several months.
At the same time, they are unable to appeal to supporters for help. Aside from the financial demands, when puppies are involved there are additional responsibilities. Puppies need providing with a healthy puppy-friendly emotional environment, enrichment, socialisation and so on. Reputable rescues will ensure the growing puppies get all they require and deserve. Over months, the puppies who arrive, mature into adolescent and adult dogs who are eventually adopted. It is no small commitment which rescues make when accepting seized dogs and working with the authorities in this way.
In other cases, and this is something Hope Rescue have shown their supporters several times this year, some seized dogs from breeding operations give birth in rescue. This obviously escalates the demands and costs involved.
The reality for rescues today is hard.
Reputable rescues deserve every bit of support they receive.