How do we stop the money train?
Updated: Feb 4
I read a post yesterday, detailing the heartbreaking loss of yet another puppy - leaving a devastated family who discovered that their new family member could not be saved by the best of veterinary care.
The question was posed: how can we stop people falling prey to the unscrupulous breeders who offer these puppies for sale?
Unknowing, poorly informed, people see ads on social media or sales sites....the puppy you want and you can pick it up tomorrow.
In a society which has become used to instant gratification, the idea of having to wait a year, or even two, for a puppy from a reputable breeders can seem absurd to many people.
The option to pick up what they want, when they want, and from a local meeting place, is very tempting.
The concept of being "vetted" as a potential owner, and perhaps found wanting, can further alienate.
Answering an ad is easy, few questions will be asked, and providing you hand over your cash (£3,000 plus is being asked for dachshund pups, with supposedly "rare" colours such as Cookie changing hands for upwards of £6,000) you can walk away with your new baby.
Of course the registration paperwork will always "follow in the post".
The new owners will not have caught even a glimpse of the mother.
The fact that the pups are a little small....a bit too quiet....very cuddly rather than playful...are all things which actually attract more, if people don't know what they are looking at. And most pet owners don't.
That is not a fault, but a fact.
If they have ever seen posts about what to avoid when buying a puppy, it is long forgotten or dismissed as irrelevant because they, of course, would never fall foul of such a thing.
The most frequent comment heard in the sad aftermath is likely to be "but I didn't KNOW!!"
The message just isn't getting through to those who need to hear it.
For those who don't know her, this is Cookie - part of an RSPCA seizure of 102 dogs, in an illegal breeding ring
born with malformed eyes and impaired hearing as genetic defects, a direct (and well known!) result of breeding "double dapple" to achieve high price colours and patterns. Other health defects are likely to emerge as she ages.
Now this has probably sounded preachy, (and I know I am preaching to the converted here, for the most part) but if we climb down from the soapbox there still remains the question of how the sale of illegally bred sick puppies can be stopped.
Or, more to the point, how do we stop people buying these puppies? ....because illegal breeding will never stop whilst the money train keeps rolling. The market has to dry up in order to stop it
This was the question posed in the article I read, so I am also asking it here....how can we make people understand?
How can we make it matter to them?
How do we show people that the new puppy they can collect as soon as they wish is very likely to be unwell, not fully weaned, and the product of a mother living in terrible conditions, misery and fear?
I wish I knew, but perhaps something will change if we all keep talking about it and are brave enough to shout out the message.
This is BB - bred for "high value" dilute colours which can command high prices when sold as "rare". Rescued from appalling breeding conditions. Almost entirely bald , starved, and so frightened of hand movements that she ate soil rather than approach a bowl of food with a person nearby.
...and after several weeks in foster care
Beautiful BB has gone on to become even more confident in the care of her fabulous new owner, and now looks amazingly healthy given her previous life (Sue, please do post a pic!). But for every dog like BB, who finds safety, thousands more have no hope.
There must be a way to stop this!