News Article

31 - 07 - 2018

When Is A Rescue Not A Rescue?

There are many who contribute to the abuses which breeding dogs suffer. There’s the obvious, and then there’s a whole side of the breeding business where abuse happens under the guise of rescue. It can be very hard for people to know that the dog they think they’re adopting in a rescue is not actually in a place of sanctuary. It’s a shocking reality but there are many animals who are in the system and are seen as nothing more than a way to make money for the so-called rescue into whose hands they’ve had the misfortune to fall.

When their breeding lives are over we would hope the abuse which dogs suffer ends and they’d get some love and decent veterinary care once in the recue system. That certainly does happen and typically a decent rescue will give the dogs any vet care needed, plus neutering to be absolutely sure that the dogs aren’t used to reproduce ever again. It’s really the least that the dogs deserve and the decent people working in rescue know this and do it. An affordable adoption fee is typically charged which goes some way to helping the rescue continue the good care of the animals they assist.

But sadly there are some businesses and individuals out there, masquerading as rescues while they squeeze every last drop of money from breeding dogs. It’s a disgraceful and disgusting side to the industry which really needs exposing for what it is.

One case we investigated recently was a rescue with charity status selling ex-breeding dogs for as much as £300. The dogs in question are old, tired and worn out after spending their lives producing multiple litters for the puppy trade. The charity don’t neuter, very little if any, veterinary care is given to the dogs and proper assessment is severely lacking as they typically say they have little or no background on the dog.

The kennels at this ‘sanctuary’ are clean and the dogs have food and water. But, for ex-breeding dogs especially this is not enough.  From our 11 years of investigations, we know that the majority will have urgent medical needs: teeth, eyes, ears and skin will almost certainly need attention. Some will require rehabilitation because they are afraid of humans and will have had no housetraining. Little, if any of this is provided by this ‘rescue’ before the dogs are sent out to new homes.

Should you decide to ‘adopt’ a dog from this business you will be asked to sign a form which tells you the dog,

may or may not be vicious or boisterous…It maybe incubating Parvo or Distemper…It may or may not be vaccinated.

And, this line really shows the level of attention given to the dogs’ health,

If female, she may be pregnant.

If an adopter happens to find this is the case, the dog is to be returned to the rescue! And don’t attempt to pay by cheque or card, this so-called rescue deals in cash only.

We’ll share just one example of an ex-breeding dog which has recently been sold by the rescue in question. The dog was  quite likely picked up for a pittance from a puppy farmer. We know how this kind of thing works.

When our contact first met her at the ‘rescue’ Nancy Lou was terrified and shaking, clearly a victim of a life of breeding in the worst kind of place. A Bichon Frise, approximately 9 .5 years old, she was shaved to the skin, had a mouthful of rotten decaying teeth which needed urgent removal before she could be spayed (all done post-adoption) and she’d had no vaccinations at all. She also had a large mammary tumour. It was in this state that the rescue was putting her up for homing, no veterinary care having been given, and a fee of £300 being asked (this was not paid, it was reduced when her dreadful state was highlighted by the adopter).

We could tell you lots more stories of the poor dogs which have been saved (bought out) from this so-called rescue in a shocking state but it would take weeks to write them all.

We consider that people who operate in the rescue system in this way are worse than puppy farmers in what they do. At least a puppy farmer doesn’t pretend to be running a place of sanctuary. A rescue is meant to be a safe place for animals, it is what we, the public expect and assume a rescue to be. Not a place where animals go to be neglected, to continue to suffer while every last drop of cash is screwed out from their worn and tired out bodies.

We always believe that it’s a good thing to rescue and adopt dogs. BUT when a rescue only deals in cash and gives no veterinary treatment, this is not rescue work. Those operating in this way are scammers preying on abused dogs to boost their income.

Be aware and avoid bad rescues at all cost. Choose a good ethical rescue by doing your homework, thorougly look beyond the sadness of the dogs presented. Take a critical eye to how a rescue operates, the care provided, the means of payment accepted, the level of adoption fees charged. The dog breeding business has many grubby corners where deceit and cruelty thrive. Don’t fall into the traps.

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