‘Puppy number five’ – a harsh reminder for new owners to do their research


On National Puppy Day, Battersea is urging anyone thinking of getting a puppy to do their research and carefully consider where they get their new pet from – as a two-year-old dog was recently found abandoned with evidence of having been used solely for breeding.

A neglected breeding bitch that had been left tied to some railings in South West London, is a reminder of the consequences of backstreet breeding. The Dogue de Bordeaux was taken in by Battersea covered in sores, with swollen mammary glands, sore feet, eye and ear infections, and dental issues. She’d been microchipped with the name ‘Puppy number five’, suggesting she had been treated as a breeding machine, instead of the lovely companion she is.

Nursed back to health by the charity’s staff, the once quiet and reserved dog is now ready to embark on a new life in East London, after learning how to trust people and be more confident. She was also given her first real name: Maggie.


Battersea Centre Manager Steve Craddock aid, “When she was rescued, Maggie was in a terrible state. Her sores and overgrown nails indicated that she’d spent a lot of her life in cramped conditions, and her swollen mammary glands suggested she’d had at least two litters of puppies.”

“For such a young dog to have spent the first years of their life being bred from and then carelessly discarded is truly heart breaking.”

Last year, new Government regulations required any breeder producing three or more litters a year to apply for a licence through their local council and prove they meet the basic standards of animal welfare.

Steve continues, “We hope these new regulations will help put an end to unscrupulous breeding practices. We know that there are dogs just like Maggie all over the UK, who have been forced to produce multiple litters over and over again until they are carelessly dumped when they’re no longer of use.

Maggie happy in her new home

“If you are thinking of getting a new dog it’s important do your research. Make sure you go to a reputable breeder and see the puppies with their mother first. Even better, visit your local rescue centre. There are hundreds and thousands of rescue dogs across the UK who are looking for a second chance of happiness, many of them still under two years old. Rehoming a rescue dog is so rewarding and you will be given advice and support to ensure you take home exactly the right pet for you.”

Images by Battersea.


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