When 200 dogs and puppies were rescued from an unlicensed puppy farm in Carmarthenshire in a multi-agency operation last week, animal welfare charities rose up to the daunting task of looking after them.
As is often the case with dogs from puppy farms, many of them were in dreadful conditions and require extensive veterinary care due to eye and ear infections, rotten teeth, and worms.
Among the dogs who required immediate veterinary care was a Cocker Spaniel called Smarties with infected bite wounds and a severe ear infection, as well as a nursing Bichon Frise called Hazel whose fur so matted maggots were found in it. Both are now on the mend.
Hope Rescue took in a total of 47 dogs – including five mums nursing with a total of 18 puppies, five pregnant mums and a further 20 adults – in “the most heart-breaking and appalling conditions they had ever seen”.
Most of the dogs were of popular breeds such as Bichon Frises, Shihtzus, Cockerpoos, Cavaliers, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels; there is little doubt the puppies would have hit the market in the run-up to Christmas.
Hope Rescue founder Vanessa Waddon said, “The rescue centre was already near capacity before this intake due to the predicted rise in abandoned dogs following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.”
Waddon added, “However, we are fortunate to have an incredible network of foster homes who didn’t hesitate to open their hearts and homes to help the physical and emotional rehabilitation of these traumatised puppy farm dogs, many of whom were trying to raise their puppies in such appalling conditions.
“The sad reality is that this puppy farmer was no doubt gearing up for the Christmas puppy market. Sadly, puppy farming is still very much alive in Wales and we were pleased to support the excellent work being undertaken by the Trading Standards Wales Regional Investigation Team.
“We continue to urge everyone looking to add a four legged family member to do their research. Please check out your local rescue centre first, and if you are going to purchase a dog then ensure it is from a reputable breeder and follow the RSPCA advice here.”
Images by Hope Rescue