Hope Rescue!

On Monday the 25th of February we travelled about 50 minutes West to Hope Rescue Centre in Pontyclun. I went to meet with Vanessa, the owner of Hope Rescue. Hope rescue is ‘a registered charity (charity number 1129629). We have been working hard to improve the welfare of dogs since 2005 irrespective of their breed, age or medical condition. As a small and independent registered charity we rely on the support of volunteers and donations – please help us to give Hope to the many dogs needing our support.’
While we were there we had a chat about the work that Hope are doing against puppy farming. Such as this. Vanessa also taught me a lot about backyard breeders. Which I wasn’t as aware of as I am of puppy farming. However it is as big of a problem as puppy farming. There are lots of laws that could be created that would combat both and therefore help the animal welfare of lots of dogs.
We also got a tour of Hope. They have over 30 dogs there having treatment or up for adoption. One of which was Cariad. Cariad has 3 puppies and is from a backyard breeder. She arrived on Valentine’s Day. She is expected to be over 8 years old and the kennel club say that a dog should not be over the age of 8 to breed. ‘She is blind in both eyes – one eye has a total cataract and the other a chronic small eye that will need to be removed once she stops feeding.’ Also ‘She has a grade 2 heart murmur, horrendous ear infection and likely water infection. Her fur was stained yellow from standing and sleeping in her own urine.’ Her puppies are called Cupid, Romeo and Candy and they were 4 weeks old when they arrived at hope. ‘The pups were riddled with worms and a huge flea infestation.’ Cariad and her pups are definitely a designer breed, and they think that he puppies have shiz zhu in them.

 

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Hope also have an English Bulldog called Enzo who was just 3 days old when he was given up by his breeder. ‘He has barely any soft palate and his hard palate has a hole right through it. We can opt to euthanise now, or refer him to specialist vets Langford’s in Bristol to see if he is a potential candidate for surgery. If Langford’s think he is suitable for surgery, we need to keep everything crossed that he will survive until he is 14 weeks old. Sadly many pups don’t make it due to complications such as aspirated pneumonia’ Sadly without surgery the only option is to put him to sleep. Tough choices. However, whilst he is teeny weeny, he is currently a very strong and happy pup. His vet costs could total around £4,000 with the referral, pre-op care and surgery. We’ve decided to give him the very best chance and refer him, taking it one day at a time. If at any point, we feel his welfare is being compromised we will make the right decision. He is still at the vets but will be moving to one of our experienced vet nurses to foster.’ Enzo is another example of backyard breeding.

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I would like to say thank you to Vanessa for letting us (and Frankie and Penny) visit!

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You can find their website here and you can donate to help dogs like Enzo and Cariad here.

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CARIAD

Just adopted or considering adopting a puppy farm rescue dog? In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to read!

Just adopted or considering adopting a puppy farm rescue dog? In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to read! I will be talking about the most useful products for us when owning a puppy farm rescue dog! (does not include any paid or unpaid promotions but is all my opinion!). I am not saying that these products will work for your dog however it worked for ours!

1. Thundershirt. This product applies pressure to the dog (or cat) so that it feels like they are being swaddled like a baby! We used it for bonfire night and it really helped settle our dog, Penny. To the point where she is comfortable around fireworks completely! You can view it here!

2. 50m long lead. This product was so useful for Penny. When we adopted Penny, she did not understand what an owner was so just wandered off in random directions and followed people around who she thought had food. However, she would be terrified if she was on a lead, but we were nervous of her wandering off, so we got a 50m long lead which helped her think that she was off the lead as she had freedom. I think that this is definitely one of the most important things. You can view it here!

3. Harnesses! Penny got so nervous about having something around her neck and having a lead dangling in front of her. Her harness keeps her lead behind her so that she can’t see it. Personally, we use the EzyDog harnesses. You can view it here!

4. Moo Moo and bear Schnauzerfest corsages. These aren’t really useful to the dog, but they are useful for spreading awareness. People often say that they like the corsages and ask where to get one from. However, we tell them that information and we can also tell them about puppy farming and Penny’s story. You can view it here!

5. Liver Brownies. These are Penny’s favourite treats, they were really useful for training Penny to come back. You can view a recipe here!

6. Saving Susie-Belle and Saving One more. These books were very useful when learning about Penny’s behaviour these are essential to read before adopting the dog and just after. Saving One More Saving Susie Belle

7. Kong ropes toys. These are the only toys Penny will play with. These toys have a soft outer layer, no stuffing or squeakers and have a rope in the middle. These toys are small enough for her to wander around with, in her mouth yet big enough for Penny to play tug of war with our other dog, Frankie. You can view it here!

8. Kongs and mind games/mats. These were great when we went out of the house because we could leave her with something to do. Kong Activity Mats

If you would like to buy any of these products, I have linked them below!

Thundershirt.

50m Lead

Harness

Schnauzerfest Corsage

Liver Brownies

Saving Susie-Belle Saving One More

Kong Rope Toys

Activity Mats

Kong

Interview with the owner of an ex-puppy farm rescue dog of 4 years!

I recently got into contact with a lady called Julia who owns Nellie the Noodle who was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales 4 years ago. Nellie is around 11 years old now.

Nellie has a facebook page which you can follow HERE.

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How did you become aware of puppy farming, why did you decide to adopt an ex-puppy farm breeder and what quirks does she have?

Early 2014 I read an interview by Janetta Harvey on Susie Belle and to be honest really became aware of the actual horrors of Puppy farming. In July 2014, I attended a DBARC fundraising walk arranged by Janetta Harvey. For the first time, I met ex-breeding schnauzers. I also met Janet and Donna (from DBARC) for the first time. I had made up my mind I wanted to adopt and it was the case of waiting. In August 2014 I was sent a photo of Nellie and another schnauzer who had been rescued and were being cared for by Walkies Dogs in Upper Brynammen, Wales. I spent lots of time researching and networking with people who owned rescue schnauzers. Made contact with Walkies Dogs and expressed an interest. I adopted her in November 2014 after a 580-mile round trip. I adopted Nellie as I considered I had the time in my life to give her the care and love she needed. Nellie had all the usual quirks, unable to walk upstairs or downstairs. Unable to walk through doorways. Not able to walk on a lead, she had no name. Extremely difficult to groom her (she goes to a professional groomer every 8 weeks now).Very timid, spent a lot of time walking backwards if you approached her. She was desperate for Breagh (resident schnauzer) to acknowledge her. Her house training was not 100%. She ate any post and would try to make a bed out of any post/paperwork. She has a cataract in both eyes, her right eyesight is not good. Since having her she has been hospitalised for pancreatitis and X2 for HGE. She had spindle cell cancer this year, and a large lump removed from her leg.

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How do you think that we should prevent puppy farms?

Preventing puppy farms is about confronting society and setting standards of high animal welfare. The country needs correct laws, and resources that are able to meet the demands of a trade that is established. The internet (somehow) needs to be held to account for allowing sales. The established  Kennel Club needs overhauling. Education needs to start with our youngsters. We live in a disposable society and animals are suffering because of our greed…

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What is DBARC to you and how are you involved with them?

I have been aware of DBARC since 2014 and the development of Schnauzerfest since 2014. I am lucky through Schnauzerfest/Social media/DBARC I have met some great people. In 2016 I started to visit DBARC, especially when they had rescue schnauzers. I would spend up to 3 hours with the rescue dogs, socialising, giving them treats. Personally, socialisation and trust is such a hurdle for these animals. I love visiting, I always take Nellie and Breagh with me. Nellie considers herself to be #SchnauzerStaff. Due to living just under two hours drive away, I can only get to visit once every 6 weeks. However, have been there more recently. DBARC staff are inspirational, humbling people. They go out of their way to help animals in need. In 2016 I read on social media about a schnauzer found dumped with a broken jaw. I messaged Donna and told her what I had seen. The next day, she and Janet drove to Wales and picked the little schnauzer up. She was named Twinklet and the rest is history.

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Nellie and Julie

Interview with the owner of 2 ex-puppy farm breeding dogs!

Recently I have been talking to Anne Barlow, The owner of 2 ex-puppy farm breeding dogs. she agreed to do an interview with me on her dogs, Bella & Mabel!

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Bella & Mabel

How did you become involved with puppy farming?
I was vaguely aware about puppy farming from a few television programmes and internet articles. It was at my first Schnauzerfest walk 3 years back, I won Janetta Harvey’s book in the raffle and read it the same day, I was both appalled and curious. I also needed to address my ignorance on the subject if I was to contribute in any way. Through Janetta, Schnauzerfest and DBARC I found out that so many of these ex breeding dogs needed help and ultimately homes.

 

Why did you decide to adopt an ex-puppy farm rescue dog?
My beloved Toby was diagnosed with Lymphoma in May 2017, we knew that his life expectancy was limited and that he would also be the right dog to lead a puppy farm survivor. We applied to adopt Bella from DBARC as we felt we had the home, love and time to invest and hoped we were able to give a much needed home to one of these very special dogs. Bella came home in January. Toby sadly lost his fight at the end of Feb. Bella was distraught to be most likely for the first time in her life without the company of another dog. We then borrowed one of her kennel mates (Mabel) from DBARC who was still waiting for a home and went on to adopt her too. Mabel was blind and had her eyesight restored whilst at DBARC

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Toby & Bella

What ‘quirks’ do your girls have after coming from a puppy farm?
Bella is not keen on being touched. She hates people looming over her and you have to get down to her level. She has never played with toys. She likes to sit in corners so she can see anything approaching.

 

 

 

Mabel, took 6 months to get used to the hairdryer she would hide at the end of the garden.

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Mabel

She hates the microwave and electronic bleeps.If the smoke alarm goes off she is simply terrified. She adores Bella and will always check Bella’s needs before her own. She can panic if she feels cornered. When we first got her she fell off the harbour wall into the sea as she had no concept of depth and also did not know she could not walk on water. She had never seen the sea before.

 

 

How do you think that we should prevent puppy farms?
Education, so people realise where their money goes. Sites such as gumtree and Pets4Homes to take more responsibility and stop the sales of puppies.
Better regulation, and laws, and restrictions on breeders
More of what you are doing by calling out the politician.

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Mabel

Thank you Anne for agreeing to do this with me!

you can access Bella and Mabel’s Instagram HERE

Our Time In Parliment

At Schnauzerfest 2018 we got invited to Parliment for a meeting with Micheal Gove by the lovely Alun Cairns. We drove up on the 14th of November early in the morning. this is our day! However, our meeting with Michael had to be cancelled as Brexit happened. (that’s the best that I can describe it!)

First of all, we had a wander around parliament before meeting with Hattie, Alun Cairns’ assistant. JXDC6772RNDG5099UTYN0308BTXD7036

Then we met up with Hattie and she took us to meet up with Alun

 

After our meeting, Hattie took us ‘behind the scenes’ of parliament. we were not allowed to take pictures many places but here are a few! FCXW2087 A little later we went to a meeting with Anne McMorrin. In that meeting, we also ran into Borris Johnson!

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Then we quickly walked over to the home office and we met up with David Rutley. EWKW5548

I would love to say a big thank you to Alun Cairns for the opportunity.

and to Hattie for taking her time to show us around parliament and organising all of this!

 

Schnauzerfest Barry Island

On Sunday 14th October we went for a walk in the lovely rain for schnauzerfest 2018. our walk was hosted by Nick Rutter. This year over 200 schnauzers attended to help raise money for puppy farm rescue dogs, mainly DBARC.

We invited Secretary of State of Wales Alun Cairns. He was very lovely and was very interested in puppy farming and helping us ban puppy farms further.

 

We talked for the whole walk and he even walked Frankie and Penny too help fit in!

We dressed him up in a schnauzerfest jumper and he said that it saved him from freezing!

Penny did absolutely amazing with all of the new people and all of the feet! we very very surprised at how well she did.

Alun’s Instagram

More on Schnauzerfest

Schnauzerfest this year!

 

So first of all, you may be wondering – What is Schnauzerfest?
Schnauzerfest is a charity that is raising money and awareness for dogs and schnauzers saved from puppy farms. Funding for their medical treatment, from specialist heart check-ups to cataract surgery. All the money raised goes to DBARC . Schnauzerfest hosts walk all over Australia and the UK to raise money for dogs like Penny, whose medical treatment was funded for by Schnauzerfest.

The host of one of the largest walk- Barry Island walk, Nick Rutter, said this about Schnauzerfest Barry Island in an interview with Wales Online.
“It was very wet, but we still had about 220 schnauzers there today. We expected 300 but 220 is a brilliant turnout. They all got a bit soggy but had a fabulous time walking to Jackson’s Bay and back to Marcos Cafe.”
“It was really good, everyone had fun. It was a bit damp, but no trouble. All the Schnauzers had a great time. Thank you to everyone who came to support our fundraising efforts to restore the sight of Schnauzers rescued by Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre in Berkshire.”
I asked the founder of Schnauzerfest, Janetta Harvey, about this year’s Schnauzerfest.
“Schnauzerfest this year has exploded in an incredibly positive way which is going to transform the lives of many dogs. All the money that’s being raised – at this moment it’s almost £40,000 and climbing – will be spent providing specialist, necessary veterinary treatment for dogs who have known great cruelty in their lives.
To know that across the country, right from Orkney to the Channel Islands and everywhere in between, people have been out walking their dogs so that others can have better lives makes me very happy indeed. And not forgetting for the first time ever, we also had walks taking place in Australia with the same aims, and same brilliant commitment from people.
Schnauzerfest has always brought out the very best in people, which is great to see and be a part of. There’s so much that’s wrong in our world today, a lot of unkindness and selfishness, that when we see the very opposite on full and wonderful display with Schnauzerfest there’s no better feeling.
All the hosts who volunteered in our first year, many of whom are with us still, to all those who did it this past weekend, I take my hat off. Without hosts, not a lot would happen, as it’s only by people being out there – in all weathers as we saw this weekend – organising walks and making sure everyone and every dog enjoys themselves that Schnauzerfest works. And work is most certainly does, year after year and that is some legacy that my little dog Susie-Belle has left behind. She inspired me to start Schnauzerfest as she loved her walks very much, having spent years in a dark and dirty shed. And now, in her memory, I, along with every single person who supports Schnauzerfest, continues it.”

Janetta's dogs

We attended the Barry Island walk yesterday that was incredible. Watching hundreds of people out walking for such a good cause even though it was tipping down with rain. I will be doing a later blog post on our experience with Janetta and Nick his year. Especially as we walked with Alun Cairns secretary of state for Wales and his assistant Miles.

First 3 months with a puppy farm rescue dog- Penny

The first few months with a puppy farm rescue dog – Penny

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Her first problem was that she was disoriented and kept walking into trees and bushes. It took about 5 walks before she learned how to go around them and stick to the path.

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Her second problem was that Penny got scared of roads and cars. For about 2 months she feared going near to roads so had to be carried any time we were anywhere near a road. After a while and a lot of treats she became confident but is still scared of buses and lorries driving past.

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Her third problem is that she chews leads if it is not behind her. She still hasn’t overcome this.

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Her fourth problem was that she could not go up or down stairs. It took 2 days of non-stop putting treats on every stair before she was able to slowly go up and down. She can now sprint up and down them.

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Her fifth problem was that she couldn’t run. We took her for long walks daily and after a month or 2 she built up strength in her back legs so that she could run faster.

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Her sixth problem was that she couldn’t chew hard things such as bones, dog biscuits, raw meats and dry dog food. It took her 2 and a half months for her teeth to heal a little and her teeth and jaw to strengthen enough to eat these foods.

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Her seventh problem was that she could not walk on a lead as she was too scared of the lead. Luckily, we had a 100m long lead that she used as she could not feel it. We then shortened it until it was the size of a flat lead and she had to pull on it. This only took her about 2weeks for her to overcome.

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Her eighth problem was that she couldn’t grasp what an owner was and just followed everyone she thought had food. She still hasn’t overcome this but is getting better.

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FAQ’s on Schnauzerfest!

What is Schnauzerfest?

Schnauzerfest is a charity supporting and paying for medical treatment for schnauzers and other dogs coming from Puppy Farms.

How are you linked to Schnauzerfest?

Penny was rescued from a puppy farm late last year. she had a heart murmur which she went to a specialist to check it. This alone cost a lot of money. I then started campaigning with them. I now help run their Instagram and lots of other things.

How can I support Schnauzerfest?

On October the 13th and 14th they host walks all over the UK and Australia which fundraise for DBARC. this year we have some VIP’s coming to the Barry Island walk and over 300 schnauzers coming to that walk alone. there are lots more walks which I have linked to below!

Look for your local walk here!

Donate to schnauzerfest!

Schnauzerfest homepage!

The creator of schnauzerfest!

Schnauzerfest Instagram!

Schnauzerfest twitter!

 

 

 

PUPPY FARM Q&A WITH A PUPPY BOUGHT FROM ONE! WINNIE!

On Instagram we have been talking to our friend Alex and her dog Winnie. Winnie is a Pomeranian who was bought from a puppy farm. I asked Alex a few questions about Winnie as you will se below.
But first you need to go and follow them on Instagram HERE.

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Q; What have you noticed is different from Winnie to other dogs?

A; Winnie almost completely ignores other dogs, it is like they do not exist. If they come near her, she will often snap at them but that is through fear not aggression. She is also frightened of many things, ie. overhanging trees so we can’t walk along river banks, people walking towards us so we can’t walk along pavements.

Winnie is a loving dog but seeing her so frightened of everything is very upsetting & not good for her. She gets stressed very easily, her tail goes down between her legs, she starts panting & appears to sweat from between the pads on her feet but you can only see that on certain floors. If we go somewhere like Action Petz, the stress if it’s busy, causes her to be exhausted like she has been running for hours. I also take her to do training classes because she is then in a room with lots of other dogs but they are all under control & she knows she is safe there. She is good at dog training & enjoys it but because she won’t play in front of other dogs, she won’t fetch her dumbbell for the Retrieve or go out & pick up her scent cloth even though she knows my scent. I find this quite sad when she will do it when there aren’t other dogs around. Winnie only has one dog friend, Mr Tom (as pictured with Winnie below) she really likes him & will lay down & sleep next to him but she has never played with him like normal dogs do. When we were on holiday together, she ran onto the beach next to him & into the sea but never actually played. I make sure she sees him at least once a week as I think its important.

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Q; What problems has Winnie faced after coming from a puppy farm?

A; Winnie was sold as a 10 week old puppy but any food she ate on her first day with us caused her to have the runs, we took her to the Vets first thing on Monday morning & the vet said “you will be lucky if she is 4 weeks old” We had to buy her special food & she just cried for days, for her Mum & other siblings, she was one of 4 pups. But she survived. I believe she is frightened of other dogs because she never learned social skills from playing at an early age. because people see me carring Winnie a lot they think that Winnie doesn’t like walking but it’s not that, she just gets less stressed if I pick her up. Winnie has climbed Pen-y-fan in the Breacon Beacons twice.

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Q; What were the main signs that Winnie was from a puppy farm?

A; Her age when she was sold is the main thing. She was bought from a really nice house in Bury Port, Carmarthenshire. Her mother & 2 brothers & 1 sister were there. But looking back, it was TOO CLEAN & didn’t smell of 4 puppies urinating everywhere which it should. I believe that she was bred somewhere else & taken to that house to make it look as though she was from an ordinary family home

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Q; Do you think that puppy farms are bad places for dogs

A; yes, puppy farms are so bad, the mothers are bred too near death, there is no medical care for mothers or pups, they are kept in cages, sold to soon etc. The list is endless.
As you have seen from Alex and Winnies interview you will have noticed that things for Winnie have been far from normal for a dog .Puppy farms don’t just affect the mums and dads, the affect the puppies that come out of it too!

You can see some more of Alex, Winnie and some of Mr Tom’s adventures by following their Instagram which you can look at HERE