On Wednesday I was flattered to have been asked to cut the red ribbon at the grand opening of ‘Waggy Tails’, a local doggy daycare service that not only provides a crèche for boarding dogs, but also offers grooming, and a chance of socialization for any type of dog in their care.
With walls painted all different colours, and doggy toys lying around everywhere, this is a fun place designed with love for animals and an obvious sensitivity for their feelings to match.
But the reason I’m telling you all this is not to advertize ‘Waggy Tails’, but because it’s just restored my faith in dog-loving human beings, and just about got me out of the depression that last Monday night’s BBC1 programme sunk me right down into.
And I so needed a positive after sitting through all that. Wednesday morning morning was such a pleasure to help-out and be around fellow like-minded animal-loving individuals, so committed to the welfare of not just their dogs, but equally of the dogs of other people.
I’d like to try and find some good in that horrific and incredibly one-sided documentary ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’; the shocking and distressing look into canine breeding in the UK.
What annoyed me was the amount of blame put on the Kennel Club and nowhere near enough on those ‘breeders’ who openly and in some sick way proudly told us how they consider it normal breeding practice to kill, or continue to breed from ‘imperfect’ or diseased stock respectively, kill slowly in other words.
In their cases, surely replacing the word ‘breeder’ (a person committed to perpetuating life) with the word ‘killer’ (someone who ends life) is more fitting? Killers, who in my view, should be so ashamed of themselves – a bunch of unscrupulous greedy individuals that only view animals as money-making units and not as beloved pets, and totally unacceptable in this, or any other day and age.
Such a shame that these bastards have now needlessly tainted and unfairly vilified the majority of breeders out there who are responsible and genuinely care for the puppies they breed, doing everything in their power to ensure that their dogs are both healthy and happy.
On Monday night, all the recent progress made by the Kennel Club and these responsible breeders was not recognized; and indeed the public were emotionally force-fed a scandal that is not only a decade out of date but had no sign of any positive spin on the issue.
I really feel for you proper breeders out there who are doing everything right for your dogs, and also the Kennel Club who, working with responsible and caring breeders, are making huge inroads into the problems facing many pedigree breeds today.
And what about those backyard breeders, puppy farmers and pet shop owners, who also treat dogs as nothing more than money-making commodities, selling puppies to the unsuspecting public without a sniff of a health check for neither parent nor pup? For me these are the people this programme should have targeted, the biological parents of most pedigree problems.
I do however hope that something positive does eventually emerge from this shambles, and that it does at least ensure that shocked potential owners are now encouraged enough to research the health problems of the breed of their choice.
Furthermore I hope this new-found ‘media-pressure’ will highlight the importance of finding a responsible breeder who does in fact carry out every possible test on their dogs, who has healthy animals, and who works to ensure the health and happiness of their puppies – and in turn the happiness of their future owners.