It was Mother’s Day in the UK yesterday and Meg Matthews and her daughter with Noel Gallagher, Anais, have teamed up with PupAid to raise awareness about puppies taken away from their mothers too soon.
Puppy Farms are breeding grounds or homes where breeders breed puppies merely for money.
It’s still rife in the UK despite various dog and animal organisations trying to raise awareness. In fact, many puppies are still sold in pet shops and even Harrods.
The Where’s Mum? campaign is launched by PupAid and aims to educate potential owners about this cruel trade and to ensure they get their pup from a reputable breeder. Many of the puppies sold in shops are also taken away from their mother’s too soon; puppies should not be taken away from their mother’s until they are at least 8 weeks old.
A breeder should show you the mum of the pups and offer to show you the dad (especially if he is not one of their own pets).
Each year, hundreds, if not thousands, of puppies are born to these irresponsible breeders where they are taken away from their mothers too soon and many of which, are not bred properly, and can have many different health problems.
Meg Matthews knows of this ill health only too well.
She said that their pet Oscar, a Boston Terrier, now three years old, was possibly from a puppy farm and that’s why he has had a multitude of health problems from the moment they got him. She said, “Me and my daughter decided to get a dog and Anais said she would like a Boston Terrier. So I got online and there were lots of sites for puppies for sale and ready to take home. So we drove up to Grimsby and were shown a litter but something wasn’t right because they were a right mixture, all different sizes and ages. But we went for Oscar because he was the cute little runt and took him home – but then all the problems started. He had a cleft palate anyway but he got sicker and sicker every day and was just so ill that he must have made about 30 visits to the vet in those first weeks. He would hide away from us, he’d be sick and he lost so much weight.”
Meg met TV vet Marc Abraham through PupAid a couple of years ago and has been involved in their campaign ever since. Abraham says, “Puppies depend heavily on their mums in the early weeks of life, not just for milk but also for developing their socialisation skills which help set them up for life. I want everyone buying a puppy to ask one simple question – “Where’s Mum?”. If the breeder or puppy’s seller can’t or won’t show you the puppy with its mother, then you should suspect the puppy was born on a puppy farm and go elsewhere such as a responsible breeder or rescue shelter.”
Meg added, “Of course, I didn’t know about puppy farming or even that I should have asked to see the mother but in hindsight I realise that a proper breeder would not have sold him to us like that. We’re supposed to be a nation of animal lovers yet this is happening right under our noses, even more so now with designer dogs becoming such a status symbol, making the demand even higher. We have to make sure that anyone thinking of buying a dog does it the right way so we can put these ‘farms’ – which unbelievably are legal – out of business once and for all.”
If you are looking to purchase a puppy here’s some tips for you:
Make sure you can see the puppy and its mother
Check to see if the breeder is recommended by the Kennel Club (preferably Assured Breeder)
If your future pet is from a rescue centre, check its a registered charity
Be aware of any breeder offering to deliver a puppy
If you are getting a pedigree, research into the breed and check all the health issues associated with the breed. The breeder should have the parents checked for these health issues before breeding from them and they should show you these certificates.
For more information go to: www.pupaid.org