Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dog breeding

Bleary-eyed after being woken at 2.30 am by a caller needing emergency help because her little yorkie bitch was suffering whelping complications I am reflecting on the question of charity help for owners who are intentionally breeding animals. More specifically, I am very unhappy that this little creature was not spayed after experiencing exactly the same problems in her previous pregnancy. 

Widespread availability of options for low-cost neutering has thankfully made routine euthanasia of unwanted puppies and kittens almost entirely a thing of the past. Less cheerfully, it's meant that puppies and kittens have a monetary value, which is good for the individual pup or kit, but has implications for anyone running a charity clinic providing veterinary services. 

We do refuse to vaccinate litters of kittens or puppies if it's obvious that the owner is intending to sell them for financial gain, but we can't refuse treatment for an animal in distress. Pedigree dogs are in the news at the moment, so here's my two-penn'orth: I would like the Kennel Club to refuse registration to any puppies of a subsequent litter born to a mother who required veterinary treatment in order to survive her previous pregnancy. That wouldn't harm the puppies in any way, but would reduce their financial value and so decrease the incentive to continue breeding from unfit bitches. 

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