As Australians investigate the Puppy Mill industry, a veterinary nurse who rescued a Labrador used as a breeding dog in a puppy mill shares her insights.
Tillie, a yellow Labrador, was originally acquired by a couple after they saw an advertisement on Gumtree.They could not care for her properly and the Lab ran away.
Somebody found the “severely emaciated” Labrador three weeks later and took her to Greencross Vets Ku-Ring-Gai in North Turramurra. She was treated for an infection in her uterus and had noticeable scars on her tummy – a sure sign of the abuse she endured during her time at the puppy farm.
Shae Barnfield, a veterinary nurse at Greencross adopted Tillie.
“She paces up and down every day because she’s been in a cage for such a long time,”Barnfield said. “It’s heart breaking.She’s been treated as a money making machine and not an actual pet.”
The Labrador is estimated to be between two and four years. Tillie is smaller than any average Lab of her age. Her size can be linked to being made pregnant when she first came on heat, anywhere between six months to a year.
Despite all that she has gone through, Tillie is “getting better every day” with trusting people.
“With new people she’s very scared,” Barnfield said.“She comes really close to you and then runs away.If it’s not a regular person feeding her, she doesn’t even eat.”
Vet director Gareth Moss said Tillie’s case is a proof that the government needs to introduce regulations around breeding dogs.
“Puppy farming is unethical and is not carried out in the interests of the animals,” he said.“A lack of regulation and a lack of rules allows people to set their own rules and what happens is, profit and cost-cutting takes precedence over everything else and the welfare of the animals is secondary.
“Tillie’s case shows us those animals brought up in those environments live that reality day to day, for a number of years.”
Dr. Moss encourages people looking for a dog to consider adopting rescued dogs.
“Tillie shows us dogs that have had a rough life can be rehabilitated and turned around with a bit of dedication every week by committed owners,” he said.
A State Government inquiry about pet breeding or “puppy farming” has started, with new Ku-ring-gai State Liberal MP Alister Henskens on the panel.
Henskens said the inquiry would look into limiting commercial pet breeding propose a licensing system for breeders.
Source: Daily Telegraph