Small Business Marketing

The Times

Magazine

Dog Breeder Charged with Inhumane Puppy Farming

Breeders of all kinds of puppies are very common nowadays with more people looking to care for their new little furry pals at home. But if you’re looking to get your first dog or are just looking to add another pup to the pack, you’ll want to make sure your new friends were bred in amenable and hospitable living conditions.

As much as we want all our puppies to come from a caring home, there are still plenty of irresponsible and downright inhumane puppy breeders in the country. From overcrowding to underfeeding, to physical abuse and gross negligence, these breeders should have no business caring for man’s best friend.

A fairly recent story of such a breeder is of one Kerrie Fitzpatrick from Parrakie, who is currently on trial under accusations of keeping hundreds of dogs in bad and filthy living conditions on her puppy farm in South Australia. In a report from earlier this year, the story is as follows:

Not Just “Appalling” But “Unbelievably Bad”

Fitzpatrick’s puppy breeding farm was found to have housed around 300 animals during an inspection by the RSPCA in October of 2018. This significantly exceeded the 100 animals that the breeder was allowed to keep in the facility as specified in their license issued by the breeders’ council.

The prosecutor, Peter Salu, also informed the court during the trial of the cruel living conditions that the breeder had forced the dogs into, to which he said “You can’t just say it’s appalling, it was unbelievably bad.” Along with RSPCA inspector Kristy Adams, some of the findings were:

    * Dogs living in their excrement, with piles of feces, sludge, mud, and urine all around them.

    * Some animals were not even given any shelter.

    * There were no separation barriers between the dog pens, which caused a lot of barking and mental distress for the dogs and puppies.

    * Evidence of the breeding farm not having any adequate staff or anyone to care for the animals.

    * Some pens with dogs in them were out in the open without any shelter from the elements, as captured by body-cam footage.

    * One dog was wired into a cage with no entry or exit point unless the fence was forcibly cut. There was evidence of dogs trying to burrow to escape their shelters.

The defense lawyer Craig Caldicott did say outside of court that the body-cam footage showed the farm had “adequate water and food” and “adequate bedding” but conceded that there was mud on the premises, of which “you can’t do much about it, unfortunately.”

The trial is ongoing, and while the court sorts out the fate of the breeder, one has to wonder as to the fate of the breeder’s puppies as well.

What Happened to the Dogs?

Of the nearly 300 animals that the breeder cruelly tried to cram into her puppy farm, several were experiencing malnutrition and poor mental health, 10 adults and 5 puppies were seized by the RSPCA for immediate care. They were determined by the veterinarian staff to have suffered the most. The dogs’ and puppies’ mental states were the worst they had seen in their experience in animal care.

Three of the 10 adult dogs were pregnant and had birthed 27 puppies. All in all, 32 puppies were taken in but sadly, 12 of them died. The remaining 20 puppies were cared for and some have already been adopted.

Four of the adult dogs were humanely euthanized due to the recommendation of an external, independent veterinary animal behaviour specialist. The six remaining dogs were put under RSPCA care.

How Verified Puppy Breeders Can Prevent Similar Incidents

While it’s easy to tell someone to be cautious and diligent when choosing a breeder to get their puppies from, it’s best to know where to start. Groups such as Responsible Pet Breeders Australia (RPBA) verifies breeders, making sure buyers get breeder puppies that are bred responsibly and ethically

If you’d also like to do your part, you can visit other puppy breeders that are not yet verified and see the living conditions for yourself. If you see any cause for concern, don’t hesitate to report it to concerned authorities so they can conduct an inspection.

Doing your due diligence will divert support from heartless and heinous breeders to more kind and professional ones. Let’s all make sure that the new puppies of Australia get to be raised in a comfortable, humane and caring environment.

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