We live in a flat

The Singapore Dog Lifestyle Blog

So many dog breeds, so many sad stories

When we were contemplating dog ownership, I did some research on the Internet and learnt new terms such as “puppy mill”, “backyard breeders”, “animal rescue” etc, which eventually set us on the route of dog adoption, rather than buying a puppy of a known breed from a pet shop.

One of the dogs on the Internet which made a lasting impression on me was Rosie. When I showed Mr P Rosie’s picture, he wasn’t sure what it was I was showing him.

Rosie is a poor little chihuahua born from a backyard breeder with severe congenital deformities of the face, jaw, spine and legs. Despite her deformities, she managed to survive by crawling across urine soaked floors of the backyard breeder’s home through years of feces to eat what bits of food the other dogs being hoarded left behind. More about Rosie’s story here.

Rosie’s story is a very visual reminder why not to buy from any ol’ breeder but to ask questions, do our research and make sure we do buy a dog from a reputable breeder.

But reputable is not enough.

Originally broadcasted in 2008, the video below – Pedigree Dogs Exposed – dug into how breeding practices of some reputable breeders in the UK is destroying pedigree dog breeds through inbreeding and of dogs not scanned for pre-existing conditions. The investigative documentary focused particularly on winning showdogs, their health and their detrimental impact on the breed’s health when used as studs to breed puppies close to the breed standard in form. You may not want to watch this, if you cannot stomach images of dogs in pain or discomfort.

Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On
– Part 1Part 2a, Part 2b, unable to locate part3 but you can read the summary of the remaining content on wikipedia

So yes, reputable is not enough. If we were seeking a pure bred dog, we should love your future pet and protect its health right now by making the effort to identify a socially responsible breeder that makes good health and diversity a criteria in his operations.

In the end, we decided that rather than buy, we should adopt. We know our limitations and were not looking to be all good Samaritan and adopt the first troubled shelter pup with all sorts of health conditions. But one more shelter dog adopted I guess would open up one more space for another rescue in the shelter, as long as there was an adoptable dog that fitted our criteria, there’s no reason to buy one. I’d rather save up that money to spend on better food and other stuff like heartworm preventatives and medical care for my adopted dog, especially if we had ended up adopting a breed that can be expected to have congenital conditions as it age.

Other references
Are we breeding our dogs to extinction
It’s not all lost with bad breeding

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7 Comments

  1. I watched the video and got so upset! Lost my dog last year to a tumour (this coming 1st April being his death anniversary), and am so disgusted to see humans putting these beautiful animals in pain.

    It’s lovely reading about Donna… brings back a lot of sweet memories… :)

    • I’m so sorry to hear you lost your dog so recently!! I have a friend whose family dog died of cancer last year too and she still finds it painful. But glad you enjoyed the blog : )

      Have a good weekend ahead!!

  2. Oh, how I love you for deciding to adopt hon and I can’t watch Rosie’s story without breaking into tears for days on end because that is what I do. I don’t even watch movies where there are animals in that get lost or hurt. Silly hey, but that’s me. I can’t see why people still breed when the pet shelters are filled with all these loving and sweet innocents but yeah, it’s all about the money. Hubby’s sister breeds with Rottweilers and they are gorgeous and well looked after but … anyways, pure breds also do not have a great immune system like the mixed breeds. I will make up a post and put up pics of my little man when he was a baby in this week otherwise I am going to write you a book on this comment. LOL!

    Take care and big hugs to Donna and take some for yourself too. :P xxx

  3. I congratulate you on your decision to adopt a pound dog. So many cats and dogs suffer needlessly because of conditions you document above (puppy mills) and because irresponsible owners fail to neuter or spay their pets, then allow them to roam and become pregnant.

    I live in a retirement community, so a dog seemed less sensible (noise, waste on grass to pick up, limited exercise opportunities) than a cat or two. My first retirement animal companions- one spayed, the other neutered; both have since died – were older pound cats.

    I adopted two Persian cats after the death of the second cat, Louie, when they were offered free to me because “they are too old to sell and they aren’t suitable for breeding or showing”. That is, they have minor facial irregularities- they aren’t perfect! (Says who?!)

    I’ve no idea what would have happened to Andy and Dougy, two brothers, had I said no. I suspect they would have ended up at the pound since they didn’t meet “specification”. What a loss that would have been! They are delightful little guys with big personalities, perfect in every way to me, even with those slightly crooked faces. It just gives the character, and isn’t severe enough to cause them issues.

    • Thank you, and you know what? To the common person on the street, a cat is a cat, I probably wouldn’t even notice their minor facial irregularities if I had seen the cats :P I like cats too, but we wanted a more active lifestyle so we adopted a dog, except that our dog doesn’t really have the stamina. Hah! Thanks for sharing your story about your Persian cats weggieboy. I had a fun time reading about them on your blog. :)

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