Neglected dogs don’t rate a mention

Yesterday I came out of a three-year hiatus from writing to share my concerns over the direction Dogs Victoria seems to be taking regarding the protection of paying members over the welfare of the animals. Thanks to all the registered breeders who came out in support.

In my opinion it is absolutely essential that the balance of members interests versus animal welfare needs to be heavily weighted towards welfare, otherwise what exactly is it that Dogs Victoria stand for? And with approximately $800,000 annually being made in litter registrations and title certificates, I think these dogs bring in more than enough money for Dogs Victoria to at least be concerned for their welfare.

My article gave examples from our own investigations and included photographs I took myself during these investigations.

My concerns were that it was seemingly taking an eternity for welfare concerns to be addressed with emails appearing to be ignored for approximately a year on some issues I have raised.

After seeing an advertisement for a Field Officer position being advertised by Dogs Victoria I decided to vent my frustration. The advertisement featured a two-page job description that mentioned animal welfare once. The entire role seemed to be based on protecting Dogs Victoria’s image and the paying member from any negative exposure or “Collateral Damage” as it was inappropriately referred to.

As it turned out I didn’t need to wait long for confirmation of my concerns from Dogs Victoria.

Within a few hours of my article being published a staff member of Dogs Victoria was on the Oscar’s Law Facebook page and on the case.

So you would be expecting that this person from Dogs Victoria would have been concerned for the dogs involved, their living conditions, their alleged mistreatment, and the overall welfare of the animals. Perhaps you might also expect that there would have been some concern regarding the amount of time it had taken to investigate these complaints and a promise to escalate the matter and see it looked into immediately.

Your expectations would be in vain.

KestrelInstead the staff member launched into full “collateral damage protection” mode, claiming that my article may be defamatory in nature.

Despite the article stating that I had taken the photo’s involved on the site, the Dogs Victoria staff member then proceeded  to claim that the photos may have been digitally altered, set up or taken somewhere else. … limiting collateral damage….

Dog’s Victoria’s customer service officer then went on to talk about bias and getting all of the facts and even referred to me and others as “keyboard warriors”.

kestrel 1Again no mention of the animal’s welfare.

I agree with Kestrel in regards to getting all of the facts, which is exactly why I used my own photographs and only discussed what I had personally investigated without being behind that keyboard Kestrel seems to arm herself with.

Some facts that perhaps Kestrel should have mentioned when she was online attacking my work and labelling me biased and one sided, would have been, her bias as an employee of Dogs Victoria.

At least now I know how to go about getting a response out of Dogs Victoria.

It’s no wonder I was so concerned.

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When neglected dogs become ‘collateral damage’

I will probably be criticised heavily for this post but for what its worth, I have always supported registered breeders, I still do. What I don’t support is the management committees overseeing the organisations that registers the breeders. In my opinion they are there to protect the organisation at any cost, even if it means animals are left to suffer. The priorities of one state organisation, Dogs Victoria, were made clear in a recent advertisement for a Field Officer

Where a member is under pressure from or has problems with the Local Council, the RSPCA, the media or other groups, it shall be the responsibility of the Field Officer to investigate the situation and report to the Management Committee of DOGS Victoria as to

  • How the member can be assisted? (if justified)
  • What advice can be given to the member
  • How to use the media to DV’s advantage and also limit collateral damage from the media

The position description does mention the words ‘animal welfare’, once. It goes on to state

“Where a member is accused of cruelty, neglect or other improper conduct, to attend at the scene and, where justified,  to protect the interests of the dogs concerned and the member”.

If your focus is on limiting collateral damage from the media then your focus is wrong.

In my opinion the ‘interests of the dogs concerned ‘ is rarely addressed, whilst ‘the member’ is always protected and as above the ‘collateral damage’ is limited.

IMG_8302 copy 212 months ago I received a tip off about a registered breeder in Curdievale. It sounded terrible so I agreed to head down there with a team to investigate. What we found was typical of any puppy factory set up, far from what you would expect from a registered Dogs Victoria breeder. Little dogs living in small filthy pens, no warm bedding, raised beds rendered useless as they were full of holes, faeces and urine soaked flooring, mouldy food and filthy water. One large breed dog looked to be in terrible discomfort, constantly rubbing the side of its head along the wire of its small pen. I am not a vet, but in my opinion this dog was suffering from painful perforated ear drums, something I have witnessed many times before. A yellowish discharge had been oozing from the dogs ears for quite some time and had formed solid clumps dripping down the dogs neck. All of what we witnessed was vastly different from the breeders own description “…love to run free in their large runs..” and “They also love to sit by the fire at night and watch TV with us”

A complaint was lodged immediately with RSPCA, Local Council and Dogs Victoria, photographs of the conditions were supplied. RSPCA conferred with Council as they could not get there immediately, a constant problem with only 17 inspectors for the entire state of Victoria. A few days later I was advised that the dog with the infected ears had disappeared and that RSPCA were attempting to locate it. Not really the actions you would expect from a registered breeder.

7 months later I received a phone call from Dogs Victoria asking for ‘more information’, apparently it was my word against the breeders. I asked about the dog with the infected ears and was told “its been put down it was old”. Yes, I have regrets…..

Its now 12 months and I am not confident anything has changed, Dogs Victoria and Council ignore all email requests for an update. Of course the breeder could of been de-registered, which I’m sure is comfort to the dogs to know they may not be Dogs Victoria dogs as they circle the putrid pens. The breeder is still listed as a ‘club breeder’ with the Chihuahua Club of Victoria. The breeders daughter, also a registered breeder, lives nearby and continues to exhibit her dogs at many dogs shows around the state, regularly posting photos of winning dogs with their ribbons and trophies. Presumably its all a bit too hard to ensure the dogs down the road at mums place get thrown a warm blanket, a bed without holes or at least have their pen cleaned daily. But then again when we scanned the dogs on the property we found that many of the dogs belonged to the daughter. I guess if the dogs are no longer winning those blue ribbons they are dumped at mums…

This type of neglect will continue to happen until Dogs Victoria management shift their focus from ‘limiting collateral damage’ and start acting as their website describes,  “we act with integrity at all times” . Its what the public except, its what the breeders doing the right thing expect and its what these dogs deserve.

After all its the dogs that are paying their wages.

I wonder if I will get a call from the field officer in an attempt to ‘limit collateral damage’ ……..

Tonichi

The breeders description of the dogs living conditions

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A rescuer’s account of life inside a puppy factory

deb

There’s a saying in rescue “you may lose your mind, but you will surely find your soul” I can say there are times when I feel like I’m walking on the edge of my sanity, but as for finding my soul I am not yet sure about that. Witnessing the brutality and cruelty inside puppy factories for the last 20 years I know that pieces of my soul are left behind, with the dogs. Damaged dogs, damaged souls.

It’s been a journey into the darkest places that I could never of imagined. Another world where mammary tumors dental disease, ear infections, eye infections, skin infections, wounds, pain, suffering, genetic diseases and that horrible traumatic condition the industry call “maternal cannibalization”. The conditions are pitiful; the sound can be deafening the stench overwhelming, hundreds of eyes watching your every move, screaming a silent agony. But it’s the dogs that don’t bark, that don’t stare, that try to disappear into the back of their cage hoping you wont notice them, or the dogs that spin in circles oblivious to your presence, these are the dogs that have endured too much, the broken damaged ones nearing the end of their breeding life. Sensory deprivation inflicts severe psychological trauma on our ‘best friends’. But damaged dogs can still produce puppies and as one puppy farmer put it when questioned about her dogs eye infections “Dogs don’t need eyes to pump out puppies”, and unfortunately she is right.

There is no hope for the dogs currently enduring life in NSW puppy factories, unless legislative change happens quickly.

People operating illegal puppy factories need not fear they will be shut down and have their dogs seized as there is nothing in the legislation that empowers authorities to do this, they will just receive a fine and be told to apply for a permit, become legal. The Code of Practice for breeding dogs and cats isn’t worth the paper it’s written on as there are no triggers for its use and enforcement. Puppy factories that are not code compliant are free to operate for years unchecked, once a permit to operate a puppy factory is granted by local government, there is never a need for an annual renewal conditional on compliance the Code , there is no mechanism in place to compel an audit or an inspection. Some NSW puppy factories have operated for years without one inspection. A code that is meant to protect the animals welfare is powerless, Our ‘best friends’ are forgotten and left out of a system that is more concerned with revenue raising and paperwork. And the ‘products’ coming out of these factories are removed from their mothers, flown all over Australia to sit on display in shop windows and consumers will be told “our puppies don’t come from puppy farms” – the entire industry is based on consumer fraud and cruelty.

We need to transcend this current system that is failing our companion animals. It’s already happening in Victoria thanks to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford. Victoria will be the first state to ban the sale of animals in petshops and introduce legislation that will end the financial viability of puppy factories. Minister Pulford remains determined to fulfill her election promises despite extreme lobbying and a scare campaign currently being run by industry, Any wonder puppy farmers in Victoria are talking about moving north over the border.

I know that in NSW there is a Minister that has the desire to help end this injustice, we just haven’t found them yet.

I challenge all MP’s regardless of political party to take this issue on and follow Victoria’s lead. When the majority of people in the community no longer accept a law that allows this cruelty to flourish, then its time for that law to be changed.

The commercial interests of a minority should never over ride animal welfare. There is no justification for factory farming puppies.

For these beautiful but damaged dogs, their life is their message, and for the ones that didn’t make it off the puppy factory alive, their souls cry out for justice. We create hope by acting, and as our actions create change our hopes are realized. Who will be the first NSW MP who stands up and makes this happen?

This article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald May 3 2015

Banksia Park Puppies

Just dont buy them

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A FAMILY has been forced to put down their beloved 14-month-old puppy because he was a “genetic disaster”.

Max, a spoodle bought by the O’Reilly family last year, was euthanised in August after he developed serious problems with his limbs and hips.

His vet said he faced a lifetime of chronic pain because he had “a very serious genetic problem” and was an “orthopedic mess”.

Sarah O’Reilly, from Eltham, said Max’s problems were heartbreaking and showed “he should never have been bred”.

Max “wanted to run like a maniac”, Ms O’Reilly said, but was in significant pain and spent days without moving before he was put down.

Ms O’Reilly asked Max’s breeder, Banksia Park Puppies, to refund more than $5000 she spent on his medical care.

They agreed, but only if Ms O’Reilly signed a confidentiality clause, which she refused to do.

Banksia Park owner Matt Hams agreed that Max’s case was upsetting but said his breeding business took “all reasonable precautions”.

“The cold hard reality of breeding living things is that sometimes things go wrong,” Mr Hams said.

Ms O’Reilly said Banksia Park’s confidentiality clause was unfair and she could not bring herself to sign it.

But Mr Hams said the clause was “standard business practice when we hand over that kind of money”.

“We weren’t trying to put this to bed so no one knows about it,” Mr Hams said.

He said the agreement would not have been required if Ms O’Reilly had taken Max to Banksia Park’s preferred vet, which was specified in the terms of the dog’s purchase.

Mr Hams said Max’s mum had since been desexed and retired from breeding, after she turned 5, while Max’s dad was being assessed by a vet before a decision was made on his future.

He said his business had been an industry leader for more than 20 years.

Max

Max at Pines Pets pet shop the day of purchase

Max at the vet for the last time, he was euthanised shortly after this photo

Max at the vet for the last time, he was euthanised shortly after this photo

 

“My dogs speak for themselves” ~ Kate Schoeffel

Kate Schoeffel, Vet, Puppy Farmer, Founder of AAPDB, an organisation run by puppy farmers for puppy farmers, Current ‘veterinary advisor’  at the AAPDB, states “My dogs speak for themselves and they are great”

We agree Kate, your dogs do speak for themselves ……………….

 

 

DESPERATE FOR COMPANIONSHIP

Kates

DEPRESSED

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BORED

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NO WATER

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NOT FUCKING PREGNANT

NFP

KATE, PERHAPS START LISTENING TO YOUR ‘PRIMARY PRODUCERS”

THE REST OF US ARE

Fighting Dirty

 If ya don’t back the fuck off ya might find ya animals shot in the head, ya here me c*^t

Just one of many threatening abusive call I receive , a sign that we are making a difference which is a good thing for these dogs.

The negatives,  the risks and the sacrifices – well that just becomes part of your life, something you just learn to accept and live with.

On 25 Sept 2010 my house was broken into and my computer was hacked and files copied. I disturbed the intruders and they made a hasty retreat out the back door leaving all the files they had opened on the computer screen, all of the information related to puppy factories.

It was a lesson learnt, a new computer and security system were installed, onwards and upwards.

A few years later I received a call to “get out of the house now and take your dogs they have found your address”, and so I did.

Shortly after I moved out of the house for good, then sold it, then moved 3 more times, I’ll probably move again in a few months.

But all of this is nothing compared to what they did to a member of the team, my friend, on the 20th March this year.

My beautiful friend, a gentle softly spoken woman, answered a knock at her door around lunchtime.

Two people stood at her front door, one person with their back to her facing the quiet street.

One person assaulted my friend, in fact they bashed the shit out of her, smashing her in the head, face and upper body whilst holding a blade that slashed through her clothing and cut into her chest.

My friend was knocked to the ground and the bashing continued…..in broad daylight

My friend was warned about her involvement in exposing puppy factories, warned to stay away, then they left her on the doorstep with blood everywhere………..and thats where her daughter found her.

In the following hours, police and ambulance attended, there was talk about the ‘crime scene’ and all the usual stuff took place to start an investigation.

And the police are investigating and we are too. My friend, with so much dignity remained calm whilst we that surrounded her struggled to see her battered bruised and swollen face, struggled to understand how this could happen, cursed and screamed and momentarily lost control, and then we grew stronger. My friend will not be beaten, deterred and has great courage.

When they threaten, intimidate, ridicule, lie and assault,  they think we will be scared enough to stop.

But thats why we keep going, because they don’t see the dogs like we see them, and that’s the problem.

So we just learn to work smarter, work different, leave traps, one person leading this team doesn’t know what the other team are doing, where they are, what they are doing until it becomes public. We learn to play the game, smarter, stronger, wiser, we look out for each other without asking questions, because we just know, we get it.

There are many who just don’t understand and cannot work out why we work the way we do or why we do what we do, perhaps they look at the dogs……….. but don’t see them ?

Battered faces, yes we are all equal in our ability to suffer, some of us choose to just never give up, no matter what.

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I want Oscar’s Law

 

AAPDB

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Jodie, Kate, Liz, Larry

The story is going ahead

No I have not committed a crime

Yes the truth will be exposed

Election Promises still not working

How timely that Peter Walsh and the Coalition Government announced today that they will be handing out cash grants to rescue groups, shelters and foster networks. It is about time that our annual dog and cat registration fees were put to better use!

Mr Walsh said in Opposition the Coalition promised to donate the proceeds from penalties, fines and seizures from illegal puppy farms to animal welfare agencies.

“Given that may be unpredictable or insufficient, we have today gone a step further by guaranteeing funding of $400,000 a year for the next four years,” Mr Walsh said.

Translation : The Coalition Government has not shut down one illegal puppy factory since new legislation was introduced, therefore there is no ‘proceeds from penalties, fines and seizures”, best we hand out some cash fast!

How about at least trying to shut down one illegal puppy factory Minister Walsh

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I want Oscar’s Law

PIAA Promises

Steve_Austin_Steve_Coleman_Dr_HarryDogs purchased from PIAA member retail stores are sourced from PIAA approved breeders who meet animal welfare standards and whose operations are subject to independent audit by a veterinarian each year.

ROGER PERKINS: We’ll we’re going to ensure that through this policy that we’ve launched, that those breeders who are supplying our pet stores are each on an annual basis are viewed by a veterinarian, are checked out by a veterinarian, a registered veterinarian, to ensure that the practices under which they are performing are to a standard that we’ve established.

Better Homes and Gardens resident vet Dr Cooper said the rate of pet euthanasia was far too high in this state. “As Australians, we look after our animals, we’ve always put great stock in the care and welfare of animals – so this is a long time coming,” he said.

So apparently your safe if you buy a puppy from a PIAA member pet shop because their “breeders” are PIAA approved, right ?

Passion for petsPassion for Pets, a PIAA member, purchased puppies from a well know Wellington Shire puppy factory. Some of those puppies died of parvo. A week later the broker delivered another 19 puppies to Passion for Pets from the same puppy factory.

brokerPIAA lies. Don’t buy the lie.

Email Wellington Council and demand they investigate the filthy Riverslea Puppy Factory immediately and test all animals and the soil for Parvo.

No more puppies should have to suffer and die on local Government and PIAA approved puppy factories.

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I want Oscar’s Law

Pet Industry out of touch

Dogs are furry four legged humans who deserve the vote, while puppy farmers are two legged brutes who deserve to be neutered. We’re talking about the canine counterpart to the slave trade Phillip Adams The Australian August 2010

Once again the Pet Industry Association of Australia proves how out of touch they are with community concerns regarding puppy factories, pets for sale in shops and animal cruelty.

They openly support and attempt to justify horrific puppy factories by advising the public if the puppy factories are members of PIAA then they are fine.

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Now they are advising the public that if you buy a puppy from a pet shop that was born at one of their members puppy factories, like the ones in these photos, that they will rehome it if it gets dumped to ‘save it from euthanasia”. Roger Perkins went on to say that if the public buy a puppy from a pet shop that is a member of PIAA “they are helping to stamp out dodgy puppy farms”. With only 25% of pet shops being members of PIAA this sounds more like a recruitment drive for membership as it will do absolutely nothing to ‘stamp out dodgy puppy farms’, they are all dodgy and should be abolished.

PIAA described this announcement as “a break through in the history of the Pet Industry” proving yet again they are out of touch with society and perhaps just a little bit delusional. Simply by associating with the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders should send warning bells to anyone who values the life of our companion animals. AAPDB members include Billabong Creek Puppy Factory and Murray River Puppy Factory ! AAPDB refuse to let the public know there full list of membership, no transparency and public confidence there!

Founder of the AAPDB Kate Schoeffel has a puppy factory but also is a vet that kills dogs at the Council pound, she states

I do not want to contribute to the huge number of unplanned and unwanted puppies which end up being disposed of in Council Pounds and animal shelters.

But Kate is quite happy to mass produce puppies whilst killing them at the Council pound during the day.

And what of the breeding dogs on their members puppy factories, well apparently its still ok to kill them.

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On the same day that the Pet Industry announces their history making policy of traceability and rehoming, a distressing photo of the Pet Industry President, Steve Austin is found posted on his own facebook page.

The Pet Industry has refused to take any action and CEO Roger Perkins has actually justified this photo by stating “he was having a bit of fun” he also labeled anyone stating their disgust at this photo as ‘feral’. This photo upset me greatly and I cannot understand why anyone involved in animal welfare could pose for a photo like this.

The Pet Industry Association of Australia support puppy factories, promote retail outlets for puppy factories and backyard breeders, and deem it ‘fun’ to pose for a photo with a dead cat in the most disrespectful way possible.

As one person put it
If feral cats are left roaming, our native wildlife will suffer. However, instead of the immediate response (which is obvioulsy killing those feral cats), lets also look at the root of the problem. To me, that would be undesexed cats. We know this because there are generations of feral cats. Steve Austin and the PIAA not only support but actively promote the sale of undesexed cats in pet stores. For anyone who thinks they are here to make a difference, please take a moment to think about that fact. Undesexed cats being sold via these pet shops to owners who do not need any kind of checks – some of those cats are lost or abandoned. They become feral. They breed ferals. Steve Austin goes to hunt these ferals. Are you feeling dizzy yet cos this merry-go-round of unethical pet sale/ownership will not stop.
The Pet Industry does not need ‘men’ like Roger Perkins and Steve Austin and they need to resign. Leaders in the Pet Industry need to set an example and treat all animals humanely and with respect, therefore they should join the call to have puppy factories abolished and help get animals out of pet shops, this brutal industry is not what the public want. We need our political leaders to show some courage and start listening, because when values and attitudes change to such a degree that a law is no longer acceptable to the majority of people, then the law needs to be changed.

I want Oscar’s Law