We first visited this particular shed in Wales on a cold October day in 2011. Before we even entered the premises we could hear the dogs howling and wailing. The sounds alone were agonising to hear, our minds reeled at the suffering we heard in those poor voices. But worse awaited us.
Inside the freezing, drafty tin barn which was meant for cattle or machinery over 50 dogs were confined. There were many breeds there, large to small. The pens that trapped them were made of breeze blocks and the doors were solid so the dogs had no view at all. beyond their concrete walls. There was no access to the outside world, no runs and no enclosed exercise area.
Each pen had sawdust scattered on the floor and there wasn’t a single bed anywhere for any dog. No comfort of any shape or form. The place stank as you’d expect in a place of such horror. One poor Rottie had wire over the top of his pen, probably because he was so demented and had attempted to jump out at some point. There was no heating and the huge gap at the top of the door let the weather and all its discomforts inside.
Some dogs were friendly, desperate for our attention while others were terrified. The coats of the malamutes and Shi tzu were filthy and matted. Water was delivered by a tube linked to a tank which of course would have frozen in winter. The breeze block used for the pens wasn’t sealed so urine soaked into it. The stench was eye- watering and yet the poor dogs had no relief from it, ever. Licensing conditions state that all surfaces are required to be impervious. A clear and cruel breach of this condition, along with several others.
The pens were of reasonable size but still the dogs were encased in a barren environment. It was filthy and horrible, a prison for dogs in every vile sense of the word.
We visited at least 4 times and reported every finding to the authorities each time. It took years for this breeder to be prosecuted and put out of business. Years during which many dogs suffered to supply a trade which cares nothing for the animals and everything for the money that can be made from them.
And one final detail worth noting, this particular breeder aka puppy farmer sold his puppies with Kennel Club Registration papers for years. That organisation did nothing for the dogs in his breeding shed except take the money he paid them for registering his litters.