The past few months have been extremely busy for our volunteer investigators. We are in the middle of a number of cases as our team have been out on the ground gathering evidence from inside puppy farms across the UK.
There’s a lot we cannot say about our investigations as to do so would risk future prosecutions and putting puppy farmers out of business. But rest assured we are not sitting idle, we’re fighting for the dogs every hour of every day.
One case we can tell you about came to public attention at the end of last week. We are pleased that with this one, the time from first reporting to action was shorter than most.
An often upsetting aspect of our work is how long it can take for things to happen and we have to live with our memories of the dogs we see in squalor staying there until the authorities act. But, in Ceredigion last week that changed as we acted on intel we received about a large barn holding breeding dogs. .
We were shocked at what we saw inside the barn where horses, pigs, chickens and other fowl were sharing space with roughly 50 dogs and their puppies.
The whole place was stinking and we were paddling in slurry in some areas. Some of the poor dogs had no water or food and all had just dirty wet bedding.
We have been in situations like this many times during the past 11 years of going behind the closed doors of breeding sheds and kennels. Going into puppy farms which are places no-one would ever like to be. It never fails to shock and upset us. To smell, hear and see animals suffering and to have to walk away haunts our memories.
But we know that gathering the evidence, correctly reporting and never giving up on the animals is the duty we owe them. But where best to report to? In cases like this, in a county with the track record that Ceredigion has we asked ourselves whether reporting to the local authority would bring any help to the animals in that stinking barn.
Ceredigion is not a county with a good record on animal welfare. We were in a county well known for its failings when it comes to animals, especially breeding dogs. We have been here many times and this time we were determined to do our very best to get some proper, fast action to save the animals we saw in the darkness of that barn. The dogs looked rough and some pups even rougher so we took the decision to immediately call the RSPCA.
Thankfully they acted promptly on our report and evidence. We are pleased to tell you that all dogs were taken to safety and we presume, the other animals too. It really would have been terrible if the poor animals had been left in that barn any longer, especially through the winter months as there was no insulation and it was freezing cold.
This is what we do. We get help for animals in distress, mainly breeding dogs, but any animal who needs it. The work is always hard, upsetting and often puts us at personal risk. However, when we get results, when we know the animals are saved, it is well worth the risks and effort.
Everything we do is for the dogs and we do it time and time again. We wish we didn’t need to. We wish the cruelty would end. But it is not ending, it continues and while it does, we will continue to investigate, report and get action.