A Welsh charity claims it has received the worst-bred intake of dogs it has ever seen in its 17-year history. Hope Rescue, in Llanharan, had the dogs signed over to their care after they were seized on welfare grounds by the local authority.
The 10 English bulldogs – two adults and eight pups – have a number of health issues including cherry eye, invested corkscrew tails, excessive wrinkles and folds, and significant issues with their legs, spines and hips. While some of the health issues can be “improved”, the charity says some issues will remain with the dogs for life.
Hope Rescue said these issues result from low-welfare breeding and inherent breed-related conditions. The flat-faced breeds will also live with breathing issues.
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A spokesperson for the rescue said: “We’re pretty tough at Hope Rescue, but our rescue-hardened hearts have been well and truly broken by these dogs. Their health issues include cherry eye, entropion, inverted corkscrew tails, skin conditions, excessive folds and wrinkles and most worryingly, significant conformation issues with their legs, spines and hips. That’s before we’ve even considered their breathing issues.”
Despite Hope Rescue’s best efforts to improve the dog’s health issues, which they anticipate costing around £20,000 in X-rays, tests, and surgeries, it states the dogs will never fully function as ‘normal’ dogs, thus making rehoming that bit more difficult .
The seizure comes as the research from the Royal Veterinary College warned that the breeding of bulldogs in the UK might be banned if their shape is not altered to prevent a host of debilitating conditions. Study author Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor of Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC, said: “Every dog deserves to be born with equal and good innate health by having a natural ability to breathe freely, blink fully, exercise easily, have healthy flat skin, matte and give birth.
“For breeds such as English Bulldogs where many dogs still have extreme conformations with poor innate health, the public have a huge role to play by demanding dogs with moderate and healthier conformations. Until then, prospective owners should ‘stop and think before buying a flat -faced dog’.”
Regarding the calls to ban the breed, a spokesperson for Hope Rescue added: “It’s hard for us not to be sympathetic with calls to ban the breed, especially after seeing the horrendous condition of this latest intake. If things don’t change, we will be joining those calls.
“It’s vital buyers don’t facilitate the breeding of brachycephalic breeds with exaggerated features and choose breeders who prioritize health before profit. We cannot continue to take in these dogs and witness their suffering.”
If you would like to help Hope Rescue in their efforts to treat and rehome the dogs visit their appeal page here, or text BULLDOG followed by your donation amount to 70085 to give that amount. Additionally, if you are local to South Wales and are available to foster any of the dogs, the charity asks that you contact them here.
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