The tragic and alarming world of dog breeding and dog theft.
As we all lead busy lives and never seem to have time to take a step back and look at what’s happening in the world, things move on around us sometimes for the better but sometimes for the worse.
Criminals target easy options
30 years ago, petty criminals stole car radios, then the manufacturer-built radios. 20 years ago, typical thieves would steal TVs and play stations and larger items. Sophisticated camera equipment and police alerts stopped it. Today it’s easier to steal an iPhone or credit card as it has more value.
Drug addiction is one of the biggest petty crime statistics. Drug addicts will do anything to obtain money to buy drugs. They often burgle, do petty theft or shop lift. Dog theft is even easier and who wouldn’t want to buy a dog down the pub for £200 when it costs £3000 to buy normally and there’s an income stream available.
Dog theft is classified as property, like a TV or purse. This crime is punishable up to 5 years in prison and classed the same as burglary or house breaking or car theft. We know that most criminals never go to jail for even a third of the time according to the CPS so there is no serious deterrent. Those found guilty of kidnapping/false imprisonment can face anywhere from 12 months to 12 years imprisonment. so with good lawyers and a feeble excuse the sentence will be short.
For many dog lovers and I don't mean dog owners I mean dog lovers there is a very distinct difference between the two. A dog is for life not for Christmas as the slogan goes. A dog to a dog lover is a member of the family even loved as much as their children. The heartbreak of having your best friend stolen is gut wrenching.
Dog lovers need to think that their pet is now a really expensive item and due to humans capitalising on the breeding market for money rather than the love of dogs the risks are now very high. Even in your own garden humans are looking for a moment when your back is turned. So learn to take new steps when out walking, chip your dog, and when they go out in the garden you go out in the garden.
Steal a 1-year-old dog bitch worth £3000 and it's worth £180,000 over 6 years. Can you see now why dog theft is big business?
Overseas breeding smuggled into the UK
The Puppy Smuggling Scandal
A six-month undercover investigation by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, reveals the high level of corruption at the heart of the puppy smuggling trade, plus the worrying welfare risks imposed on both dogs and humans alike.
Shocking investigative footage reveals criminal breeders, vets and transporters in Hungary and Lithuania abusing the Pet Travel Scheme* with a lack of adequate enforcement and protocol by the relevant authorities. European vets have been caught on camera creating false pet passports and fake rabies vaccination records; the charity reveals underage puppies slipping through the net undeclared and lack of checks at ferry ports and borders, simplifying the smuggling process. With breeders making upwards of £100,000 a year** from the sale of smuggled puppies, the trade is spiralling out of control with no deterrent.
The cost of dogs has gone through the roof - why?
Over the last 2 years we are seeing an alarming trend of dog theft and I wondered why. I was shocked to discover why and now know why the problem is out of hand and needs urgent intervention. 5 years ago, a pedigree cocker spaniel would set you back between £600 and £850. 5 years on the cost of the same dog is £2,500.
Covid 19 pandemic saw a substantial increase in dog theft
Some experts are claiming the demand for dogs during lockdown has led to a significant increase in pets being stolen, with one - Wayne May from the organisation Dog Lost - saying: "I've been doing this for 30 years now and it's the worst ever year I've known".
"Unfortunately, due to lockdown, people are at home more and they're looking for companion animals to take up their time.
"Sadly the criminals capitalised on this. It's pushed the price of dogs and puppies up in general, which has inadvertently sparked a high rise in dog thefts."
The dog breeding world has gone mad
15 years ago, you could barely give away a Jack Russell. A cross breed dog was practically worthless. Not today recently on preloved, a Heinz 57 as they used to be called was advertised positively as a variety of breeds with a £850 price tag.
Humans are breeding anything today for money and playing with genetics
Due to demand by humans, people are now randomly cross breeding anything to see how it turns out, with absolutely no thought going into the DNA, genetic breeding or interbreeding. Dogs that already have historic genetic faults from bad breeding are now been crossed with other breeds not in a scientific way to breed out genetic defects but to make a FANCY, lovely looking, cuddly puppy, or a oversized bigger or stronger dog.
We have cockerpoos, jack, Cockerlabs, Siberian Retriever, Chiweenie, Weimador, Shorkie, Border Collie-Sheltie, Yorkipoo, Corgidor, Chug, Morkie, Shih-Poo, Schnoodle, Goldendoodle, Whoodle, Docker. And many many more.
The speed of this new craze is alarming due to that fact it’s totally uncontrolled. There are even popular magazine positively promoting this craze as; Adorable, lovely cuddly pets. There are no ethical responsible words of caution coming from these magazines.
Sadly, many potential buyers are buying on beauty, cuddliness, cuteness etc. Often no thought is given to understanding the breeds, the cross elements or the potential cross breeding risks.
In the 80s and 90s dog breeders used to be typically middle to upper class people who were all members of the kennel club
We all know over the last 75 years that the kennel club offered governance to the development of the dog breeding fraternity and during that time have seen many breeds grown to a size or shape or look that has caused genetic faults; British bulldog [respiratory], German shepherd [hips and spine issues], Saint Bernard [hocks and skeletal issues], King Charles spaniels [ eyes], etc. Today, the classes have shifted and lower income and non-working classes are now seeing a new way of creating an income stream from owning 6 to 8 breeding pairs and earning in excess of £250k, way beyond what they ever dreamed they could earn, it’s CEO income.
History has shown us, the old breeds in the 40s and 50s started take on a new shape but it took 30 years to see we had made some serious cruel mistakes. Breeders claimed to be dog lovers but yet visit any dog breeder and you will see all the dogs live outside in cages and pens similar to farming. Ask a real dog lover who has more than one dog and owned them for many years to compare buying a puppy from a breeder as opposed to buying a puppy from a family who let the bitch have a couple of litters during her lifetime and the puppies were handled in the family environment.
Why don't VETS speak up and say something
I went to my own vets recently and mentioned to the Vet about the level obesity in dogs and cat and the matter of all these new breeds and cross breeding. I asked them what they did to educate and promote healthy living and highlight the negatives of cross breeding genetic faults. The reply was sort of half hearted nervous reply, limp to say to the least. My impression was that they didn't want to upset the customer as its money at the end of the day. I said you could do passive marketing by giving out leaflets or posting things in the Vets clinic showing obesity and recommending them to site that help people be more aware of breeding genetic defects in dogs. Here is a Tik Tok video from a brave young vet who wanted to say what other more money motivated Vets would not say.
Ben the Vet is courageous in telling people about this practice.
Its big business now with no serious regulation and penalties are not effective
The laws regulating dog breeders has been ineffective for the last 30 years and nothing has changed in that respect. You see every day animal cruelty prosecuted; with fines of £500 and band from owning a pet for 10 years. Oh, wow!! what a punishment that is when they can earn £250k a year and they merely transfer the activity into a friend’s name. Dog theft currently is classed as a possession and treated in the same way as a handbag or TV. I am sure any dog lover would think there is no comparison.
130,000 dogs in rescue centres and 47,000 are abandoned every year
Buying a dog is a personal thing and should not be based on a whim or kneejerk. They are typically with you for 15 years and based upon breed, temperament and character could be the best friend in the world or your worst nightmare. View dogs like humans; think of all the characteristics of people; nice, nasty, friendly, moody, lazy, crazy, etc and a dog is the same. When you look at a new born baby you cannot tell if it will grow up to be a vicar or an axe murderer. Dogs are the same. so take your time out to choose wisely. If your not bothered about a puppy but happy to take a rescue dog her are some tips;
- When visiting the kennels go into the cage if possible and spend time with the dog.
- Don't go with a preconceived idea of the type of dog, go with you view you are going on a date and keep an open mind. Your looking for a companion and family member not a handbag.
- Watch its behaviour and responses.
- look into its eyes and see what they are saying, Look for the smile or happiness.
- See if the dog responds towards you the same way you respond to it.
- look around the cuddly, sweetness and cosmetics and look at the character and behaviour.
- Don't buy on the first visit and return the next day to see how the dog responds to you.
- Take into consideration it may have had a bad start and like humans might be nervous or reserved. You have to factor this into your decision making.
Ways to help
- We need to open our eyes to this new trend. If your thinking of getting a pet don’t fuel the industry.
- If you do want a specific breed, fair enough but: A, do your research not just about the breed characteristics but the potential genetic faults and B, take your time to choose the right home. Typically, potential owners reject 70% of the dogs they see due to the home environment. The first 8 weeks of a puppies life are the same as a child's life.
- Look for character and chemistry between you rather than a cosmetic addition to your family like a TV, or handbag.
- Don't buy from a dog breeder, they are not in it for the love of animals they are in It to make money.
- Look for a family home who own the mum, and dad and the puppies are around the family. The Mum could have 2 or 3 litters and by chatting with the family you can see they are dog lovers.
- Watch for breeders who use a front like another family. You arrive , no mum and dad. alleged owner selling puppies for a sister and mum and dad live somewhere else.
- Avoid the breeders who offer the full package; weaned, injected, registered and ready to go. They are just making it easier to sell puppies.
- Always ask to see the mum and dad and see the mum with the puppies. They will say; i take the mum out to give her a rest, its a con.
- Don’t leave your dog/s in the car when going out. A quick smash of the window and you have lost £6k and will be broken hearted.
- Secure your garden with proper fencing and get a cheap £25 camera/sensor fitted to your garden that links to your phone.
- When you let your dogs into the garden for a wee go with them and walk around at the same time.
Eastern European Dog Trade new regulations
Over the past 5 years as dog prices have started to increase eastern European dog breeding gangs. The rules for bringing puppies into the UK was very loose and easy to do. Since the UK has now left the EU the rules for bringing in dogs from the EU has been tightened particularly around puppies and pregnant bitches. Unscrupulous gangs would bring in a pregnant female and then have her give birth in the UK. From October 2021 there are new rules and fines for these Dog breeding gangs.