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What sort of health problems affects puppy farmed dogs?
Many breeds of dogs have conditions that they are prone to, these include hip dysplasia, chronic skin conditions, respiratory issues, over shot jaws, heart murmurs etc. Good breeders health test their breeding dogs prior to mating to ensure the good health of their puppies. Puppy farmers don't health test their dogs and aren't particularly worried if the pups do have genetic conditions affecting their quality of life. Because dogs on puppy factories only exist for the purpose of breeding, they suffer severe psychological damage due to deprivation of environmental enrichment, socialisation and companionship. Many of these dogs are never treated as a normal companion animal and loved part of the family. The ones lucky enough to be rescued can take a long time to recover from this trauma.
Why doesn't RSPCA just shut down puppy factories?
Puppy factories are legal businesses. The RSPCA does not have the power to end puppy factories. They only have the power to work within the current state legislative framework, which is often weak and ambiguous and does not adequately protect animals.
This is why we lobby to have legislation changed and strengthened with an end goal of having puppy factories made illegal. Even small incremental changes in law can have a positive effect.
Do all pet shop puppies come from puppy factories or backyard breeders ?
Yes, reputable registered breeders do not sell litters of puppies to pet shops. It's against their own code and they want to ensure their puppies go to a good home and the right home for that particular breed.
Pet shops can only source puppies from puppy factories or backyard breeders. Some pet shops tell their customers that their puppies come from 'registered breeders' which is untrue, what they really mean is 'registered business'. Pet shops also use terminology like 'hobby breeders', 'family breeders' to make their customers feel confident in buying that puppy - it's all word play and the pet industry are very good at their own PR. The pet industry is currently trying to change the language by calling their pet shops 'companion animal centres' in an attempt to fool the public yet again.
What happens to ex-breeding dogs on puppy factories?
It is still legal in most states for puppy farmers to kill their dogs once they are no longer producing puppies. In Victoria the code of practice requires puppy farmers to have a retirement plan for each dog and they cannot be killed without a written veterinary advice stating that killing is the only option for that dog.
The dogs that are surrendered or seized are sometimes difficult to rehome. They have known nothing but a small confined space their entire lives and struggle to cope with the outside world, they haven't been inside a house, been walked on a lead, or been around people. Many of these dogs can be rehabilitated and require special understanding homes where they can live out their lives safely in a loving and secure environment.
Is Oscar's Law opposed to dog breeders?
No, there is a big difference between breeding dogs and factory farming them to supply a commercial market. We love dogs and don't want to see the extinction of our wonderful companions by banning all breeding. We do want to see the end of puppy factories though.
We strongly promote adoption as there is nothing more rewarding than saving a life. We do recognise that some people will search for a particular breed and want a puppy, and there is nothing wrong with that. We encourage people that are looking for a puppy to do their research, visit the place where the pup was born and raised, see the pup interacting with its mum and litter-mates. Ask the breeder a lot of questions and they should be asking you questions to to ensure their pup is going to a good home, and the right home for that particular breed.
What is the difference between a registered breeder and a registered business?
Many people think that puppy factories are illegal, however they remain legal in every state as long as they are registered with council and have a 'permit'. Because puppy factories are a registered business, many pet shops that sell their puppies tell consumers they come from 'registered breeders', when in fact this is untrue.
Registered breeders register with their state body of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) such as Dogs Victoria, Dogs NSW, Dogs West etc. These breeders do not sell their litters to pet shops.
Puppy farmers have also developed their own organisations that 'register' puppy farms in another attempt to use the term 'registered breeder'.
Puppy farmers and the pet industry have in effect hijacked the term 'registered breeders' to confuse the public, further their own agenda and boost their puppy sales.
What should happen to accidental litters?
We are strong advocates for desexing your pets so accidents don't happen, but also because it reduces the chance of reproductive cancers, stops your pet going through uncomfortable and frustrating heat cycles and generally makes dogs better behaved and easier to train. Desexing is the responsible thing to do.
We do not support pet shops taking in and selling 'accidental litters' because this exchange of money creates an incentive for indiscriminate back yard breeding. We encourage owners of an 'accidental litter' to surrender the litter to one of the many foster based rescue groups and shelters across Australia, to ensure the animals can be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and adopted to suitable homes.
What is wrong with cross bred dogs ?
Nothing, we think all kinds of dogs are great! But because puppy factory dogs are mass produced and kept in isolated conditions until purchase, they have a higher likelihood of suffering from behavioural and health problems.
Why don't you campaign on kitten farms?
We do. Oscar's Law has exposed kitten farms in the past and we acknowledge the severe problem of cat overbreeding. However breeding cats is less commercially and financially viable than breeding puppies, and we don't get a lot of tip offs or complaints about kitten farms. There is more money to be made out of puppy factories and thats why they are more prevalent than kitten farms.