Thursday, 4 December 2008

Saints preserve us

Sorry for the lack of blogs.
I am struggling not to have flu and failing.
The story of the Accredited Breeder and the 102 dogs, many of them St Bernards, left abandoned cut straight through my cotton wool head and put my temperature up by several degrees.
Surfing the Internet you can find several reports calling this kennels hellish as early as the summer, yet even though it seems plenty of people knew there was something going very wrong our infrastructure seems to have completely failed these poor dogs.
I understand two people have now been arrested, a man and a woman.
But just like the tragic Baby P case there surely must be others in the frame who should have done more?
This was a licenced kennels, plenty of people bringing dogs for boarding had seen things deteriorating, people within the breed seem to have known there was big troubles going on and that the dogs were being neglected.
So why no action until now?
There is very sadly, plenty of precedent for breeders losing the plot, plenty of other horror stories.
Remember the case where the RSPCA found skeletons in long forgotten cages - that was a Crufts judge of Shelties I seem to remember. And the champ show judge that kept her dogs on the allotment and just forgot them, one of our readers took a lovely Beardie from that case who had gone blind from malnutrition.
I'm not a psycologist so I can't tell you why these cases keep happening or why there have been so many of them.
Dog breeding in this country lacks regulation and supervision so either it is attractive to people on the edge - or it just doesn't catch people as they fall.
And the fact that this latest case involves a KC Accredited Breeder... do we need any more graphic an illustration to show how unwise it is to accredit the people and not the dogs they produce.
If you're not visiting these breeders very regularly, if you're not ready to step in when they are failing- can you really want to endorse people when you can't possibly know them anywhere near well enough?
I was the Beardie breed club secretary when I first spotted something odd with the treasurer at the time's behaviour. He still looked smart in his suit at committee meetings. He had asked for money for a new typewriter from club funds which had been agreed - but being a bit of a Miss Marple I couldn't fail to notice that the letters he sent me after that point were still produced on exactly the same old typewriter. It got me thinking - why ask for a new typewriter?
We started looking at the accounts more closely and tehre were gaping holes.
It caused a real stink at the time getting the auditors in.
The police got involved, too as it turned out it wasn't just our club he had taken money from. It was when they looked in his shed that the story took on a new dimension that no one had suspected. He had Beardies and Cocker Spaniels. Two of the gentlest breeds imaginable.
When people lose it - they can really lose it.
Poor dogs, I still often think of the poor dogs left in a shed. Listening out for their master's footsteps that never came.

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