My reason for setting up the page and for getting involved in animal rescue is simple, I love animals and want to help them as much as I can. I was also the owner of a dog that was bought by my parents from a puppy farm. I want to use his story to educate others and hopefully prevent them from making the same mistake. 

When I was twelve I wanted a dog. I asked every day for some time until finally I was allowed to get one! My parents checked with the local pound but they were always told they had no dogs. They then checked the ads in the newspapers (no internet classifieds in those days) and rang around until we found a pup that suited. We drove an hour away to pick up our new pup that was being sold for 45 pounds. The cost was divided between me and my two sisters.

At the breeders house we met our new pup Seymour. He was a cross between a west highland terrier and a pug. We were shown a male pug and were told it was the father and that the litter was accidental. There was also an older westie pup there that was for sale. We handed over the money and took our new dog home. We were given no vaccination card and no one had even known to ask for one.

Shortly after we got him we noticed a lump on his back. He was taken to the vets and we were told it was a fat lump from the pup being overfed. This went away after a little while when he was fed the correct amount of food. The vet also said he had some bad skin and we were given some information on how to treat it.

Not too long after we got him the scratching started. He would crawl around on his belly on the carpet constantly to try and get the itch. He then developed patches of scabs on his back. He was taken to the vets often but nothing helped. He would scratch himself off branches until he was bleeding to try and get the itch. Most of the pictures or videos we have of him show him scratching. A quick search online of ‘westie with skin condition’ brings up images of dogs in the same condition as Seymour was. His skin got so bad that he had a large amount of hair loss. He also did not smell good!!

So after spending everyday suffering Seymour was still the friendliest dog you could ever meet. He caused us no problems at all. But eventually, when he was eight and had lost the majority of his hair, we decided it was time to put him out of his misery. He was taken to the vets by my mother and sister. The vet agreed that it was the best thing to do. He was given an injection to make him sleep. I was told he was snoring soundly after a few minutes. My mother and sister then left and waited outside while the vet put him down. He was then brought home and buried in our garden.

Knowing that Seymour’s skin condition was in the starting stages when we got him makes me wonder if his mother would have had it too. It is horrible to think that she may have been in the same condition Seymour was, but instead of being in a loving home where people tried to help, she was being bred constantly for profit. Even though we loved Seymour it is not nice to think that we encouraged that breeder to have another litter of pups. Pug and westie crosses are now a fancy designer breed costing nearly 500 euro.

So what I have learned is that puppy farmers don’t display signs saying ‘puppies breed badly here’. They can be regular people with children who do their best to hide the fact that they are breeding dogs in horrible conditions and their only care is profit. Be vigilant when buying a dog. We don’t need any more dogs to go through what Seymour did. If in doubt, get in touch with your local animal rescue or pound to adopt a dog

The warning signs we missed from the breeder:

  • That they were selling two different litters of pups
  • No mothers were shown for either pup and no other pups were shown even though they had others left for sale
  • Only shown the father
  • Not given vaccination cards
  • The condition of the pup – fat lump on his back and the beginning of his skin condition

 Read more about puppy farms here.

About Rescue Animals Ireland

Rescue Animals Ireland aims to provide valuable resources and educational materials on responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and the benefits of adopting from shelters. It also aims to raise awareness about the importance of adopting rather than buying pets, emphasizing the positive impact it has on both animals and their new owners.