Puppy Farm Horror

7th Oct 2022

Sadly, this week has shown us an incredibly disheartening example of serious animal neglect, which has been a very upsetting experience for our dedicated team of staff and volunteers.


We joined forces with our colleagues across the animal welfare sector in Devon to attend a property, reported to contain a high number of dogs that desperately needed us. Upon arrival, we discovered a scene that shocked and horrified our staff, some of whom have worked in animal welfare for many decades.


Puppy Farm


96 dogs in one house


The dogs were existing in disgusting conditions, with no consideration for their comfort or welfare. They were terrified and under-socialised, and it is unlikely they had ever left the house, even to toilet. The youngest appeared to be less than a couple of weeks old, and many of the females were pregnant.


After the joint effort to remove all of the dogs from the only filthy environment they’d ever known, we transported 25 dogs back to our Devon and Dorset rehoming centres, where we could begin the challenging process of assessing their immediate medical needs with our local vet.


Our first act to provide relief for the dogs was to clip their fur – so matted all over that it was proving difficult for the dogs to urinate, defecate and even walk freely. The matted fur was filled with old faeces, and their skin was burnt with urine. Every dog had an infestation of fleas, which had caused them to continually scratch themselves until they bled, causing nasty skin sores.


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One of the dogs, who we have named Edwina, had a ruptured eye ulcer, which would have been causing her a great deal of pain. This resulted in the removal of sweet little Edwina’s eye. Another has bilateral cataracts that will require complicated and incredibly costly surgery. Many of these dogs were born with genetic conditions that could have been prevented, had they been bred in a more responsible and considerate way.



Edwina’s ruptured eye ulcer



Edwina after eye-removal surgery


Some of the dogs’ medical problems include:


  • Hernias

  • Dental problems

  • Severe under-bites

  • Entropion

  • Skin issues

  • Breathing problems

Treating these medical problems has already been estimated at a cost in excess of £15,000 – a totally unforeseen expenditure for the charity. Niki Ging, Manager of our Devon rehoming centre said, “This is a dreadful situation for these adorable little dogs. The road to their physical and emotional recovery will be long, but our dedicated staff and volunteers are relieved we’re able to provide the first acts of care and comfort that these innocent animals will have known.”


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These poor victims of cruelty and irresponsible breeding are, understandably, extremely fearful of people and the unknown. They are highly traumatised and tremble when you move towards them. We have been taking them outside for a potter each day, and they are starting to relax just enough to sniff and explore their surroundings. Slowly, we are encouraging them to start their journeys towards living the lives they deserve. We look forward to seeing their confidence grow, and we will bring you updates about their progress.


The number of the dogs we have taken into our care from this situation is equivalent to the total number of spaces we’re able to offer to homeless dogs at one of our rehoming centres at any one time. We were already full to capacity before we stepped in to provide care for these latest victims of puppy farming, so this unexpected intake of dogs is having a huge impact upon our resources.


Puppy Farm   Puppy Farm   Puppy Farm


We receive no Government funding and rely on the generosity and kindness of supporters like you. If you would like to play a vital role in helping to get these little dogs back on their paws, please donate today by clicking here and using the reference: PUPPY FARM.


We are spending time getting to know these dogs and looking after all their needs. Please keep an eye on our website here to see when they are ready to go to their forever homes.