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Alice – Spay & Neuter!

alice-copy-3Alice is a result of generations of back yard breeding and ‘accidental’ breeding.   She was aggressive towards people and dogs, and so she was kept in isolation. She was surrendered to Dogtown after biting a family member of her human and so she came to us a fearful and a very defensive dog. Not too long after her arrival, did she go to Dr. Eckersley for a health check up, she was diagnosed with hip displasia, elbow displasia, arthritis and she had a hernia, probably due to having a litter of puppies herself.   Last year, she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, and even though the whole tumor was removed, there was still the possibility that it seeded. Alice is only six-years old, most people think she is about ten when they see her.   Alice’s behaviour issues have ceased, however her physical issues will stay with her for the rest of her life.

I can’t help to think of all the excuses people come up with, not to spay and neuter their pets. I can’t help but wonder, how many Alice’s are out there, and how many more will be born because of ignorance. Somewhere out there, Alice has brothers and sisters, who might have had puppies. Alice herself had puppies, and so her terrible genetics had been passed along to those dogs, who might be passing it on to Alice’s grand-puppies, etc.   Those are the puppies people buy online, from pet shops, given away to good homes, given as Christmas or birthday presents.   And when those puppies’s hips and joints can’t carry them anymore, or they get diagnose with cancer? Do they end up at a shelter like Alice to live the rest of life without a family?

Behaviours can also be transferred to the next generation of puppies. If mom was aggressive, you can bet that the puppies will be aggressive. If mom was fearful and neurotic, there is a very good chance that the puppies will be as well. From personal experience of taking in a neurotic puppy, no amount of puppy classes can help this type of dog. Cute photos on a website, gives you no information about that dog’s hereditary diseases or temperament, and it has been proven that temperament tests should be taken with a pinch of salt.   Puppies that come from unethical breeders, often lack social skills and confidence and are often unable to adapt, because unethical breeders know nothing about how to prepare puppies for life. Ethical breeders know how a puppy develops physically and mentally and what type of stimulation they need through each little development phase to help them become balanced dogs.     The unethical breeder only sees money and have very little concern about whether those puppies grow up to be happy dogs.   As long as people are buying animals from unethical breeders, there will be a market.   So really it’s up to us to stop the demand and shut down these unethical breeders.

Alice doesn’t have a long life ahead of her, she is currently being treated symptomatically because her cancer came back with a vengeance. She will live out her last days with me, in my home with my husband, five dogs and five rats. Dogtown ensures that she will receives the best diet, medicine and the best treatment that is viable for her at this stage of her illness.   She is the lucky Alice, because even though she has gone through all of these things, she has Dogtown backing her up, the other Alice’s out there might not have this type of help.   We need to convince our family and friends to Spay and Neuter pets to prevent more unwanted or sickly animals. It really is up to us.

By Tersha, Trainer