If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bred In Captivity

Call it what you want; puppy mill, backyard breeders . . . .they all mean the same evil. All breed in captivity. The only difference is evil on a smaller or larger scale.

Begging for help

There is no such thing as a 'good' puppy mill. These dogs used for breeding are destined to spend their lives in filthy, small cages, sleeping in their own waste....no grooming, no attention, no exercise, no love. Many have never seen sunlight nor ever walked on grass. They are FORCED to breed at every heat, a minimum of twice a year. Breeders do not run the business for the 'love' of seeing puppies being born and put in good homes. They run it entirely for the love of money.

Is there no end to their suffering?
What crime did she commit?

Imagine you were locked in a tiny room, the size of a toilet cubicle, for a week, with another person. That would mean you hardly have room to move, stretch or lie down to sleep and if you did lie down, it would be in your own pee and poo. You have not had a shower for a week and you stink. Your “roommate” is the “alpha dog” who eats all your food or whatever little food is thrown into your tiny room, leaving you with hardly enough to fill your tummy. Some days he attacks you leaving you with injuries and wounds left untreated. You have drinking water but your alpha roommate has probably peed in it. You are filthy, hurt, unwell, hungry, undernourished and with no hope in sight. You cry and scream yourself hoarse but there is no way out. This probably is just an awful nightmare that you would wake up from, but for breeding dogs, this is a reality and it’s not just for a week. It is for their entire life; from probably 6 months old, to the time they die. THERE IS NO WAY OUT. NO END TO THEIR SUFFERING. These breeding dogs are treated worse than our most dangerous criminals, yet, THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG.
No love, no grooming, no attention
In this awful dream that you can wake up to, how do you get out of the hell hole? You can only be saved by someone’s kindness. The same goes for these breeding dogs – they can only be saved by human kindness. 
Jill was extremely ill and no medical attention was given to her

Are there no laws to keep these dogs in decent living conditions; well-fed and cared for? Is there quality control? Are there humane conditions to meet?

Over the weekend, we rescued 8 breeding dogs; 3 stud dogs and 5 bitches. The stench from the dogs was overpowering. It was obvious they had been neglected for a long time. Instead of a white Maltese or Japanese Spitz, we got brown dogs stinking of urine. Their coats were dry and hard from urine stains and their eyes so dirty, some had their eyes literally glued shut. Many of them had their tongues sticking out because despite being relatively young at 3 to 5 years of age, they were probably malnourished and had teeth decay. Many had only half a set of teeth. Those who still have a full set of teeth will have at least half pulled out when the vet is done seeing them.
Just rescued

Finally in good hands

Initially terrified of humans
When we rescued them, they had no life in their eyes. They stared blankly with hopelessness and they were terrified of humans; constantly trying to run into corners to escape our grasps. As far as they knew, humans were horrible people who tortured and abused them. We needed to change their mindsets. We assured and cuddled them. Our team of volunteers took almost 5 hours to clean all 8 dogs; many of whom still smelled damp and moldy after a bath.
Getting a good bath

They were then fed their first decent meal in their entire life – minced beef with broccoli and rice, lovingly cooked by Chen and family. We watched as they ate; it was sad observing that many of them went for the white rice and quickly lapped it up. With breeding dogs, it’s usually one bowl of kibbles or white rice, free for all. The stronger and bigger ones eat first and the weaker and smaller ones get nothing. It broke our hearts that they didn’t even know what good meat was. We had to literally force small pieces of meats into their mouth and after a few chews, did they realize it was nice food. Some did not know how to eat from their food bowls and spent their time licking food scraps from the floor. It was a painful sight.

Extremely dirty ears

Bad teeth

No front teeth
After their bath, their first decent meal and many cuddles later; it was amazing how these dogs seemed like different dogs. They somehow knew we were there to help. They had gone from being down, lifeless dogs left in the gallows with no hope in sight, to having a new lease on life! All the dogs begged for us to give them that soft touch of a human hand, that little pat on their heads, pats that they had yearned for all these years in their cages. Their eyes seemed to light up, they started barking and seemed like . . . .dogs!

This little Yorkie girl had a wound on her head, left untreated for quite a while
Sadness in their eyes
We put them in an open area and let them run. Many did not even dare to run. They were so used to being caged up, that freedom with no boundaries seemed terrifying. We had to call and encourage them to run. Some slipped and fell because they never knew that they could run or what their legs were capable of doing. After a few minutes of stumbling and sliding, they started running and playing like little children. It was a sight to behold. Happiness! Freedom! Was our entire weekend spent bathing, cleaning, nursing, feeding them, washing kennels, etc in the rain worth it? You bet!

We have helped with puppy mill and breeding dogs in the past and have seen worst conditions. Almost all will have many teeth pulled out. Some are bowlegged from standing in a small cage all his / her life, some die a slow death from neglect and illness.
 Of the 8 dogs we rescued, Jill is the worst of the lot.
 The remaining 7 dogs will go to the Vet for their full medical check-ups in the next few days. Their dentals and sterilization will be done when they are stronger and healthier. For now, we just want to ensure they have no underlying illnesses such as anemia, tick fever, heartworm etc
 It has been pouring these past few days and these little toys dogs are in kennels as we don’t have fosters or homes for them just yet. We know they are cold, shivering and uncertain of what their future brings.


Years of suffering reflected in her eyes

We’re not saying stop the sale of pets. We are just asking for human kindness and a decent standard in breeding. 

You can help in the following ways;

1) Foster a dog or two. They are all friendly and non-aggressive. They will need your patience in paper training them, giving them language, confidence and social skills. Very much like raising a puppy.

2) Adopt a dog.

3) Help with their boarding fees

4) Help with their medical bills

There are a few more breeding and stud dogs left behind. Sadly, we are limited by funds, resources, manpower and we can’t save them all.

Available for adoption;

1) Female Japanese Spitz – Jamie, estimated 2 years old

2) Male Japanese Spitz – Junior , estimated 2 – 3 years old

3) Female Yorkshire Terrier – Jade, estimated 3 years old

4) Male Yorkshire Terrier – Ace, estimated 3 – 4 years old

5) Female Maltese – June, estimated 3 to 5 years old

6) Female Maltese – Jan, estimated 3 to 5 years old

7) Male Golden Retriever – Jack, estimated 6 years old

8) Female Golden Retriever – Jill, estimated 5 to 6 years old, for fostering. She is weak and unwell. Needs lots of nutritious food and TLC.
 Sometimes female dogs die trying to deliver that last litter from an overworked uterus. Their puppies often come with very expensive health issues requiring complicated treatments such as hip and joint problems, and major organ dysfunctions. Have you wondered why your pedigree puppy goes to the vet so often? Why it is plagued with skin and health issues?

We wish that everyone who has ever purchased a puppy from a pet shop could have seen and smelt these breeding dogs when they were first rescued.

We will never understand how breeders can go to bed each night, knowing that these animals are bred in captivity. Animals who are perfectly capable of feelings and emotions. One thing is for sure; our exhausted volunteers will go to bed at night, with visions of smiling dogs that they have just saved.

To offer help in any way, please email us dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg

For all the dogs bred in captivity, dont give up. There IS hope.

Written by Fiona


  1. Ultimately, we would like to stop pet store owners who adopts breeding in captivity style. But how?

  2. What is AVA doing? Why are they NOT putting these puppy mill owners in JAIL FOREVER....

  3. You can never stop pet shops from breeding and selling but we can always hope for more humane breeding conditions.

  4. Have the breeders been brought to the attention of the AVA?

  5. Hi Corrina,

    Regarding your question, please email us directly.

    Zeus Communications

  6. sick people. isnt dogs living animals like us? to earn their fortune by mistreating animals is a shame on themselves. I have the same question as Corrina too. Hope AVA WILL open their eyes and do something about this and should not allow such matters to happen again. this is not a modern society when people treat animals like nothing. shame on them. =/


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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown