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

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paying The Price Of A Pedigree

No life, no future, no socialization, no proper food, no sunlight, no love, no care, no medical attention when they are sick. NO HOPE.

Sounds like a bleak life? That’s what most breeding dogs go through. Given a choice, they would never want to go that route but with unethical people out to maximize on animals, this is what happens.

Buying a puppy might seem like a happy occasion but each time you buy a puppy, you create suffering you cannot see. Puppy mills, backyard breeders, these are terms that animal lovers absolutely detest. Only one word describes such a place – deplorable.

Dogs were not meant to be mass produced like i-Phones; they are living creatures. Dogs should not spend their entire existence in a metal cage being bred every time they go into heat, from their very first heat at possibly 6 mths old, continuously on every heat, until the entire litter of puppies die or the mommy is too sick or too old to produce puppies. The mommy dog is then left to die a slow death after making thousands of dollars for the breeder.

Jill is such a dog. Jill has been caged in captivity as a breeding dog. She is a Golden Retriever, estimated to be about 5 or 6 years old. 

Helpless and hopelessness in her eyes

A bleeding tail
We have often told people, “do not give pets as gifts” but when a friend gave us Jill, we gladly accepted her. Jill is a special gift to us because she teaches us how forgiving animals are and how time and again, humans ill-treat and abuse animals, but despite all this, the animals still forgive and trust humans.

Many a times, there are breeders who keep dogs in terrible conditions and who are obviously not in the business of producing healthy and happy puppies. Their objective would have been to make as much money as possible from the sale of the puppies, regardless of overbreeding, poor health and living conditions or genetic defects.

When we first laid eyes on Jill, we were amazed by her sweet and kind face. You could tell that she had a gentle and wonderful temperament and would have been a pleasure to have as part of a family. Sadly, Jill does not know what a family is. Her only family were her puppies and even then, they were always taken away from her after a couple of weeks. She never ever saw them grow past a few weeks. No matter how she howled and cried, they never came back.

Jill’s eyes . . . . .her eyes broke our heart. Not only was there not a single glimmer of hope, it told us of the hardship she has gone through as a breeding dog; never ever seeing her little puppies grow up, never had a warm or caring touch on her, nor had she been to a vet when she was sick. We saw sadness, pain and hopelessness in her eyes. She was resigned to her bitter fate.

Swollen paws and overgrown nails
Jill was terribly unwell when she was given to us. We don’t blame our friend for giving Jill to us - she could not have afforded Jill’s medical bills. Not that we can, but we would have found ways and means to raise it. Jill spent her day huddling in a corner, shivering continuously. Despite covering her with many towels, it made no difference to her. She was a bag of bones and her paws and legs were so swollen, it looked as if she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Her nails were so long, they curled inwards. As if this wasn’t bad enough, her tail had no fur, possibly from mites and being left untreated over a long period of time and her ears, poor girl, her ears was so badly infected, pus was just oozing out of both her ears and the entire room would smell. The Vet said that her ears must have been left untended to for quite some time for it to be so badly infected. Throughout all this, Jill continued to trust humans.

Bathing Jill before taking her to the Vet

At the Vet, many tests were done on her. She had her eyes checked, ears attended to, skin scrape on her tail to test for mites, nails finally clipped so she could walk properly again and blood samples taken to test for tick fever, heartworm, kidney and liver problems.

Taking her temperature

Pus oozing out of her ears
 Checking her eyes

Decaying teeth
What was the size of Jill’s paws and legs. Her front legs were so stiff, she could hardly bend or flex them. DRs ordered an x-ray for her and results were worrying. Jill could either be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, bone cancer or simply from lying or standing for too many years. Did anyone notice? Did anyone even care? We are awaiting confirmation on the x-ray results from the DRs. If Jill is suspected to have bone cancer, a biopsy may need to be done.
Drawing blood samples

Getting her nails clipped. The vet tech didn't need to hold Jill. She showed no reaction
Throughout all the jabbing and poking, Jill simply lay on the examination table, resigned to her fate. There was totally no reaction from her at all. Was it because she was too sick and weak to react? Too used to humans being in control of her and doing what they pleased with her? Or had she simply given up on life?
 Had our friend not taken Jill and given her to us, Jill would have been left to die a slow, painful death.
Under fed. Over used.
Jill has been warded at our favourite vet and the DRs simply dote on her. Everyone feels sorry for the hardship she has gone through. She is weak but is eating well and has her ears cleaned twice a day. For the first time in her life, she might feel as if there are people who genuinely care for her well-being, people who will love and care for her, without having to take anything from her in return.

Did reading this bring tears to your eyes? It did, to mine. I am ashamed of what people would do for money and what they are capable of doing to living creatures.

Jill has never experienced love but for the first time in her life, she is beginning to feel that this world is not made up entirely of evil. We don’t want Jill to die. We don’t want her happiness to be short-lived. We hope she stays strong, recovers and gets to enjoy life as a pet, with a family to call her own.

If you would like to help Jill, do send us an email dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg

Breeding dogs receive little or no socialization and the puppies are basically neglected until it's time for a sale, frequently living in its own filth. Puppies and dogs often have open sores, abscesses and other untreated injuries. Substandard living is the norm, not the exception, and the quality and quantity of food and water available is dubious at best.
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?

Have you met your puppy’s parents?  Have you met Jill?

Know that when you purchase a puppy from a pet shop, you have just financed more animal cruelty. STOP BUYING. ADOPT A PET.


  1. sad story. don give up on Jill

  2. People who do this should be jailed for life in small cages too. Jill does not deserve this at all.

    It did not bring tears to my eyes but surely hatred to those who would harm anything just for money.

  3. really disheartening to read such story again and again and it's still happening to many poor dogs at the puppy mills, despite all the public protest and efforts by welfare groups to talk sense to ava, they are still not doing anything to improve the living conditions of the puppy mills, and still got the cheek to say the dogs LOOK healthy when they claimed to have done checks twice a month at the puppy mills! instead of focusing at looking at the welfare of the dogs in singapore in general, they overly focus at acting on many senseless, selfish complains and catch and kill many innocent strays out there! i seriously have no faith in ava, in this government, in this country, affluent filthy rich but compassion barren ground...

  4. Seriously, I detest the lack of animal love & welfare in this "world-class" society. Thank you for stepping in to save yet another precious life.

  5. Congratulations - excellent write up. Puppy mills are hell holes for many dogs and bitches Every animal in puppy mills are doomed to suffering. Please do more to highlight the plight of such used and abused pedigrees Please campaign more to give voice to those lovely animals. Many people are unaware of what the pedigrees endure in puppy mills

  6. Hi Am Jennifer, Yes it brought tears, midway i hv to stop for awhile before continuing. I totally agree, dont buy puppy but adopt. I wish i can adopt Jill but finacially constraint as i hv 3 adopted dogs of my own to care for. Yes i can see the cruelty of mankind. On the night of 4 Nov 1998 i brought my first dog for a walk, sudden downpour and we are hurrying to cross the carpark, i looked down to JR to ensure he was ok but what shocked me, there was another dog a JRT next to mine. From the street lights, i can see he was just skin and bones so i said to him, "boy boy would you like to follow me home" and he did. Cuts on his body and paws, through my interaction with him, realised he was badly abused by his previous master. He had such sad face, looked like an old dog, will cowered in the corner of the washroom, shivering...., the vet said he is only 5 years old.
    But this CNY, my relatives commented how well he looks now, such a happy face and he looks younger now.

    My vision is finding ways to be more financially able so that i can render help to the dog shelters, strays...... am working towards it. I WILL BE BACK :)

  7. Praying that Jill will recover soon and to live to a ripe old age in a home with lots of love and hugs. It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful animal being treated with such cruelty. One gets the impression that AVA must be staffed with sadists and animal haters. Such a horrible job!

  8. reading this article make me feel more hatred towards my own kind..we are just too cruel...ruthless...heartless...for the sake of our own survival,we ignore all other living things big and small...if the world ends...we deserve it...but if there is really someone up there, pls save all animals...they are the innocent ones...they truly deserve a life without us evil beings...

  9. A few years back, i had a preview of the pasir ris puppy mills myself... manage to ask the owner to look at the parents... Those images are still stuck in my head until now. It changed my perspectives towards Singapore AVA who are slow to act on welfare... all they concern are the imported food... what about regulations of the breeding sites? No matter how strong the protest are, the conditions are not improving... look at Dolphin Lagoon, even after the submission of proposal.

    Nevertheless, these little furry friends gave us courage and hope. Thank you to all Zeus Communication volunteers who are making a difference. :) Jil, may you find a loving owner soon!

  10. Could it be that we are really not doing enough to get some commitment from AVA on animal welfare or at least some actions from them? I am so ashamed by those govt officials who claimed they will lead Spore but do they actually undertand and feel with us on animal welfare? Short of public protest which is illegal, can i suggest all of us to send "well wishes" letter to their email daily? That should bring some message across..


Visitor Count

"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