Belle & Bronx – breaking the backyard breeding cycle

Bella and her 7 Neopolitan Mastiff babies

Bella and her 7 surviving babies

Updated: Belle went into labor at six this morning, with Kelly at her side. Ten puppies, three of them dead – but the seven live ones are doing fine so far. Kelly isn’t convinced that Belle is done yet – she said that everytime she turns around, it seems like another puppy falls out of Belle!


Kelly is a sucker for an animal in need.

Her house is filled with them – kittens she couldn’t say no to, one eyed Frenchies, senior citizen Bullmastiffs, a pair of miniature horses, an Amish work horse rescued just before it went to auction, a draft mare who spent her life pumping out foal after foal.

With a heart like this, it’s no wonder her attention was caught when she came across an ad reading “Moving, Can’t Take Them With Me”.

The dogs the ad referred to were a pair of intact, pure bred Neopolitan Mastiffs – a five year old dog, and a three year old bitch. The owner, who truly seems to have cared for his dogs, had ran into some financial and personal difficulties. He was out of money, out of dog food, and was about to be out of a place to live. He had to place the dogs, immediately. Oh, and did he mention that the bitch was pregnant – and due any moment now?

With a story like that, you can imagine the kinds of responses this ad was getting – people who saw the chance to buy a ‘breeding pair’ of Neopolitan Mastiffs as a golden, money making opportunity.

Kelly immediately knew where this was going to end. The bitch, already on her fourth or fifth litter (her owner didn’t seem to have an exact number, although he did have pictures of her with her previous litter of twelve (!) puppies), would be continuously bred until she or her uterus gave out.  The dog would spend his life chained in a yard, siring litter after litter,  and offered at stud to anyone willing to pay a fee.

Kelly was determined to stop this from happening. She contacted the advertiser, explained that she’d give the dogs a good home, and offered him cash on the spot. He jumped at it, and she arranged to meet him.

Pulling up in front of the tiny house, Kelly was greeting by the sight of two Neos lounging on the sidewalk, while their owner sat on the stoop. The dogs were happily greeting everyone who passed by, thumping their tails and offering their heads up for a friendly scratch. They were definitely drawing a crowd. Kelly promised to do her best to take care of the dogs, paid their owner, and loaded them into her truck.

Once at home, Kelly has been spending as much time as possible with the two dogs, getting to know them, making them comfortable and trying to asses their temperaments.

Bronx - Blue Brindle Male Neopolitan Mastiff


The dog, Bronx, is a heavy set blue brindle – slightly aloof, which is normal for the breed, but very dignified and calm. He’s already bonded tightly with Kelly, and would likely be happy to transfer that affection to an owner he can call his own. Like most Neos, he’s not safe around small dogs or cats – he’s very prey driven, and would definitely chase them, given a chance. He’s not tested around children, and will not be placed with them. He’s a healthy dog, but he has a horrible cherry eye, which Kelly will have fixed while he’s being neutered.

Kelly would like to see him be placed as soon as possible into a great home, and is willing to have him brought back for his neutering and cherry eye surgery, which is scheduled for April 12th. She’d also like to have him properly evaluated by  a trainer, to better determine the right home for him.

Belle, after four days good feeding

Belle, after four days good feeding

Belle, the little brindle bitch, is a very sad sight indeed.

She’s at least forty or fifty pounds underweight, and so emaciated that her spine sticks up above her back like a ridge. Her sunken ribs make the bulge of her pregnant belly even more poignantly prominent. Kelly had her xrayed, and she is carrying at least eight puppies, on frame that is barely able to support her own weight. It’s enough to break your heart.

In spite of this, Belle has the most winning personality. She’s a foot sitter, a leg leaner, and head butt-er. She craves affection and companionship, and is tightly bonded to Bronx. She’s outgoing and calm, but is also untrustworthy around cats or small dogs, due to her high prey drive. She’s a beautiful girl, and will make a wonderful pet for someone willing to open their hearts to her.

Belle will be placed once she has whelped her puppies. Her puppies will also be placed, on very rigorous spay/neuter contracts. There will be adoption fees for the puppies, and donations are welcome from anyone interested in adopting Belle or Bronx.

Their veterinary fees are high, and growing higher, but Kelly is determined to do whatever it takes to get them fit, healthy and ready for their new lives.

If you are interesting adopting Belle, Bronx or one of their puppies, please contact Kelly directly, via email. She’s located just outside of Orangeville. If you are willing to foster Bronx, or to do temperament testing or evaluation on him, please contact her as well.

I’ll be posting details on the puppies as they grow, and I do have lots of photos of Belle and Bronx, which are here —

If you blog, or if you belong to Toronto or Ontario area mailing lists, please pass along Belle and Bronx’s information to anyone you think might be interested in offering them a home. Adopting these two dogs might not end backyard breeding, but it breaks the cycle for Belle and Bronx, and for their children.

Baby Photos and a Rescue Mission

Simon Says "I am adorable".

Simon Says "I am adorable".

I’m off to find out more details about a rescue mission our friend Kelly has gotten herself involved in – if you’re a fan of big dogs, you’re going to want to check back in for this one.

In the meantime, here are some puppy photos to tide you over – Teddy was hanging out with us upstairs, and when he finally crashed, it was in Tessa’s dog bed, curled up right next to her. There was a lot of ‘awwww’ factor going on…

Pix after the break!

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Saturday Puppy Cute Overload

"B" is for my French Bulldog Boys

"B" is for my French Bulldog Boys

I am giving you fair warning – the following photos are so loaded with adorable cuteness that you will quite likely be rendered a babbling, crooning, baby talking fool just by looking at them.

Personally, I’ve been reduced to walking around the house clutching at least one puppy to me at all times, while a constant chorus of “Who’s a cute widdle man? You is! You is!” comes burbling out of my lips.

And that’s not a complaint, either.

Photos after the cut.

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Friday Zen – Happy Happy Lamb Lamb

Yeah, I know – this video has been everyplace. With an adorable factor this far off the scale, who cares?

End note: I now want a lamb.

Singing Simon

Singing Simon the French Bulldog Puppy

Simon singing his sad, sad song.

Simon and his brothers have formed quite the little a capella group – every so often, they throw their little heads back and sing their hearts out. There’s something weirdly disconcerting about a teeny tiny puppy who is howling like a miniature timber wolf.

I haven’t quite managed to get it on video yet, but I do get a nice series of photos of Simon in action. Check out that big round head and those shoe button eyes! So cute!

I’m trying out a new method of displaying photos, so you’ll find them all after the cut.

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