Abandoned Pugs in Nanaimo, BC Puzzle Authorities

Abandoned Pugs Found Near British Columbia MallA strange spate of Pug abandonments have been taking place across a picturesque town on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.  Nanaimo, BC shelter worker Helen Roberts says that in more than 20 years of experience, she’s never seen anything like it.

The abandonment took place over the course of the month of December, and all the dogs involved were young, intact female Pugs with a variety of health problems. Authorities are now speculating that this was a case of a puppy mill dumping off breeding stock that they had no further use for.

The first two pugs were found wandering near Nanaimo’s Country Club Center mall, the first on December 13th, the second on December 29th. A third pug was discovered at the same location at a later, unspecified date in December. The fourth pug was found near another Nanaimo mall, The North Town Center, also on December 29th. All of the found dogs were dirty, malnourished, parasite infested and in need of attention.

It’s baffling that anyone with enough knowledge to breed and raise pugs would be unaware that there are a myriad of homes in Canada waiting to take in unwanted adults, even those with health issues. British Columbia has a well organized Pug Club and rescue group, who I’m sure would have been happy to help. Instead, someone dumped these girls unceremoniously in the snow, in the coldest month of the year, and left them to fend for themselves.

Two of the dogs have found new homes through the Nanaimo and District SPCA, one has been adopted by the person who found it, and the final Puglette is awaiting a new home at Walker’s Animal Rescue in Nanaimo. Let’s hope that the new lives they’ve found are better than the ones they’ve left behind them.

Full story here.

Poor Pixie, Color Controversy & Economics 101

Poor Pixie. As I mentioned yesterday, Princess P doesn’t like her delicate toesies touching the bare floor. Put her on a bare floor and she flattens down, drops her ears and makes herself as teeny tiny as possible. We now put down a towel for her to start out on, and from there she seems to be willing to make forays out into bare floor land. It’s all about knowing she has a safe, no slip base to return to if she feels nervous. When we can’t take the unbearable sadness that is Pixie on the floor, one of us ends up picking her up and putting her on the couch for snuggle time. And so a Princess is born and raised…

Ms. Heart and Rumble, on the other hand, have taken to floor time like champs. It gives them a chance to bark-bark-bark in Tessa’s face, steal Dexter’s soccer ball, and run behind the couch. In other words, typical hellion puppy behaviour.

A full photo set is at the end of the post, or over on Flickr.

Color Controversy, Redux

A storm is brewing in French Bulldog show ring circles south of the border, and it’s all to do with ‘bad’ colors. A certain pioneering Blue French Bulldog breeder found herself summarily dumped from the FBDCA, and it’s served to reignite the controversy over Blue.

Is Blue mouse? Is mouse even a color? What color of mouse are we talking about here, exactly, and what kind? Field mouse? House mouse? Coffee mouse? It’s all terribly exciting, but I can’t help thinking it’s all a bit wrong headed, and that the timing for this is bad, bad, bad.

The UK pure bred dog fancy is in the middle of a world altering crisis. Standards are being forcibly re written, on brachycephalics in particular, and with no apparent logic or reason other than to pander to the general public. Little attention has been paid to real, workable schemes to correct health issues. If and when the BBC special that set off all of this brouhaha makes it onto American television, we have to wonder – will the same thing occur here? Will there be the same outcry? Will we all face a witch hunt in which we’re vilified as being the bastard children of Joseph Mengele (and that’s no exageration – there was a lot of references to pure bred dog breeds being an ‘experiment in eugenics’, with a clear inference that dog breeding=nazi experimentation)?

With all of this hanging over our heads, I can’t help thinking that we need to get our ducks in a row when it comes to cleaning up real, concrete, life threatening conditions — in other words, is this really the time to make the isssue of color one into some kind of sturm und drang, ‘oh, we’re all doomed’ soap opera? I kind of feel that it’s this kind of nit picking, fiddling while rome burns stuff that makes the general public feel we’re more concerned with the cosmetics than we are with the concrete.

If someone can show me a single, solitary, scientific study showing a link between ‘bad’ colors and bad genetics, I’ll be the first to jump into the fray. Until then, this is all just smoke and mirrors, and comes at a very bad time indeed.

Economic Crisis Solved!

And now, Natalie Portman and Rashid Jones present their solution to the Global Economic crisis, after which we do our own bit for world peace and financial stability.

See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die

Our own contribution:

YES in Our Backyard, AP Frenchies & ODC Rocks

I talk to a lot of people about dogs, because, well — because I am a crazy dog obsessed nut job, and as such tend to attract the kinds of people who want to talk about dogs. Currently, I’m in mid discussion with someone who is looking for a new family dog, and I’ve been a little bit surprised to learn that they believe, firmly, that there are no puppy mills in Canada.

“That’s an American thing, right? Like in the mid west? But we don’t have those here.”

They then proceeded to tell me about the ‘dog breeder’ they’d visited over the weekend, where they’d met five or six different puppies of different breeds, some of whom looked sort of sickly, most of whom had diarrhea, and almost all of whom had moms that looked underweight and anti social. I calmly explained to them that this was a puppy mill – pretty much the definition of one, in fact.

“But the dogs were in runs, not little cages! I thought they had to be in cages. Plus, that’s just an American thing, right?”.

Wrong. Puppy mills are here, in our own Canadian backyards. We’re doing a rollicking business in pumping out home grown crops of poorly bred, unsocialized, sickly puppies. Some will be sold to pet stores, others through free sites and newspaper ads. A handful will be Canadian Kennel Club registered, while the rest will be sold ‘without papers’.

The recent puppy mill bust in Quebec is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to large scale, badly managed commercial breeders. In my area alone, I can point to at least two or three ‘barn kennels’ where dogs are being raised just like any other livestock crop. There’s also the big, shiny, brand new 4,000 square foot house two towns over, the one with the rolling sign out front advertising “Daschunds (sic), Puggles, Maltis and More!!”, and the row upon row of kennel runs out back. A lucrative business, apparently. Tighter restrictions on imported puppies crossing the border from the USA, and coming in from Eastern Europe, have created a demand for domestically bred puppies for commercial sale, and lots of people are happy to step up to the plate to fill the demand.

Unlike the USA, we don’t have strong laws in place yet to regulate them – since even law makers still tend to think of this as ‘not our problem’.

Fighting against puppy mills can seem like an uphill battle, and I’ll admit that there’s only so much we can do, but we still need to try. First and foremost, we need to lobby, lobby, lobby our lawmakers to ban the sales of puppies and kittens from pet stores. No Puppy Mills Canada is working hard on this issue, and could use your support.

Secondly, we need to be the voice of reason for our non dog savvy friends and relatives. I’ve learned, much to my dismay, that a lot of people are indifferent about stories of poor suffering doggies, left to languish after pumping out litters.

More effective is a quiet talk on how pet store/puppy mill puppies cost MORE, in the long run. Explain about no guarantees, and about genetic illnesses. Talk about vicious dogs with poor socialization skills. I like to use the cheap car/luxury car story — That’s where I explain that, for the price of a crappy puppy mill bred pet store puppy, you could get the best puppy in the country, from the best breeder. I liken it to buying a  rust bucket twenty year old Hyundai, but paying for a brand new Mercedes Benz. What kind of sucker agrees to that deal?

Whatever tactic you take, remember this – puppy mills are here, no matter where your ‘here’ might be. They’re in Canada, they’re in South America, they’re in Europe and they’re in the UK. Puppy mills are everywhere, and they’re everyone’s problem.

If you get Animal Planet, make sure to tune in this Saturday for the premiere of “Dogs 101“. The first episode ever, and guess what breed is being featured? Yup, Frenchies. Someone there apparently has good taste.

The promo for the show says:

DOGS 101 uncovers surprising details about everyone’s favorite dog breeds from the Airedale Terrier to the Yorkie. Learn which dog breeds are best for urban living and which ones are most family friendly. Using a mix of animal experts, the personal stories of pet owners and stylized dog photography, DOGS 101 is an unprecedented look at man’s best friend.

Awesome. Now, if only they could force Animal Planet Canada to carry the same shows as the US channel does. Dogs 101 premieres Saturday at 8 PM et/pt. Check it out!

Finally, can I just mention how very, very, VERY much ODC rawks my world?

First of all, their prices on puppy pads — those absorbent, moisture proof pads you can use to line whelping beds, or puppy pens, or crates — are ridiculously cheap ($4 for TWO!! Seriously!! I thought they were a bargain at $20 for two on eBay, considering how insanely expensive the new ones are!).

Secondly, I ordered a box of them on Tuesday — 6 packs of two, to be exact. And guess freakin’ what? They got here TODAY! From Wisconsin! And I’m in Canada!

Sorry, but I’m just shocked. I’ve gotten so used to 12 weeks for arrival that I don’t know how to handle it when I get great customer service.

Oh, and let me also mention — they’re a non profit, that employs developmentally disadvantaged adults. Do you see the irony there? I know I do.

They also sell other great pet/kennel supplies – blankets, bedspreads, hand rags, hand towels, bath towels, bath mats and wash cloths — all used, but all perfectly dog friendly, and all rock bottom cheap. Website — http://www.odcmerchandise.com/

OK, I’m done raving.

Frenchies in Montreal Puppy Mill Bust

A handful of new photos over on Flickr, including one of Heart REFUSING to share the bed, and the cutest squishy face photo of Jelly Bean ever taken.

Pix on Flickr —


Screen capture of French Bulldog in cage at Montreal puppy mill bust

Now, in more grim news…

A HUGE puppy mill just north of Montreal has been busted. I mention this here, because one or two people I’ve spoken to have mentioned that they were going to Montreal to look at French Bulldog puppies.

I’ve since heard that this is apparently the same place some of them visited.  I’m told it wasn’t a pretty scene, and that the dogs were in abysmal shape, even the ones being trotted out for viewing by buyers. There were at least five or six French Bulldogs there, both adults and puppies.

This is on top of the English Bulldogs, poodles, and numerous other breeds also rescued from this tiny corner of hell.

From the CSPCA news release:

HSI and CSPCA rescuers were able to save 110 dogs, seven cats and one rabbit from this overrun breeding facility. The dogs, ranging from Boston Terriers to Dogs de Bordeaux, were living in piles of their own feces, and many were suffering from obvious medical conditions such as open sores and severe skin conditions. Skeletal remains were found still locked in cages inside the home, and a pile of burned animal remains was found in the rear of the property.

“The conditions at this puppy mill were by far the worst Humane Society International has ever seen,” said Rebecca Aldworth, director of animal programs for HSI Canada. “These animals were living in tiny wire cages stacked on top of one another with little or no access to food or water. Ninety percent of the dogs we rescued were severely emaciated, and many needed immediate medical attention. It is criminal that the CSPCA does not have the power to enforce provincial animal welfare legislation; in absence of this, puppy mills will continue to thrive in Quebec.”

News links:

Video (warning: graphic images)

The CSPCA is in DESPERATE need of funds to help care for these dogs. We ask that you consider making a donation. We’ve already made one, in the name of Heart and the Nellkins.

Link for donations:


By the way, did you know that you can help with situations like this, even if you can’t personally take a dog into your home? Volunteering for rescue takes many forms – you can help transport dogs, you can assist with fund raising, you can do home visits in your area, if you’re a trainer you can help rehabilitate dogs in need of re training, you can make sure your local shelters know about French Bulldogs and French Bulldog rescue – and yes, you can even foster dogs waiting for adoption.

Why not take a few moments, and register to become a French Bulldog Village volunteer? It doesn’t take much time, and it will repay you in more ways than you can imagine!


KNBC Update on Gina Price and Rebel Ridge

notorious puppy scum Gina Price

An early story that Los Angeles television station KNBC did on Gina Price of Rebel Ridge Kennels turned out to be a crucial piece of evidence in her trial.

Garcia: Our investigation unknowingly provided other pieces of the puzzle, like how many dogs she was selling.

In the footage, Gina Price admits to selling 280 puppies in one year, in contrast to her tax returns showing a negative income for the same year.

Price: Last year I sold 280 some puppies.

Garcia: At $1,600 each, that would mean she pulled in nearly half a million dollars in 2005. Yet according to this federal indictment, prosecutors say Price filed tax returns claiming negative taxable income for that year and the next. Gina Price refused to take the stand, but the jury still heard from her when prosecutors subpoenaed our investigation and played it for the jury.

Anna Garcia, KNBC reporter, has been covering the story since it first broke. In this story, she recaps the trial, and includes interviews with victim Richard Sproul and witness for the prosecution Attorney John Hoffman, of Wrong Puppy Fame.

Here’s the link to the full story, with video —


I personally think that John deserves some sort of Frenchie Friend of the Year award. He’s been a tireless champion for our breed — and he doesn’t even own one!

Here you go, John — it’s the first annual “You Deserve a Frenchie Lick for Being Awesome” Award.