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Animal Rights and Wrongs.Com, and its sister blog animalrightsandwrongs.uk. are predominately animal welfare focused websites and have over 150 articles on pet-keeping, animal welfare, rights and law issues. To read more articles on the main site please use this link: Animal Rights & Wrongs UK

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Showing posts with label dog cruelty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog cruelty. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Creative Dog Grooming, Mutilation and Humiliation


Judging by some of the outlandish mutilations of dogs on TV and social media, creative grooming appears to be getting out of control. I cannot understand how any dog owner who sincerely has any love or respect for their supposed best friend could allow them to be put through such humiliation, but then I am just a dog lover myself and obviously do not “get it” or understand this phenomenon.

Creative dog grooming has been around since the sixties and its invention is blamed on the age of the hippies who coloured and dressed their pets. It is not new as the UK has held a championship for many years and the USA since 1973 but it is only recently that it has become more outrageous.

Dog Grooming out of control.

Creativedog grooming is described as a way for groomers to deviate from breed profile grooms by using colour dyes, extensions and carving in order to turn a dog into another animal or famous character. It has become a very profitable service for professional groomers, but like many crazes, things get out of hand when social media and TV step in and everyone loses sight of the animals involved.

It was sadly a UK nation of dog lover’s company, Beyond Productions, that came up with the idea, modelled on Strictly Come Dancing and Singing contests with a panel of judges. It is obviously destined to become a global franchise. Australia’s Seven Network has a version and ABC in the USA  has ten groomers competing in a serious of “outrageous themed challenges”.

Pooch perfect a bad influence.

The UK version of “Pooch Perfect” hasn’t quite stooped as low as the American version but give it time. It’s Facebook page states that the program ‘celebrates the nation’s love of dogs’, but it seems a strange way of showing it. They also insist their groomers must let their imagination off the lead when they give four curly coated canines a cute teddy bear trim. Note the pun there.

Even the mainstream media take a light-hearted approach and see no harm it with quotes such as Ever thought your dog wasn’t jazzy enough, and that maybe with a pair of scissors and a tin of spray paint you could have the best looking mutt in town”.



There is no shortage of owners willing to put their dogs forward for this humiliation and have a chance of getting on TV and audiences are lapping it up judging by comments on social media and the show’s website. American owners are willing to do whatever it takes to make their dogs the wackiest in attempting to win $5,000. There is even a veterinarian on the panel of the judges, so the veterinary profession must believe its harmless. Really?

It will not be long,  I am sure, when we will be back in the good old days of the circus and have barking contests, beauty shows, dressing up shows and dogs doing tricks on TV. Am I missing something here? Is it really just good fun? Am I just being an old grouch or is it a sign that we have fundamentally lost sight of our respect for animals?


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Celebrities parading their ear cropped dogs.


Jordan Banjo joins a long list of "celebrities" with ear cropped dogs.

Ear cropping dogs in the UK has been banned since 2006 when the Animal Welfare Act made it illegal, but it is still an increasingly common sight to see these dogs being openly paraded in U.K streets and on social media. This is because ear cropped dogs are readily available from many countries in Europe and the USA and there is no ban on importing them making a mockery of the law.

Over the years there has been a long line of “celebs” parading their cropped and docked dogs on social media all professing either ignorance or indifference to the fact that it fuels the demand, their only interest being the “coolness” of it. The latest is Diversity star Jordan Banjo who in December 2020 posted pictures of his new dog Sergio with cropped ears which was met thankfully, and apparently to his surprise, by a barrage of condemnation. In his defence he is quoted as saying:

”I can't pretend to have known all of the information on cropped ears, I don't even want to pretend to be misinformed, to be blunt I didn't even think about it in the first instance. I didn't get his ears cut, I didn't even import him. It upsets me to think that Sergio or any dog goes through this purely to look 'cooler'” Jordan Banjo

There are no health benefits to ear cropping.

Once dog’s ears or tail are mutilated there is obviously no going back but making it illegal to own one, prosecuting anyone seen with a puppy with hefty fines and publicity given would soon send the word out and help deter people. Dogs could be handed back to the prosecuted owners if circumstances allowed and certified in the same way that some working dogs are, but if the sentencing was severe with a mandatory amount it would eventually curtail the trade.


Cropping is purely cosmetic and has no health benefits. There is no medical evidence that it prevents ear infections as often claimed by its proponents or any other health benefits. It is an inhumane and unnecessary procedure that serves no purpose other than changing the appearance of a dog. It is done more for the vanity of the owner than the well-being of the dog and because of a perverse belief that it makes the dogs look the way they

 

There are companies that legally import dogs with cropped ears.


The ban, like many animal welfare laws in the UK was not given enough thought and was never fit for purpose because it did not make it illegal to own an ear cropped dog imported from abroad.  Taking a dog to another country to have the procedure done in order to  circumvent the law and allowing the suffering to take place elsewhere is also allowed.

There are companies that legally import dogs with cropped ears into the UK and there is nothing to stop owners taking their dogs to countries in Europe that still allow it or even the USA and bring them back. There is little point in reporting them as the owners can legitimately claim they were done abroad.


Finally the UK government has woken up to the situation and are considering changing or tightening the legislation.


Monday, 1 June 2020

Don't Jog The Dog



Just because many dogs can run fast it doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy running long distances


I remember the days when enjoying the company of your dog involved taking it for a walk, allowing it to sniff wherever and whenever it wanted and for whatever time, meet other canine friends, running the odd 5o metres with it, throwing a ball, conversing and allowing it to be …. well a dog. But such interaction doesn't seem to fit in with our hectic modern lifestyles anymore and we appear to be selfishly insisting they participate in our various leisure pursuits rather than considering their desires and needs.

Just because many dogs can run fast it doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy running long distances at a set pace, following some form of personal training regime or extreme sport we have devised for them and perhaps conceitedly believe they may enjoy. Dogs are well-known for putting up with anything we throw at them in order to please their human carers. There is a fine line between running with your dog for enjoyment and running them into the ground. Given the choice most dogs might prefer a walk and a bit of boisterous play.
There are plenty of blogs expounding the virtues of enjoying jogging or running with your dog. They give helpful tips on special equipment that makes the task easier, the health hazards your dog might suffer, training methods and the best breed to choose, but rarely query the necessity in the first place. It must be questionable surely to choose a breed of dog on the basis of whether it is a suitable running partner. And if health hazards are potentially involved, should we be putting a dog at risk just because we haven’t the time or patience to take it for a walk or sadly cannot find a human running buddy.

Keep up - those are the rules

“I release the hound and let him roam off leash. I continue on my run and let Rodney sprint off, sniff, and do his thing. But he has to catch up to me by the time we get back to the path. Those are our rules. He revels in the burst of freedom, but he yields and returns to me at the end again. He comes close so I can clip him back onto the leash without stopping”. gearjunkie-Running with your dog
As in most things some people can take it too far, literally too far in this case, often 20 miles or more and invent and participate in trendy and extreme and totally unnecessary canine buddy sports such as marathons, canicrosscanibike and caniscoot. Others do not heed any advice and just take their poor dog off without any preparation regardless of breed or health considerations.
Dogs are unfairly given special training to ensure they keep pace, maintain a steady rhythm, drink from a bottle on the move, refrain from stopping to sniff, defecate or pee and keep to the middle of wide paths away from foliage that may distract them. This is because it is an inconvenience to clear up after the dog or carry a poo bag.
“Running with a bag of dog poop is a bad time. I plan my running route so that Rodney can go near where there is a public garbage can. If you want to maximise your run, this is a crucial thing. Build this strategy into your running routes so you’re not stuck carrying a stinky bag for more than a few hundred feet".

Veterinary profession advice

Veterinary professions around the world seem to sit on the fence in regard to any welfare issues involved in running dogs, neither condemning or promoting it. Many veterinarians consider 8 months to 18 months as the best time to start a dog running and of course an expensive full health examination to make sure it is capable. Dogs with arthritis, heart and respiratory disease and breeds with snub noses are thankfully ruled out but owners are warned about injuries, damage to paws on hot tarmac or by salt in cold weather. No consideration is given to possible mental health implications in regard to restricting them from enjoying their natural behaviours.
The pet trade, as always, is not one to miss out on a new trend that has potential profits by supporting and provides dog running bootees, special running leads for one or more dogs, drinking canteens, sweat bands and who knows what. None of which would be necessary if we didn’t insist on having a canine running buddy instead of a human one
One of the most infuriating things for some dog lovers is to see a person jogging with their dog, headphones on or looking down at their Fitbit or phone without checking on their dog at all. They are often oblivious that their dog may be in discomfort or needing a water break. Dogs will naturally slow down or stop just like us humans when they get tired, but for some runners this is not allowed. Many will soldier on because they want to please and are eager to remain at our sides or preferably in front which only makes them strive even more.
I am all for spending as much time as possible with your dog, but for me the increasing trend to utilise dogs in extreme sports and as part of personal training is a step to far. It is an unnecessary, unnatural and arguably harmful pastime which perhaps should be discouraged. It is strange that in this era where we trying to get away from the old adage that dogs are purely property that we can do with what we want, we appear to be doing exactly that.