Geelong Advertiser, Kerri-Ann Hobbs; July 2nd, 2010
A dog heavily chained in terrible conditions at a Meredith property.
THIS tiny dog is just one of about 25 that spends its days shackled or caged on a Meredith property.
It is claimed that one dog has already died in the cold pens in the past week, but authorities refuse to act because they have decided the owner is not a commercial breeder.
Yet she is a member and registered breeder of an independent dog group the Mini Foxie Club of Australia.
Animal Liberation Victoria conducted a late-night raid on the farm earlier this week, claiming dogs were kept in filthy, freezing conditions.
“We did temperature checks throughout the inspection and it was minus two degrees,” ALV’s Debra Tranter said.
“Dogs have no bedding and are kept on putrid wet freezing concrete floors inside a shed.
“It hasn’t been cleaned for some time as most pen floors were covered in faeces and a lot of dogs did not have water.
“We found four dogs chained up to kennels outside the sheds and to get to these dogs was extremely difficult as there was no gate or path leading to them.
“They are tiny dogs with heavy, thick chains.
“They were hidden behind the shed and we are at a loss as to how the owner would access these dogs in order to feed and water them.”
Ms Tranter alerted the RSPCA and Golden Plains Shire to the dogs’ plight, urging them to inspect the property.
The next day the authorities visited the farm and RSPCA inspectors have told the owner to fix conditions to give her dogs clean, dry, safe pens in which to live.
“We do have some concerns about the welfare of the dogs and inspectors are working with the owner to rectify that situation,” RSPCA inspector manager Greg Boland told the Geelong Advertiser.
“She told inspectors she is only breeding one litter of pups per year, and on the evidence that’s about right.”
In an email to Ms Tranter, one RSPCA inspector confirmed the property was “maintained in a poor hygienic condition” but all dogs had water despite being kept in conditions that were “far from ideal”.
“We will closely monitor the property and we intend to visit again next week,” he advised Ms Tranter.
“We will also periodically check in the coming months.”
Golden Plains Shire media officer Felicity Bolitho confirmed the visit to the property on Tuesday but said rangers were not worried about the animals.
“The visit found all dogs on the property are registered with council and conditions are fine,” she said.
“There was no evidence to suggest that the property was a breeding/puppy farm.”
The property is just one of four to come to the attention of authorities in the region in the past four months.
In February, Beremboke puppy farmers Les and Melinda Paxton were forced to close their dog breeding business down after the Geelong Advertiser revealed the horror conditions on their property north of Anakie.
Weeks later, City of Greater Geelong and RSPCA inspectors were called to investigate an alleged puppy farm at Anakie on a property owned by Robert Adamo. Those investigations continue.
And later this month, Moorabool Shire Council will decide whether to issue a building permit to a Melbourne puppy farm who wants to expand his business to keep more than 100 breeding bitches at a Ballan property. Attempts to contact the Meredith breeder last night failed.