The Mercury, CRAIG HOGGETT | January 12, 2012
LOVE CURES: Emma Haswell from Brightside Sanctuary with Will, right, and Pocket, rescued from a puppy farm. Picture: KIM EISZELE
YEARS of mistreatment in unethical puppy farms can leave dogs terrified of people and with severe health problems, but for the lucky ones like Will the miniature schnauzer there can be a happy ending.
Will was rescued from a puppy farm south of Hobart five months ago with 33 other small dogs.
Brightside Sanctuary owner Emma Haswell said although his coat was rich and healthy now, he was a different dog when he arrived.
“I heard they wanted to go out of business with the small dogs, so we made an offer the condition was that we took all the small dogs,” Ms Haswell said.
“Will had very serious long-term ear infections in both ears. His ear canals were closed over completely and there was black puss coming out of them.
“They were very inflamed and painful, the actual ear was very swollen about a centimetre and a half thick instead of the little flaps they should have.”
Ms Haswell says hundreds of dogs are being used as breeding machines at puppy farms around the state.
She told the Mercury her sanctuary had taken in 120 former breeding dogs in the past year.
Will arrived at the sanctuary severely underweight, which delayed treatment, and with his coat matted with filth.
“What they were being kept in was a very small kennel complex even the dogs giving birth had no bedding at all and there was no drainage,” Ms Haswell said.
Little Will has since been adopted by a retired couple and Ms Haswell says he’s getting better every day.
“Will was absolutely terrified of people if you take hold of their collars they just crouch down,” she said.
“He’s still very timid but he’s a loving life.”
Many dogs that end up at Brightside are in similar condition to Will.
“The most rewarding thing I do is rehabilitate puppy farm dogs, they come to you so damaged,” Ms Haswell said.
“The first time they look you in the eye and wag their tails is just great.”