As we reported last week, 51 dogs were found on the roadside in west Flower Mound on October 1st. Most were adult Maltese and Maltese mixes. Two nights later, 41 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were found on a roadside in northern Denton County. Investigators suspect all these dogs likely came from a puppy mill operator, spooked by Texas’ new Licensed Breeder Act that went into effect on September 1.
Several media outlets have covered the story, but what is really bothering me – more even than the event itself – are the comments, mostly from breeders, on some of these reports – particularly the report by Avi Selk for the Dallas Morning News entitled “The Maltese Felon: Police suspect illegal dog breeders are mass-abandoning their pooches in Denton County, elsewhere“. Many of the breeders commenting on the article seem to think that if they try to surrender dogs to an animal shelter, they’ll be prosecuted for not having a license, so the only way out is to dump the dogs. That seems a bit narrow-minded to me. How about selling the dogs? That’s what breeders do, isn’t it? The law was passed in May so there has been plenty of time. Oh, but wait – what if the dogs are in such horrible shape, thanks to years of neglect at the hands of the breeder, that no one wants them? Perhaps.
Take a look at these photos of some of the Maltese that were dumped and you decide.
You know those breeders may be right. I think it is quite possible this breeder would have been prosecuted if he took these dogs to a shelter -but not for being a breeder – for ANIMAL CRUELTY. Because that is what this is. Plain and simple. No excuses.
Breeders can continue to argue all day long that a law that requires BARELY minimum standards of care – adequate food and water, one hour of exercise a day, annual veterinary care, adequate sanitation, and a structurally sound shelter to protect the animals from inclement weather, is unfair. But let them try to argue these photos. Some will, I am sure, cry “conspiracy” and say these are not photos of the actual dumped dogs. So here’s the link to the Facebook page for the Humane Society of Flower Mound where you can see for yourself.
The Texas Breeder Licensing Act isn’t the issue here. Animal Cruelty is.
By the way, the Dallas Morning News article is accompanied by a photo of a glamour shot of an adorable little Maltese puppy that the author got off of Wikipedia Commons. It looks nothing like the dogs that were dumped. And none of the dogs that were dumped were puppies. But it’s cute and apparently that sells papers.
How you can help: Most all of these dogs will require extensive dental work and most have injuries or ailments of one kind or another due to long-term neglect. You can donate toward HSFM’s Mercy Fund, which covers the cost of these treatments, via their website at www.hsfm.org.