July 17, 2018 23:59:17
Dozens of dogs have been rescued from an illegal dog breeding site on a remote rural property in eastern Victoria.
Thirty-nine cavoodles were found locked up in small, dark, damp and dirty greyhound trailers on a leased bush block east of Sale, in central Gippsland, on Thursday.
Wellington Shire Council officers, who are targeting unregistered puppy farms operating illegally, swooped on the site after a tip-off and discovered the animals in poor health, with little food and dirty water bowls.
“Our officers were shocked and horrified to find these animals in really horrible conditions,” general manager development John Websdale said.
“Most of the adult dogs were in pup and due to give birth soon.
“The assessing vet said the fertile females would have long term psychological problems that they think would be hard to rectify.”
Dogs held in camouflaged greyhound trailers
Trailers commonly used in the greyhound racing industry to transport dogs were being used to house the dogs, and were draped with camouflage netting.
“These were being used as breeding facilities and were camouflaged to be hid in the bush,” Mr Websdale said.
The property had no running water or electricity.
The dogs have been taken to an Animal Aid Victoria shelter at Fulham near Sale to be monitored by vets.
“Surprisingly, they’re doing OK considering how they came to us,” Animal Aid CEO Mark Menze said.
Many of the dogs are being treated for worms and flea infestation.
Their coats were matted and some of the dogs are suffering from heart murmurs.
“There are a couple of dogs who have multiple challenges, ear infections that are so bad that their ear canals had closed up completely,” Mr Menze said.
“They’ve had a lot of love over the last week.”
Animal Aid has been inundated with calls from hundreds of people wanting to adopt a dog.
“We’re getting slammed, lots of phone calls, the dogs are not quite ready yet but they’ll be made available for adoption after a clearance from vets,” Mr Menze said.
“We’d like to be in a position where we can have the puppies looked after and then re-housed and provided to caring families,” Mr Websdale said.
Crackdown on illegal dog breeding
One person is being questioned by council officers and is assisting them with their inquiries.
The maximum penalty under the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act 1986, is $88,566 and 12 months’ imprisonment.
On July 1, new laws were introduced to remove puppies and kittens from pet shops in an effort to curb illegal breeding.
The number of fertile dogs kept by registered commercial breeders has also been capped at 10.
RSPCA Victoria inspectorate team leader Lisa Calleja said the new laws will help to stop illegal breeders funnelling their dogs through pet shops.
“Gippsland is not a hotspot for illegal dog breeding,” Ms Calleja said.
“It’s a problem across Australia.”
July 17, 2018 12:42:32