Until recently, Orchard House Veterinary Surgery in Metheringham, were the vets publicly used by Little Rascals. Allegedly, a ‘senior vet’ was regularly in attendance :
Whether or not that business arrangement has entirely been severed is unclear – or perhaps Orchard House vets are distancing themselves given Little Rascals’ reputation and the recent puppy deaths – but another veterinary practice being used at present is Lincs Veterinary Solutions Ltd, registered as a business, with one vet (Jefrey Chakwenya) and one vet nurse [RCVS Link].
Lincs Veterinary carried out vaccinations [presumably Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis] on the recent litter of Beagle puppies which were already infected with Parvovirus and all of them died as a result of complications from that disease shortly after being sold by Little Rascals.
Vaccinations were carried out on at least one of these puppies at 8 weeks of age – the puppies had already contracted Parvovirus.
Bearing in mind all the puppies were infected before sale (and admitted to their own vets almost immediately after), we would like to know how any vet could miss obvious signs of severe illness that would be very apparent if a thorough examination had been attempted.
You would expect a fully qualified veterinary surgeon should not need to read the instructions on Vaccine packs, which carry a warning to be used on healthy dogs only and, whilst the term ‘healthy‘ is vague, it obviously presumes that a puppy is fit and able to cope with the onslaught on its’ delicate and immature immune system.
Was a thorough health check of these puppies ever carried out and, if not, why?
If your puppy becomes ill within a short time of purchase, Little Rascals will generally tell you to either return puppy to them for a ‘swap’ or refund, or attend their own vets for a consultation.
If you choose the latter, please query with Little Rascals‘ vet why your puppy was allowed to be sold in that condition, especially if puppy has Kennel Cough, severe diarrhoea, sickness and/or is lethargic or extremely hyperactive – this is NOT normal.
—some buyers have reported their puppies were infected with Parvovirus (CPV), indicating the puppies were imported and probably came from one of Little Rascals’ suppliers in Ireland, where at least one of those breeding farms remains hidden from the public [→Ireland Associates]—
Although sickness, diarrhoea and Kennel Cough seem to be the most common complaints, owners have also reported their new puppies were diagnosed with various other conditions, including Campylobacteriosis, Giardia, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia, most of which would present symptoms in one form or another prior to sale. Therefore, do not be persuaded if the vet implies any of these conditions are difficult to detect in a puppy that has been thoroughly examined, because this is completely false.
The illnesses mentioned are most definitely not common or normal in responsibly bred puppies, nor are they difficult to detect if a vet performs a proper and meticulous examination. Please also remember that bacterial infections such as Campylobacteriosis can transfer, not only to other animals, but also to humans.
Unlike responsible, ethical breeders, Little Rascals NEVER ask their customers about lifestyle and suitability, therefore they wouldn’t know if a buyer has vulnerable pets at home, or even family members and friends who might be at risk. In fact their website clearly states that a deposit can be paid for a puppy without prior direct contact with anyone at Little Rascals [→Breeding ethics]
Kennel Cough is highly contagious among canines and will almost certainly affect other dogs if an infected puppy is introduced. Whilst healthy adults dogs usually cope with Kennel Cough quite well, an older or sickly dog may not.
Similarly, contracting Campylobacteriosis could be damaging, if not fatal, for sick or elderly animals and people, so for Little Rascals to allow infected puppies to leave their premises is not only totally irresponsible but potentially very dangerous.
—Owners of very sick puppies who contacted Little Rascals shortly after purchase have invariably been told ‘it’s never happened before‘, or words to that effect—
But it’s best for Little Rascals to play ignorant because, if they did own up, they would not only be flouting the law but would also breach Petplan’s Breeder Scheme‘ terms and conditions, which should result in Petplan terminating their membership in the scheme – another very lucrative perk for animal abusers such as Little Rascals and PetPlan alike [see Insurance] since they are both in the business of profit before animal welfare.
Contacting Little Rascals to say that your puppy is ill when you arrive home will usually result in them telling you that it was caused by the stress of the journey and/or leaving litter mates and it will ALWAYS involve them telling you that they’ve had no other complaints.
If puppy has a mild upset stomach which clears up quickly with some minor veterinary treatment and a gradual change of diet, then it could be attributed to the journey, a strange environment and, in some cases, leaving litter mates (if there were any) but in most other cases it will be because puppy was already ill prior to sale.
Another Little Rascals’ excuse is that puppy may be missing his/her mum. This is highly unlikely, for the simple reason that often a puppy will have left mum several weeks before when imported from their suppliers and, if bred in Lincoln, will not have been with mum since being weaned, which would occur at the earliest possible time.
We doubt anyone has ever witnessed a litter of Little Rascals’ puppies interacting with their birth mother on the day of purchase. In fact, if you ask to see mum, you’re more likely to be fobbed off with excuses like ‘mum is sleeping‘, ‘mum is tired‘, ‘it would upset the other mums‘, ‘the kennels are being cleaned‘ and even ‘we’re short staffed‘.
But the best excuse we’ve heard by far involves ‘artificial insemination‘…..
In July this year, someone queried why Little Rascals were claiming on their Facebook page that a particular litter was being advertised as ‘mum and dad can be seen‘, and yet the same puppies were allegedly 15 weeks old and came with EU Pet Passports. As the puppies were obviously imported, Little Rascals were then asked how it was possible that any parents could be seen:
Little Rascals refused to answer the final question and all comments on the subject were removed from their page. No change there.
Karen is correct, in the UK this procedure should be done by a qualified vet, but as this allegedly occurred in Southern Ireland, where animal welfare laws are even more inadequate, it’s doubtful the AI procedure in this instance would be ethically performed, or even if it was done at all – there is evidence to suggest that forced breeding (rape) takes place in many breeding establishments and, since Little Rascals keep details of their ‘suppliers‘ a secret, there is no reason to think that barbaric practice doesn’t happen there as well.
But with all that said, it’s VERY unlikely artificial insemination is ever used by Little Rascals. That was probably just an excuse they came up with on the day.
Knowing Little Rascals as we all do now, it doesn’t seem feasible they would be prepared to go through the palarver of artificial insemination.
Why would a puppy farmer bother with all that when it’s easier and more economical to import cheap puppies and pass them off as their own?