From Tara Simms:
“Maya came to us via a rescue in February 2014. She was an ex-breeder of Little Rascals. She was shaking and withdrawn. I have met many dogs over the years and have owned enough cocker spaniels to know what their ‘typical’ behaviour should be – Maya displayed none of this behaviour. Her coat was matted, she had scabs in her ears from mites; she had to have teeth removed that were rotten.
Our vet also discovered stitches in her womb which would point to a caesarean section – this would have spelled the end of her life as a breeding machine as she was no longer profitable.
Maya also had scars on her face which at a guess were from a dog bite. Her age was estimated at between 3 and 5 years old – nobody knows because breeders don’t care how old these dogs are.
When I went to visit her a second time, she was so shut down she wouldn’t come outside, and when someone attempted to bring her out, she was messing all on the floor as she went – I have NEVER seen a dog so traumatised.
The day Maya came to live with us, again she messed herself when she had to be carried into the house as being on a lead was too traumatic for her (possibly due to being tethered on a lead whilst being mated).
So the long road of rehabilitation began…it took her almost two weeks before she would even move out into the garden. We had to toilet train her using puppy pads. Our other dog was instrumental in making her feel ‘at home’. We couldn’t touch her and had to just let her ‘be’. Over the weeks and months we saw her begin to gain a little confidence.
Fast forward 18 months – it took this long for us to be able to gain her trust enough to have her wear a harness and take her outside on a lead. She still isn’t entirely comfortable with it but we knew each day when we took her out this would improve. She now walks beautifully on the lead and absolutely loves visiting the park.
More recently she has allowed us to stroke her (this kind of contact has taken 20 MONTHS) and only this week she felt comfortable enough to lay with her front paws resting on my partner’s knee.
She is still a very timid dog and won’t allow strangers to touch her; we are still seeing little improvements every day and her true personality is starting to shine though.
All of what I have explained is due to the fact she came from Little Rascals (and before that I would guess one of their suppliers in Ireland) and would have been used to produce puppies for profit. She had never known comfort, love or a kind gesture in her life. She had only ever known darkness, grief, pain and fear.
So all of the campaigns that tell you to ask “where’s mum?” are SO important, it is vital that you or anyone you know heeds this advice. If you buy a puppy that is not with its mum, chances are a dog just like Maya is lying in her own mess in a dark cold shed giving birth to ANOTHER litter which will be taken away from her and sold on for profit.
I beg of anyone reading this to share this story far and wide – let’s stop Little Rascals from continuing to trade in the misery of dogs.”