Angela bought Hugo from Little Rascals in 2007, shortly after they changed from ‘Smart Puppies’. At the time there was very little information about puppy farming in general, and virtually no feedback about Little Rascals, other than their own self-promotion :
“I bought a puppy Basset Hound from Bridgett Dickens at Little Rascals. She said he was nine
weeks old. He was gorgeous. I sat him on my knee and he put his head on my neck and when we got home he would not leave me.
But that night he was ill – he had diarrhoea with a lot of blood. We took him to the vets and they discovered he had a parasite.
He got over that but then developed cherry eye. He had the operations and got over that, but then one day he could not walk. Back to the vets again – more X-rays – he had a problem with his bones and he was in so much pain. He became aggressive. He had to take a lot of tablets. He could not be left as he just cried non-stop. He was always at the vets, he was always ill. He had skin problems and was referred to a dermatologist.
I went back to Little Rascals with my vet bills. She (Bridgett Dickens) told me if I wanted my money back she wanted the dog back. I said ‘What would you do with him?’ and she said “He will be shot”.
She explained that if you buy a television you have to return it before they’ll give your money back. I could not believe that she would compare a dog with a television. I just left.
He got ill again, went back to vets – more drugs. That was on the Friday – he should have gone back to the vets on the Monday but he went to bed on Sunday night after I gave him his treat and at one o’clock in the morning he cried – he couldn’t breathe, then he passed away.
We had a post mortem done – he died of pleurisy, blood had filled his lungs. He had so many things wrong with him in his short life. He had deformed bones, stomach problems, couldn’t keep food down, cherry eyes.
He was in so much pain he got vicious. The vet told me he was a dangerous dog. Hugo would attack and then he would cry and lick me as if to say he was sorry. The vet said he was inbred.”
Angela purchased Hugo at a time when Little Rascals didn’t care what people said or thought about their sub-standard breeding practices. Complaints were generally dismissed and the usual ‘That’s never happened before‘ excuse dished out regularly.
The reason they started to ‘care’ was down to the bad press hitting their profits. So they eventually cleaned up their act, purely in a cosmetic sense. The offices, yard with its nice little hanging baskets, and the ‘viewable’ pens and enclosures appear clean and well kept, but that’s a relatively small part of their dog breeding factory the public are allowed to see, designated as part of their business for the purposes of an annual breeding licence inspection.
And then there are the imported puppy farmed dogs from Paddy Dooley in Southern Ireland, a puppy farmer who remains elusive and a mystery to us all.
Nothing has changed.
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