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Think before you breed

“A stitch in time saves nine!”

When I was a young veterinary student seeing practice in Watford, this slogan was prominently displayed on a picture of a mother cat being followed by nine cute kittens.

It took me a few moments to work out that the stitch referred to the repair of the small incision made to neuter a cat, and the nine were the kittens, potentially unwanted and destined to end up in a rescue centre.

I had a debate with a colleague recently about how to respond to a client who would like their lady dog to have a litter of puppies. I represented that, whether designer breed, cross-breed or pedigree, it is every pet owner’s right to enjoy the excitement of the experience of breeding puppies.

I myself bred a litter so that I could advise my clients from first-hand experience.

My colleague was of the view that only the very best examples of each breed, with a perfect temperament and fantastic looks, should be bred from, especially in view of how many unwanted pets there are waiting for adoption in the local rescue centres.

We both agreed that most novice owners would be surprised by how much work, mess and heartache breeding causes, and that potential breeders must obviously take responsibility for finding good homes for every one of the little darlings they produce.

So we continue to recommend making a stitch, in good time, to save nine or up to 14 puppies, in some cases, or three to six kittens.

Meanwhile there are lots of cats and dogs waiting hopefully for a forever home, such as those at Paws and Claws, where the cattery is overflowing.

Additionally, a large Chihuahua mother and her six puppies, currently in the care of the British Chihuahua Rescue Club Association, are all looking for good homes.

The dam was one of five dogs found in a home in the Midlands. They had not been fed for four days. One bitch lost her whole litter. This one gave birth in the rescue centre, and the pups are now ready to go.

To find out more call Margaret on 01444 400384.

Published in the Mid-Sussed Times on January 26th 2017

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