News 14 Carolina has reported the owner of Rush Kennels in Guilford County, NC has been ordered to pay a $50,000 bond for the care of 97 dogs seized earlier this month during an animal-cruelty investigation.
If Sheila Savage decides not to pay the bond, she will be required to surrender ownership of the dogs.
New 14 reports a number of the dogs were sick and “several have died.”
While we should let the legal system play out in this case, as in all cases, I will say the following –
In general, when breeders are found with this many animals or more, the conditions are typically not good. Raids on these mass breeding operations show animals in poor health, with evidence that they have been rarely, if ever out of their cages.
In the past, my wife and I have had as many as 13 rescues living with us and that is a full-time job. And we didn’t have to worry about cleaning cages or looking after pregnant females. So having dozens to hundreds would require a large staff of trained employees, who feed and care for the dogs and regularly release them throughout each day for exercise.
But again, the video evidence we see from these raids shows – as we say in the South – “that ain’t happening.” States should at minimum enact minimum staff-to-dog ratios for these facilities.
Could there exist examples where mass-breeding operations are well-staffed, well-maintained and regularly release the dogs for play and exercise? I won’t use the word “never” here, but …
Dogs and cats are not pieces of production equipment. Animals are living, breathing, feeling beings who experience a wide range of emotions. They should not be forced to suffer for profit.
And let’s be clear, there are some really good breeders across the country, who treat their animals with a lot of care and compassion. I’ve visited a few in the past. I recall one where I watched the adult dogs playing in a large, open area. The place was clean and the dogs were able to run around and exercise.
The breeding of companion animals should be left to these quality breeders, who don’t cage their breeding pairs 24/7.