Why a street dog is not second best
Bruno is a Rottweiler puppy who came into our lives a few months back when we were asked to foster him for another animal welfare organisation , he had been handed over by owners no longer wanted him and claimed he was a stray. He was just 3 months old , underweight , had never been wormed , correctly vaccinated and was food and resource guarding.
Bruno’s tail was docked which saddens me greatly as I strongly believe no dogs tail should ever be removed unless its for medical reasons by a qualified vet. A dogs tail is not just aesthetic, it forms a vital part of their ability to communicate with other dogs and people. When I say Bruno is a Rottweiler what I mean he is what passes for a Rottweiler here, clearly there is a lot of Rottweiler in his background but he is not a full pedigree and clearly there is some thing else mixed in there (some days given his lack of grace and coordination I think it’s a hippo)
Most likely Bruno came from one of the many puppy farms or back yard breeders that are rife in this area of Sri Lanka. A quick look on the free ad sites and hundreds of dogs like Bruno appear for sale at prices that by local standards are at least a months salary. Not one of these ads mentions puppy vaccinations or any health checks on the parents or the pups , no hip scoring or eye testing, knowing that closely related dogs are breed again and again resulting in a pretty shallow gene pool. Bruno is not a healthy dog, at 7 months old despite regular preventive treatment he has fallen ill with 2 different types of tick borne parasite, his eyes need regular cleaning and his gait and tendency to limp mean he is having x rays to check his hips for dysplasia.
I am pretty sure the rest of his letter is just as unhealthy, Bruno is lucky he lives with us (directors of a veterinary charity). He has a team of Vets to who monitor him, has regular blood tests , we have access to imported drugs, treatments and supplements and his diet and his exercise are carefully restricted. His temperament was also a clue that he had been poorly socialized as pup, most likely removed from his mother too young and even encouraged to be anti social. We use positive reward based training methods and he is now generally a friendly lad with a loving and sweet nature but in the wrong hands with his tendency to mouth when he gets over excited he could have been very very dangerous.
From my own experience I know a lot of people who own dogs like Bruno have them for a status symbol, they live permanently chained or kenneled suffering years of mental cruelty, taken out on beach’s at weekends on choke chains to lunge and bark whilst their owners swagger along behind them. We love Bruno dearly and he is safe with us for life but I would NEVER EVER buy a pedigree dog here in Sri Lanka (or overseas) when there are so many lovely and far healthier Sri Lankan dogs needing homes