Our weekly Update on what's happening in the World of Bulldog Rescue
This Blog is Tania's own personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the charity
Monthly Report for February 2018
FIGURES AS AT 28 FEBRUARY 2018
Dogs in 12
To Rehome from Home 5
Dogs Handed In 7
Dogs Out 23
PTS Health 2
PTS Aggressive 2
Reclaimed by owner 4
Total active on waiting list 1600 members
Total Vet Bill for January £3,289.74 for 15 dogs
Number of Volunteers: 75
Number of Foster Homes: 32
Miles Travelled 2149.00
Donated Hours 763.50
Total dogs helped (since April 2001) 2828
February was a nice short month but we still saw an intake of 12 dogs. Our rehomer was on the ball though with 15 leaving our care to begin their new lives.
Something we are noticing, that is a worrying factor is the fact that so many of them are arriving as so called “Lilacs” when in actual fact they are what the breed standard calls “Dudley”. The sudden increase in numbers clearly shows the number of “colour breeders” we now have in our breed who are in it purely for the money. How on earth are we supposed to combat health issues with this going on in the background?
I guess it could have been worse! Interesting about how much was cut though. Of course I'm talking about last nights BBC programme "Saving the British Bulldog". I'm not sure Catherine Tate was the best presenter but she did OK.
I'm disappointed that she only visited owners with problems, I didn't feel that was very well balanced at all and as for the footage at the Picnic - they filmed dogs doing Agility at that - none of it used! They also did a full interview with me where I tried to explain that we needed to deal with the back yard breeders and the illegal imports to even begin to get on top of the issues - instead I had 4 seconds of "You wouldn't beleive how many bulldogs we get called Winston"! Without even explaining why I would even have so many bulldogs called Winston! They did touch on the illegal import problem though later in the programme which I was very pleased about.
So, the bulldog cannot survive unless it's outcrossed? OK - so why use an outcrossed dog as an example of serious BOAS? An extremley overdone, exagerated, non recognised colour dog crossed with Olde Tyme. Now the whole purpose of the Olde Tyme breeding programme was to aim to get the dog back to it's original "Crib and Rosa" type bulldogge - so very strange, especially as the surgeon reckoned she dealt with at least 4 soft palate resection surgeries a week.
The Leavitt bulldog - anyone else thought that looked like a Boxer? Unfortunately bulldog owners want the phenotype of a bulldog, if they wanted a boxer they'd buy a boxer. I definately applaud the efforts that go into the breeding of these dogs and yes of course I'd like to see that approach for our bulldogs too, but very misleading. I thought that they showed Vicky and Leiza as "breeders" and gave the impression they were off on their own tangent trying to introduce health into one small corner of the bulldog world - they are in fact the main voices of the Bulldog Breed Council Health Committee and their influence is actually much more stark. It was wonderful to see the improvements made over the past 10 years but the certificate scheme they spoke of is the one already adopted by the Breed Council - the point here being the KC won't insist.
I did feel the KC came out of it looking a little stupid, we all know that much of what they do is money driven and I personally cannot see any reason why they can't insist, especially if we tighten up the dog breeding laws to insist that no one can breed any dog without a licence . Stop the back yard breeding and help those that really do give a shit.
I was very pleased they included the Cambridge reasearch, I am so excited at even the possibility of a gene test for BOAS, but again you need to illimiate the greeders from the equation as they already don't care what the health of the pups they produce are.
Oh and we've sold 8 picnic tickets just overnight, assumably on the back of the picnic being included in the programme.
Like I said, so much cut, but it could have been far worse, at least it's over and we can all get some sleep! I am worried that bulldog pet owners will now get abused in the street for simply owning a bulldog, or that we are going to see a huge increase in bulldogs needing to be rehomed because of the fear of astromical vet bills, but if nothing else - it's gone some way to educating the puppy buying public that health tested parents is a start!
What do you think? (Just to remind you that to comment on your phone you need to ensure you are on Classic View)
Crufts is over and as is becoming quite usual for recent times; TV propaganda takes over. A BBC TV programme is due to be aired tomorrow night (Wednesday 14 March 2018) entitled "Saving the British Bulldog" and it has caused quite the storm already. Many bulldog peeps have been involved and I remember a very early conversations with Vicky about if we should take part or not. The upshot was that we would be damned if we did and damned if we didn't so it was decided we would at least try and put across a balanced view.
Catherine Tate has been around the country talking to vets, breeders, pet owners, rescues and breed experts to try and ascertain if the bulldog is beyond help health wise. Our chairman Vicky (who is also coordinator of the Breed Council health committee) has played a very large role in trying to show the improvements made over recent years, something that has taken all her time of late and the strain has been almost unbearable for her at times. The trouble is, I do feel that people have felt that at the point the original talks were held regarding the changing of the Breed Standard to try and breed away from the problems, they thought it would happen overnight. Because we still have some of these problems prevelent in the breed it's been deemed a failure rather than given the time necessary to see continued results.
I myself was interviewed at last years picnic (where they also filmed bulldogs doing agility I might add), I'm not entirely sure how much will be used, if at all, but one of the points I was trying to make during the interview was that no matter how many times you change the breed standard, insist the KC "do something", you're preaching to the converted. It's those that are breeding for money, for colour or to illegally import is where the problem stems and it's these dogs that the vets see and in turn show them all the bad things the vets are now shouting about. I honestly beleive that licencing is the way forward and although it might not stop all back yard breeding it would go along way to educate buyers where to get their pup from.
There's a myth; all show breeders are to blame, in fact it's the show breeders you need to be listening to because If you are a small scale show breeder you get one shot at producing something you'd be proud to take into the ring. In most cases, the research is done, the health testing is done and the care has gone into the litter that is subsquently raised. Putting my pet bulldog to my mates bulldog down the road because I can sell the pups for 2 grand a pop is creating the dogs with the problems. Trust me - I see these dogs day in and day out.
The show world has always come under attack and I'm not saying every show breeder cares - but the majority do, especially those that have only recently come onto the scene because they are being told - Health Test - Free Whelp - Raise pups in the House and the resulting litters are far more well adjusted and energetic then they were in my day. When I was breeding my mentor actually told me to never allow a bitch to give birth naturally - because that's what she had been told and so on. It reached a point where we were having c-sections not because they were needed but because everyone was too scared to let her try on her own because of all the scare stories we had been fed. The newer breeders now don't have those horror stories drummed into them and as a result so many more bitches are allowed to do it naturally and the resulting litters are producing dogs that to be honest - people don't expect to be so lively. They actually think their dog has something wrong with it sometimes because the media is saying one thing and the dog in front of them has more energy than a Whippet!
Which ties me in nicely to the last thing I want to say - PETA! Now I come from a background of animal rights, I've heard all the arguments and still agree with many of them - but the way PETA go about it leaves a lot to be desired
Anyone that can inflict this much fear into a dog certainly isn't an animal lover in my book!
So we await with baited breath as to what happens tomorrow. I will have to stay off social media as I'll be watching in on catch up so really dont want to see the results before I've had chance to digest it. Will we come out of this feeling like at last all the hard work is being appreciated or like we've just been smashed in the face with a baseball bat.
The answer to that one remains to be seen ....
Back from Crufts and it was so amazing to meet everyone that came to say hi to us on the stand. The breed did so well, the people that represented our breed were amazing. Anna and Dale, as usual made our stand amazing and this was Anna's summing up of the day
Well what can we say ? An amazing Crufts 2018 for our Breed , BRING ON THE BULLDOG .
BDR very busy as always and
****CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF BULLDOG RESCUE****
BULLDOG EDUCATION STAND won BEST UTILITY and Reserve overall the stands. Excellent examples of the breed being shown . Just goes to show that we on the Breed Committees , Bulldog Breed Council ,Sub Committees and good breeders are really working hard together so despite best efforts by the " media " to sabotage the breed we did the BULLDOG PROUD !!
So getting up exhausted on Sunday morning was like being hit in the face with a spade when the CRUFFA extremists had clearly spent the entire day ripping it all to shreds!
And then the PETA guy decided that scaring the be-jesus out of the Best in Show dog and owner was a fun thing to do.
Five and a half hours to get there Friday night, a 4.30am start. In the NEC by 6.30am and not home until the early hours of Sunday morning. Makes you wonder why we actually bother.
The chances of bulldogs needing a rescue are a million to one they said .....
..... And still they come!
I always think of this, originally from War of the Worlds, when things get busy. It's a conversation I had with a breeder right on the verge of taking over Bulldog Rescue in 2001. They told me I'd not be very busy and would only be dealing with dogs who's owners had died. Initially they were right, fast forward 17 years it's now a full time occupation and the hours and the dogs are unrelenting.
Right now we are in a no win situation from all sides. The BBC show "Saving the British Bulldog" is due to air on BBC on Wednesday, interviews with both rescues, members of the breed council health committee and several bulldog owners could go one of two ways, already I'm not convinced the sound hasn't been tampered with on the clip currently showing on the internet as the pup that has graded BOAS grade zero still has some respiratory sounds. If that's the basis for the rest of the show I'm worried because if that's been edited what else has? I guess there's not much we can do except wait with baited breath. The trailer video can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06049cf what do you think?
Cruffa et al have already picked up on this clip but then Cruffa and those that follow every word will never see the real problem and that is the unethical breeding that is "Colour". Whilst they feel there's no problem with what colour the dog is as long as it's healthy - we can see the shear damage being done by people who's only thought on that particular mating is what colour the pups will be. Health and temperament is the last thing on the list and that in itself is going to cause more problems than anything else we are facing right now. We seem to have overcome the Tri dogs, black and tan or black white and tan - far too common now for anyone to make a decent buck from that - even though I was in rescue for over 10 years before seeing the first black and white bulldog needing help - now they are everywhere - so they've moved onto the more "exotic" colours including Lilac and Blue. Lilac - now there's a funny story - selling for thousands upon thousands of pounds as "rare" they are actually DUDLEY'S! ie: no pigment and written out of the breed standard in the late 1800s. So why are the buyers so suprised when the 14 grand pup goes on to develop severe skin problems or is even deaf? Already this morning I have seen two dogs that are clearly only here to produce lilac, one stunning red bitch with HAZLE EYES and a totally Dudley male whith not a spec of black pigment sold to the family as Lilac. I know the goverment are cracking down on breeding but it's not enough - don't give people a limit on how many litters they can have before they are licenced - make it compulsory that you must have a licence to breed! Force these people to think about what they are doing because whilst they are swanning around in their expensive cars these are the dogs that are really suffering - not the ones bred by people that actually give a shit what the outcome is going to be and who wouldn't mind having to be licenced at all.
Anyway, lets get Crufts out the way first and if you are there on Saturday please come and find us ringside in our usual spot.
Monthly Report for January 2018
Dogs in 35
To Rehome from Home 20
Dogs Handed In 15
Dogs Out 35
PTS Health 4
PTS Aggressive 0
Reclaimed by owner 14
Total active on waiting list 1742 members
Total Vet Bill for January £4,921.58
Number of Volunteers: 75
Number of Foster Homes: 20
Miles Travelled 2351.6 miles
Donated Hours 730 hours
The first month after Christmas is always busy, we stop moving dogs a week before so as soon as we’re back in January we literally hit the ground running. We saw 35 new arrivals but also saw 35 leave our care during January with many in our care needing vet treatment generating a month end payment run of almost 5 grand spent on 17 dogs across the UK.
We had 100 dogs in the system during January 32 of which were in our direct care.
Our volunteers were kept busy as usual, travelling over 2,300 miles and giving up 730 hours of their free time between them to keep everything running smoothly.
As usual the money from our Auction, Donations, Fund Raisers and the Adoption fees made this possible. Thank you all so much for your continued support
Anyone that's had their dog stolen will understand what it's like to suddendly find out that dogs are treated as "property" in the eyes of the law and that your case would be treated no differently to if you had had your car stolen. Well there's a new petition you may be interested in which aims to do something about that so if you get five minutes perhaps you could pop along to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/212174 and add your signature.
Thank you to everyone that took part in our recent Facebook Poll. We asked if your bulldog was of recognised or unrecognised colour.
The response saw one thousand, seven hundred votes with the result being 85% recognised and 15% unrecognised.
This is a significant result bearing in mind that many unrecognised colours are bred purley for colour with no thought as to the health of the dogs involved in the mating. This could potentially have serious consequences to the future health of the Bulldog Breed.
The results have been shared with the Bulldog Breed Council Health Committee and can be shared providing Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming are credited.
It's February already and so much has happened in the world of "Bulldog" since the end of last year, not quite so important was the awful bout of Noro Virus I suffered from 18th December right through to almost the 2nd week of January, I can only take solice from the fact that it happened over Christmas and no dogs suffered as a result but it meant that I couldn't do my planned sleep out. I finally got that done last a week and a bit ago and to be honest it wasn't as bad as I anticipated.
So, as the campaign against flat faced dogs continues to gain momentum everyone is waiting with baited breath for the BBC documentary that BDR took part in. Personally I think it's going to be a disaster, those on a mission to ban all brachy breeds continue to spout their lop sided opinions anywhere they can reach. At vet schools, on the news, in magazines and of course the internet. The problem is they are putting all brachy breeders in the same boat and alienating the ones that actually care. They need to be really careful not just because the ones that do care will eventually feel they are fighing a losing battle and disappear - but that then opens up the market to the badly bred dogs, the imports and the ones bred purley for colour into the mix - if we're not careful they will be all we have - the genuinely badly bred bulldogs!
From a rescue perspective - more and more we are finding vets that tell the families of newly adopted bulldogs to bring them back because they are genetic disasters. The fear they inflict is actually ensuring bulldogs in need will eventually have absolutely no where to go - how is that fair? This is now so bad we are having to put warnings in our adoption paperwork!
Can we save the bulldog? Watch this space ....
Christmas is fast approaching and as usual things are really kicking up a gear here with dog's coming in faster than they can be processed. It's quite usual for this time of year for this to happen, people start thinking about Christmas which doesn't include the dog that they have been considering getting rid of since the kids went back to school in September. As sad as this is, I'm pleased they chose to rehome via a rescue - unfortunately the rehomer is flat out too and not everyone is prepared to wait. The dog owning public have really changed over the last few years, no one seems to be able to commit to anything anymore and so many breeds come and go as fashion accessories rescues and rehoming centers are all full to bursting. The BBC programme is now in it's editing stage and there's a part of me that's concerned it will create a new influx of dogs who's owners become convinced their dog is nothing more than a cash cow - but I'm also concerned that the continued "all bulldogs are unhealthy" attitidue will mean that some that actually are will be denyed treatment they need because the owner is convinced it's normal! Just this week we heard of a bulldog reaching it's 20th birthday, this dog is in the UK and is called Oliver - what an amazing acheivment and although my first reaction was to thing it couldn't be true I know people who know the owner and apparently it is true - how amazing is that!!! These dogs don't make the media though, no one is interested in the healthy dogs and as the real breeders continue to strive towards improvment - the fad colour breeders continue to flood the market for profilt - it does make you wonder if there's any light at the end of this particular tunnel!