Puppy Farm Raid
October 31, 2004 Victoria, Australia

An ALV open rescue team consisting of over 50 rescuers today conducted a massive daytime raid on one of Australia's largest puppy farms. The raid uncovered horrific cruelty on the farm and resulted in widespread media coverage bringing attention to the plight of the animals on the puppy farm (including top stories on the major tv stations and newspapers). Several dogs were rescued.

The ALV open rescue team filmed and documented countless violations to the Code of Practice for Breeding Establishments including the following.

Section 2.3 Animal Attendants: The proprietor of a breeding and rearing establishment must train or employ experienced personnel for the handling and management of animals. Animal attendants are responsible to the proprietor for: daily feeding, watering and inspection of all animals, daily cleaning of facilities, i.e. hose out, replace bedding, litter trays, feeding and watering utensils, reporting of sick and injured animals to the manager.

A staff member, who appeared to be 17 or 18 years of age, was observed cleaning the pens. When asked how many pens he had cleaned that day, he counted out aloud five. When asked how many staff were on the premises cleaning he stated, "me, what do you expect it’s the weekend". After a short conversation he stated: "I don’t give a shit about these dogs, I'm just here to clean". Not one member of our team observed any other staff member cleaning the pens or feeding and watering.

Section 3.1 Nutrition: All animals must have a permanent supply of fresh, clean water.

Most of the dogs’ water bowls in the drive way pens were empty, and the bowls that did hold water had algae growing in them. The rescue team cleaned all the bowls and ensured that all the dogs had water.

Section 3.4 Hygiene: The proprietor must ensure that the establishment is to be clean and hygienic at all times. All pens must be cleaned out at least once per day (twice daily if inspection shows it is required) by hosing or other appropriate means after removing all used, contaminated bedding and litter and all uneaten food by hand before hosing, to ensure the pen is fresh and clean. Pests including fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes and rodents must be effectively controlled.

The entire property is in an appalling condition. In some pens at the back of the property the faeces on the pen floor was 3 inches thick. A team member spent 45 minutes shoveling the manure out of one pen alone. Rats were observed and filmed nesting under the kennel floors. The amount of flies surrounding the dogs' pens was indescribable. Litters of puppies were filmed curled up together sleeping on piles of dog faeces. It is impossible for the number of staff employed there to clean each pen daily and the pens obviously have not been cleaned for weeks and in some cases months. In general the property is far from clean and hygienic and is an occupational health hazard.

Section 3.7 Housing: Housing must provide protection from the weather (wind, rain, sun and extremes of climate), vermin and harassment from other animals. All kennels must be provided with a weatherproof sleeping area containing raised beds constructed of a material other than concrete, such as wood or plastic.

Most of the driveway pens hold three dogs and one dog was observed being harassed by the other two dogs in the pen. The dog was bleeding from the mouth and was very distressed. Rats were filmed nesting underneath the kennel floor. A number of other violations to the code were filmed and documented.

The most distressing sight observed was the number of dogs that appeared ill. Two puppies in a "hospital pen" were in a small cage that had obviously not been cleaned for a number of days. Their water bowl was filthy and there were worms in their water. The sign on their cage door indicated that these pups were both from the same mother, "rhapsody" and they had "trouble breathing, chesty cough". These pups appeared extremely lethargic, underweight and close to death.

In a small tin shed 8 dead puppies were found in a fridge. A number of veterinary drugs and syringes were also observed precariously balanced in jars of liquid also in the fridge. Rescue team members looked through a box of rags and found what was thought to be another dead puppy, until it moved and they realized that the puppy was still alive. The puppy appeared to be approximately one week old and had been placed on a hot water bottle, which was cold, and then had rags thrown over it. Rescue team members immediately fed this puppy with puppy milk via a syringe. The puppy consumed 2 mls of liquid and was obviously very dehydrated. This puppy had been left to die with no veterinary attention whatsoever.

Click on any photo for larger version (photos: noah hannibal, ALV)

puppy farm campaigners debra tranter and patty mark discuss strategy prior to the raid

a rescuer checking on the condition of the dogs

this beagle's mammary glands are so extended they scrape the floor when she walks

several television crews joined the open rescue team on the raid

dead puppies found in the freezer

more of the dead puppies found in the freezer.

at the 'hospital' this puppy is surrounded by his own vomit

sick dogs in the 'hospital'

one of the sick puppies being examined by alv rescue team members

this puppy was left to slowly die in a bucket, without any veterinary care

chocolate lab found foaming from the mouth, she was traumatised and cowering in her pen

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