Five weeks old, blind, and taken to the vets to be put to sleep because she would not ‘sell’. Bea’s story reflects the tragic reality of puppy breeding and sales across the country, but now the tiny Yorkshire Terrier puppy faces a brighter future after being rescued by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The unwanted puppy was taken to the world-renowned animal charity by a worried nurse after the breeder took her to a vet to be euthanised due to the fact she had been born blind, declaring that she would not sell in her condition.
The vet refused to write her off and brought her to Battersea where she was whisked into the Home’s Veterinary Hospital for treatment.
The animal charity has campaigned for several years for tighter laws and regulations around the breeding and selling of puppies. Battersea firmly believes dogs should be companions, not commodities, and works hard to rehome every animal that comes into their care.
Bea was so young at five weeks old that she needed to be hand-reared and was taken on foster by a nurse to ensure she received all the treatment she needed around the clock.
Battersea’s Head Vet, Shaun Opperman, assessed the puppy carefully and determined that while she has extremely limited vision that may continue to deteriorate, she is more than able to live a full and happy life.
Shaun said: “Bea copes really well with her disability – she quickly maps out the room she’s in and is soon hopping around happily. Like any puppy, she loves to play and you often see her running around the room carrying a tennis ball that’s even bigger than she is. We don’t expect her to be here very long once she’s ready to go to a new home.”
Because she was taken from her littermates at such a young age, staff have been making sure Bea gets plenty of socialisation with other dogs and she has taken a particular liking to a member of staff’s dog, Barney, a golden Labrador, a former Battersea resident rescued from a puppy farm himself. The pair play happily together for hours.
Shaun adds: “Bea’s story goes to show how unscrupulous the world of dog breeding and puppy sales can be. Dogs are not commodities – just because they may not sell for much money doesn’t mean they should just be written off. Bea can live a perfectly normal life and will make someone a loving pet but we know there are many more puppies out there who won’t be as lucky as her, and will sadly be dumped or destroyed purely because their breeder puts profit before animal welfare. If a breeder does not want to care for a dog like Bea, then we would encourage them to please bring them to a rescue centre rather than putting them to sleep. They deserve a chance.”