The cute Labrador puppy up for sale at the corner pet shop or on a Facebook page could have a story you are oblivious of. Take a closer look. The person selling the pup might undermine your concerns, and may even threaten to not sell the pup at all. But, it's important you stand your ground and seek all relevant details about the parentage of the pup, with an added emphasis on the mother. Chances are likely that he will show you photos of a plump, cute mother and father that he passes off as the parents of all the pups he sells. It's practically impossible for you to ever get to meet the actual parents, but especially the mother. Let me introduce you to one such mother.
Meet Helen, a highly pedigreed Labrador Retriever. Vets say she's about 10 years old. We can't say for sure how many pups she has given birth to, but her hanging teats and perennially-enlarged vulva are telltale signs of over-breeding. She is so over bred that she now stands crouched. She's used as a mating partner to any unneutered male pup. She's so petrified now that she shudders when touched. Ten is not an old age for a Labrador of her physique, but the abuse of the body has already taken a toll on her, so much so that her walks are only 15 minutes long at best. Partial deafness, cataract, pseudo-pregnancy, skin infections and mammary gland tumours are the add-ons resultant of prolonged abuse and neglect.
Rewind to 25 September, 2015. That's the day she was rescued from a remote location where she was left to die a slow, agonising death from bad health and starvation. Even then, she wouldn't move, expecting her obnoxious masters to take her back. Here was a malnourished and diseased bag of bone and skin weighing all of 21kg and she was still alive. The community in Whitefield at the outskirts of Bangalore, where Helen was left to die, was shocked and angered by her ordeal. They took it upon themselves to tend to her, from fostering to vet visits, from providing food to taking her on walks, and even giving her frequent baths.
Furthermore, instant birthday parties were organized just to have her as the guest of honour. Under the community's watchful eyes and nurturing, she has now not only regained her strength and beauty, but has also become a more confident dog. She has a devoted fan following which is only increasing on a daily basis. Moreover, she presents herself as a bright example to why every family must adopt a dog. The glaring ills of the pet business are starting to show, and now is the time we banish the unethical practise of commercial breeding.