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Old 13.02.2021, 19:05
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'Lockdown Puppies' bought online: Tierspital seeing a flood of sick pets

Article from the 20 Minutes:

https://www.20min.ch/story/kranke-we...l-398996098436

Das Zürcher Tierspital schlägt Alarm. «Zurzeit haben wir eine Flut von erkrankten Welpen als Folge des Corona-Welpenbooms», schrieb das Spital kürzlich in einem Facebook-Post. Weil viele Menschen im Homeoffice arbeiteten, sei die Nachfrage nach Hunden, insbesondere nach den «Topsellern» Zwergspitz und Französische Bulldogge, sehr gross.

(Roughly)

Zurich's Tierspital is sounding the alarm. In a recent Facebook post the hospital wrote "Currently we have a flood of sick puppies as a result of COVID puppy buying." Because many people have been working at home, the demand for dogs, especially for the top sellers like Miniature Spitz and French Bulldogs, has been very high.

---

The situation meant many people, isolated at home, suddenly wanted a dog. But as anyone in Swiss Dogdom knows, getting a puppy in Switzerland usually means a long process. Apparently many people felt that they could not wait. So off to order online...

As has been said over and over again in the Pets Corner, the Dark Side is a big problem in Switzerland, largely because of buyers like these, basicially nice people but naive about the realities of the dark underbelly of the dog trade.

The article goes on to explain that many of these puppies are in poor condition due to their origin - the pups came from battery producers, taken from their mothers far too early, some even without proper vaccination or imported incorrectly or illegally.

Helen Sandmeier, media spokesperson from Schweizer Tierschuts, comments:

"Passieren die Hunde illegal die Grenze, beginnt laut Sandmeier oft beim ersten Tierarztbesuch das Drama für den Hundebesitzer und den Hund. Das Tier werde vom Veterinäramt beschlagnahmt. Innerhalb von zehn Tagen müsse der Besitzer nachweisen können, dass das Tier aus einem tollwutfreien Land stamme. «Andernfalls muss es im Herkunftsland in Quarantäne oder wird eingeschläfert."

Roughly:

If a dog crosses the border illegally, (My note: without required vaccination) the drama often begins at the first vet visit. The animal is confiscated by the veterinary office. Within ten days, the owner must be able to prove that the animal comes from a rabies-free country. If the owner cannot prove rabies-free origin, the puppy must be quarantined in the country of origin - or the puppy will be euthanized."

---

It's been said over and over and over in the Pets Corner, but bears repeating:

Augen Auf beim Hundekauf. Do not buy a puppy from the Dark Side - and one sure sign of a bad actor is selling puppies online.

Yes, finding a puppy takes time. Yes, there are few puppies available in Switzerland at any one time, one often has to wait. Yes, finding a puppy can be an emotionally fraught experience.

(When the borders re-open one can visit responsible ethical breeders in neighboring countries again.)

Please, as tempting as it may be: Stay away from the Dark Side! For your puppy's sake.
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:35
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Re: 'Lockdown Puppies' bought online: Tierspital seeing a flood of sick pets

I'm a bit surprised as those new dog owners would have to take them to dog-school but the dog-schools are mostly closed (or very limited in what they can do, the inventive ones).

Is there a rule how long one is allowed to have/walk a dog before joining lessons?

The idea of buying a dog due to covid is about as stupid as giving them away as Christmas presents.
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Old 14.02.2021, 11:27
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Re: 'Lockdown Puppies' bought online: Tierspital seeing a flood of sick pets

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I'm a bit surprised as those new dog owners would have to take them to dog-school but the dog-schools are mostly closed (or very limited in what they can do, the inventive ones).

Is there a rule how long one is allowed to have/walk a dog before joining lessons?
Since the abolition of the federal SKN, whether or not one is required to do dog training courses, and when, is canton dependent.

In ZH, as that is where the Tierspital is, only List 1 dogs, over 45cm/15kg, are required to do a series of classes at specific times. At present there is no requirement for small dogs, although this may change in the future based on recent cantonal parliament discussions.

Other cantons have different requirements, some BSL-only requirements, some no requirements at all. 26 different sets of rules.

In any event, yes, the pandemic has complicated dog training, as it has so much of the rest of our lives. At the beginning of the first lock down classes were not allowed, then later allowed with distancing measures, then fully allowed, then in January not allowed again... it's been kind of a moving target.

Some schools even offered online classes to try to fill the gap.

Right now specific classes - basic education and urgent behavioral training - are allowed with restrictions. Sports and other activity based classes are still not allowed at a training ground.

Throughout the pandemic, a motivated owner could always have figured out a way to get necessary training. But unfortunately the kind of person who buys a puppy online likely does not know about cantonal dog law, course requirements, or how to navigate the COVID restrictions - or maybe even much about training at all.

And it's likely that many of these puppies ordered online were small dogs, the breeds that in ZH do not have training requirements. I'm making this assumption because the small breeds are the ones more often battery-produced and trafficked. ( )

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The idea of buying a dog due to covid is about as stupid as giving them away as Christmas presents.
Whenever one feels the time is right to bring a dog into one's life, it should be a thoughtfully considered decision. Part of that consideration is understanding the right way to go about buying a puppy or adopting an older dog - and understanding that one must refuse to be part of the problem, to keep away from the Dark Side so as not to perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

---

One of the difficulties in combatting the Dark Side is that too many people in Switzerland refuse to look at reality, that healthy dogs are indeed euthanized here. An unvaccinated illegally imported puppy coming from a rabies-risk country, even if healthy, by law must (in most cases) be returned to it's country of origin or euthanized.

All because someone couldn't be bothered to learn the very easy steps to bring a puppy to Switzerland the right way.

I just pray that these sick puppies recover - and that they were vax'd and legally imported.
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Old 05.06.2021, 00:11
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Re: 'Lockdown Puppies' bought online: Tierspital seeing a flood of sick pets

As an FYI:

This month's newsletter from the Tierspital discusses the whole 'lockdown puppies' situation.

Topics discussed include:

The struggle to save the lives of sick 'lockdown puppies'.

Psychological damage to these puppies

Battery production of puppies abroad

A good question: Why do I want a puppy?

Rabies - Danger for people and animals

Eyes wide when buying a puppy - stop the irresponsible breeders.

Stricter laws for puppy imports.

Facts and figures wrt dog imports

Check list of thing to consider when buying a puppy from a breeder


Kudos to the Tierspital for putting this out. I urge everyone considering getting a dog - and everyone else, actually - to read the brochure.

https://www.kltmed.uzh.ch/dam/jcr:d1...lpenhandel.pdf
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