Some of you may have been following the story of Oscar, a small dog kept for breeding on a property in remote Victoria. Found cowering in the back of a small dark cage, Oscar's fur was thick and matted, he had fleas and mites in his infected ears and his teeth were so infected he couldn't eat. He was rescued from this nightmare by a woman named Debra Tranter.After being treated by a vet, shaved and desexed, he weighed only 1.6kg by the time he got to what should have been his new home. Then in what could have been a scene from a movie, police raided Debra's house in the middle of the night, arrested her, seized Oscar and returned him to the miserable puppy factory.
It was this awful experience that inspired the birth of a nationwide campaign against puppy farms known, as Oscar's Law. While Oscar was again languishing alone in a cage, caring people would keep fighting to save him and the thousands of others like him.
Puppy factories are just like factory farms, only for pets. Dogs are kept in small cages for breeding. They hardly ever get patted, or have their bellies rubbed and they almost never get veterinary treatment. Often living in their own filth, both parents and puppies can suffer from various diseases and illnesses that can often go untreated.
Why do puppy farms exist? People want puppies. It's as simple as that. Most people don't realise that when they buy a puppy from a pet shop or from an ad in the paper, they are usually from these hellholes and the parents are living a life of confinement and misery.
Want to know how you can help?
This Sunday Sep 18th, Oscar's Law is holding rallies across Australia. Deets are confirmed for Melbourne (Parliament House), Sydney (Belmore Park) and Adelaide (Parliament House). All at 12 noon. If you can, please attend and be a voice for the thousands of dogs suffering out of sight.
What else? If you're looking to bring a four-legged friend into the family, then make sure you adopt from a shelter. There are millions of healthy animals in shelters across the country just waiting for a new home. So huge is the dog and cat overpopulation problem in Australia that each hour, 23 dogs and cats are put down just because they haven't been able to find a home. By adopting from a shelter, you not only save the life of an animal in need, you can take your new friend home happy in the knowledge that you haven't contributed to a cruel industry.
Whatever became of Oscar?
In July, Debra donned a disguise and headed back to the dreaded puppy farm after seeing a newspaper ad selling adult dogs. Knowing the cage, she found Oscar straight away, trembling in fear. The puppy farmer considered him "no good" because he had been desexed, so sold him for a "discount price" of $400. Oscar is finally safe and in loving arms!
But Oscar's friends still need us. You and everyone who cares are the animals' hope for an end to their suffering in puppy farms and for safety at last. For more info head to www.OscarsLaw.org. See you on Sunday!
Thanks to Debra Tranter for use of photos
UPDATE 18/9/11-- Thousands of people attended the rallies for Oscar's Law in a huge show of support for a ban on puppy farms. In Melbourne, the guest of honour was little Oscar himself. Thanks and well done to everyone who helped to send a clear message to our politicians that cruel factory farming of companion animals must end!