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Last Updated - 20/4/16
SHWA(UK) - Rehoming Unwanted Siberian Huskies since 2007
SHWA(UK)'s 10th Year of Operation
During the Autumn/Winter of 2006, a small group of Siberian Husky enthusiasts were racking their brains about the Welfare Crisis within the breed. The Siberian Husky Club (which up to then had been the only rescue "safety net" for unwanted huskies) turned its back on its responsibilities for breed welfare and declared that in future, only KC registered dogs owned or bred by club members would be catered for by the club welfare scheme. This left the great majority of huskies unprotected and with no rescue back-up at all. The only options were general rescues (who often did not understand the specific needs of the breed) or small independent rescues run by individuals. My wife Terry and I had been running such an independent rescue for some years and in the 12 months up to February 2007, we had, through our network of contacts, taken in and rehomed some 70+ unwanted Siberian Huskies. It didn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to decide to extend our reach nationally and set up the first national independent Siberian Husky rescue organisation in the UK. So, on a chilly Saturday 25th February 2007, we held the inaugural meeting of The Siberian Husky Welfare Association (UK) in a draughty church hall in a Bedfordshire village. With an initial donation of £3000 from Terry's injury compensation the organisation hit the ground running and we haven't stopped since.
Over the past 9 years we have been constantly amazed at both the continuing irresponsibility of many of the owners and breeders of these wonderful dogs; and at the incredible dedication and effort put into rescuing and rehoming them by our successive waves of volunteers.
So, as we look forward to our 10th year of operation, we need to pay tribute to everyone who has ever volunteered to help SHWA's work with unwanted Siberian Huskies past, present and future.
On behalf of all the dogs we have helped and all those we will help in the future, a heartfelt and sincere
THANK YOU ALL!!!
Mick Brent - Secretary SHWA(UK)
"PET" BREEDERS and the current rescue Crisis
Click on Petal's Eyes to see the video PETAL'S STORY
wife Terry and I have been showing, racing, loving, rescuing and rehoming
Siberian Huskies for over 20 years. The last 8 of these, with the organisation
we founded, SHWA(UK). One of the most disturbing aspects of those 20+ years has
been the rapid decline in breeding ethics amongst those seeking to produce
puppies for sale. There have always been a few large scale puppy farmers and a
larger number of ‘backyard breeders’ whose motivation for breeding has been
purely financial. Over the past 20 years however, we have seen a huge increase
in the category which now produces the vast majority of Siberian Husky puppies
in the UK – the naïve/stupid/greedy “pet” breeders.
characteristics of a “Pet” Breeder include the following:
am I ranting now? Simply because I am deeply, passionately and totally angry at
the situation in which some of these poor dogs find themselves due to
irresponsible, stupid so-called breeders……
Recently, SHWA(UK) took on two undersized, underweight female puppies – barely a year old. The fosterers did not know that they were also pregnant (in human terms it is the equivalent of a 7 yr old child being pregnant). These poor girls were neither physically nor emotionally ready to be mothers. After scans had confirmed the late stage of the pregnancies, Terry and I were asked to look after them while they had their litters. Both girls were significantly underweight – one worse than the other – she weighed only 10kg despite carrying 5 puppies to full term. Despite that, she was able to give birth naturally to 5 pups. One of them – the first born - died after a few days but the others looked to be OK. Not long after the pups were born we had to rush the mum to the vets as she was suffering from a massive internal infection which could easily have killed her. After a week or so, once the pups were moving about, we noticed that the smallest pup was dragging one of her back legs and couldn’t stand on it. Xrays revealed that her hip joints were seriously deformed as was her knee on the bad leg. The vet was of the opinion that poor nutrition had caused this deformation. Some of the other pups also have weaknesses in their hips, but hopefully this will not cause them problems once their musculature has strengthened. The prognosis for this first little girl, Petal, was not great. The first step was to have the leg removed right up to the hip at 8 weeks and hope that the other hip could be strengthened as the muscles developed so she could function adequately as a three-legged dog. She recovered incredibly well from the operation, but her life was still in the balance as blood tests showed she was suffering from a terminal kidney disease normally seen only in very old dogs and the prognosis was that she had a very short time to live. She also suffered from occasional seizures which were very distressing both for her and for us. She was the most loveable pup and full of character. Despite her health issues, she was the happiest and most playful puppy. We were determined that she would have the best possible life for the short time that was left to her. We were also determined that when she was no longer able to enjoy her life, we would not shrink from letting her go painlessly and surrounded by those she loved. That time came today and Terry and I held her in our arms as the vet administered the injection and we felt her all-too-short life ebb away - all because some uncaring, "pet breeding" moron didn't care less about his dogs - just cared about the money they could make him!
Petal - tragic result of irresponsible breeding!
Click on her photo to see PETAL'S STORY
these two girls and their pups are just the tip of an appalling iceberg. We are
increasingly seeing dogs with health and temperament issues being relinquished
into rescue and as long as the puppy farmers, backyard breeders and most common
of all, the “pet” breeders continue to produce poor quality puppies (and
don’t get me started about the morons who deliberately crossbreed) the current
rescue crisis will have no end.
to all those who are looking to buy a puppy, please, please, please make sure that the breeder
you go to ticks all the boxes mentioned in this article.
If they don’t, you will be supporting a cynical (or stupid) commercial breeder
who doesn’t know or care enough about the dogs he/she breeds.
….and to all those thinking of breeding – check out the article mentioned above. Are you 100% sure that you are an ethical, responsible breeder? Can you tick all the boxes? – if not, no matter what you would like to think, you are either a puppy farmer, backyard breeder or naïve/stupid/greedy “pet” breeder!
Brent - Secretary - SHWA(UK)
By supporting SHWA(UK) you can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of unwanted Siberian Huskies
Donate to SHWA(UK) through PAYPAL