When eight-week-old puppy Homer started lovingly licking Premier Ted Baillieu’s face while he was in the middle of a press conference – which, incidentally, was to announce tough new laws on the illegal puppy farming trade – it got quite a big laugh from onlookers and the image was later splashed across the media.
Homer, along with his three siblings, Roxy, Sam and Husky attended the conference to represent the thousands of puppies born every year in illegal, and often cruel, puppy farms. However while these little guys weren’t born in a puppy farm themselves, they were still the product of irresponsible pet ownership and neglect. Their mum Charlotte was found in a front yard in an unkempt state, with no identification, heavily pregnant and showing signs of already being in labour. She was brought back to The Lost Dogs’ Home where she later gave birth under the care of the Home’s vets.
“Most people agree that puppy farms are horrific but not desexing or identifying your pet is equally as irresponsible,” General Manager Sue Conroy said. “Both are contributing factors to the large number of dogs without owners in Australia.”
Staff were surprised to notice that each little pup looked distinctively different from their Maltese-type mother, making their exact breeds hard to pinpoint.
“They’re a bit of a mixed bag, let’s be honest,” Sue laughed. “We don’t really know what breed dad was but we’re assuming these guys are going to grow up to be Terrier mixes.”
In the weeks after the puppies were born, Charlotte and her brood were put into foster care where they grew strong and healthy. Two-year-old Charlotte has since undergone patella surgery to correct some wobbly kneecaps and will return to her foster carer until she recovers. Her babies, now the required age for adoption, have been desexed, vaccinated and microchipped and are ready to find their new families.
“Not everyone gets to lick the face of the Premier, so these are pretty special little pups,” Sue joked. “We’re hoping to find them homes where they will be treated as part of the family and trained as pups, so they grow up to be well-mannered adult dogs.”
All are available for adoption now, and with faces like that, they won’t be here long! Please call the North Melbourne shelter on (03) 9329 2755 to enquire or put a hold on Homer, Roxy, Sam or Husky.
Read the official announcement about the crack down of illegal puppy farms on the Premier’s website