Bulldog heartbreak as rescuers take in ‘worst ever’ intake they have ever seen

Rescue centre explains health problems their bulldogs have

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The 10 English bulldogs were signed over to Hope Rescue after they were seized by a local authority on welfare grounds. The charity in Wales said the two adults and eight puppies are the “worst-bred” intake of dogs they have ever seen.

The bulldogs had health issues as a result of low-welfare breeding and inherent breed-related conditions, the charity said.

Sara Rosser, head of welfare, said: “We’re pretty tough at Hope Rescue, but our rescue-hardened hearts have been well and truly broken by these dogs.

“Their health issues include cherry eye, entropion, inverted corkscrew tails, skin conditions, excess folds and wrinkles, and most worryingly, significant conformation issues with their legs, spines and hips.

“That’s before we’ve even considered their breathing issues.”

It comes amid calls from the Royal Veterinary College for people not to buy bulldogs and other flat-faced breeds until breeding issues are addressed.

Hope Rescue’s founder Vanessa Waddon said: “It’s hard for us not to be sympathetic with calls to ban the breed, especially after seeing the horrendous condition of this latest intake.

“If things don’t change, we will be joining those calls.

“It’s vital buyers don’t facilitate the breeding of brachycephalic breeds with exaggerated features and choose breeders who prioritise health before profit.

“We cannot continue to take in these dogs and witness their suffering.”

The charity estimates the cost of veterinary treatment for the 10 bulldogs will be an eye-watering £20,000.

Even then it says the pooches will never function as “normal” dogs and will require ongoing management.

Ms Waddon said: “It’s difficult for us to fundraise right now due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis but if the public could help in anyway, helping us to cover our vet fees, we’d be hugely grateful.”

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It comes after the RVC earlier this month urged people to “stop and think” before buying English bulldogs, which have soared in popularity in the past decade along with pugs and French bulldogs.

Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC, said: “Every dog deserves to be born with equal and good innate health by having a natural ability to breathe freely, blink fully, exercise easily, have healthy flat skin, mate and give birth.

“For breeds such as English bulldogs where many dogs still have extreme conformations with poor innate health, the public have a huge role to play by demanding dogs with moderate and healthier conformations.

“Until then, prospective owners should stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog.”

It comes amid warnings English bulldogs risk being banned in the UK unless they are bred will less extreme features.

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