Puppy farming

Something close to my heart is the issue of animal welfare, and the abomination that is puppy farming particularly affects me. So I’m really pleased and thankful that David has agreed to add his signature, in chunky black marker pen, to a Gibson guitar which is to be auctioned next month to benefit Pup Aid, the brainchild of TV vet and animal campaigner, Marc Abraham.

The event took place recently in Brighton (coinciding with recent news stories in Australia and the United States, as it happens), and was a tremendous success.

The guitar in question is a classic Epiphone Casino, also signed so far by Liam Gallagher (of Oasis), Mick Jones (of The Clash), Gary Moore and Paul Weller.

Puppy farms or mills, or ‘battery farms for dogs’, as is considered a more aptly descriptive term, concern the mass production of puppies for commercial profit. It’s an embarrassing problem which is quite close to home for me, as it’s something that goes on in the countryside – Wales in particular. The pups are usually parted from their mothers far too soon, transported around the country to dealers, and then sold online and through newspapers, as well as in pet shops.

This cold-hearted operation on a vast scale is purely to line the pockets of unscrupulous, callous breeders; the welfare of the animals involved is not in the least bit important. It produces puppies often lacking in the necessary skills of socialisation, with sometimes dangerous infestations of fleas and worms, commonly suffering from fatal health problems such as pneumonia or hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia. They often require considerable and costly veterinary or behavioural treatment. Their lives can be short and painful.

It shouldn’t take much imagination to realise that these dogs develop psychological problems to go with the physical ones. Breeding bitches, usually cooped up in cages or pens, rarely see the light of day. They live in the most dank, dirty, dingy conditions, their hair painfully matted, their food found alongside their faeces. Mated on every heat, they are fed barely enough to keep them producing litters, with little or no veterinary care. They benefit from no exercise, mental stimulation or affection. When they have served their purpose, can produce no more and thus cease to be profitable commodities, they are discarded; stomachs bloated, too weak to stand, ill-equipped for a world beyond the walls within which they have forever been cocooned.

What a miserable, pitiful existence for loyal creatures of companion meant to be man’s best friend.

Unfortunately, so many dog owners are ignorant – often conveniently so, it has to be said, as vanity takes precedence over reality’s harshness at times – of their plight. It is believed that as many as 15 per cent of the dogs in the UK right now may have started out in life on a puppy farm.

I am supposed to say that you should always buy from a reputable breeder, but forgive me if I don’t. My feelings are such that I believe very few exist. People breed puppies to make money. I find that morally disgusting, knowing that every single day, in the UK alone, a dog is killed every hour in council-run pounds because nobody in a nation of supposed animal lovers can give it a home. There are many things that I resent my taxes being spent on, and euthanising perfectly healthy dogs is one of them. My view, however much it may offend, is that by buying any puppy made to order you are condemning umpteen more to a completely unnecessary premature death, and that troubles me tremendously. (Writing as someone whose four-legged friends have only ever, and will only ever, come from rescue shelters, this is my prerogative and I make no apologies for it.)

What I will say instead is that September is National Dog Adoption Month in the UK, October being the American Humane Association’s equivalent. If you are considering bringing a pet dog into your life – which is proven to make you happier, friendlier and live longer, don’t forget – please rescue one from a shelter and give an abandoned or neglected dog a second chance at a happy and fulfilling life. From my own experience, it may well be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Do let everyone who may be interested know about this guitar auction (further details to follow just as soon as they are confirmed), but also please do all that is in your power to convert those that may not even care to know about puppy farming over to the side that believes strongly that such unforgivable cruelty has to stop – and will stop if our superficial species can behave in a manner that makes it worthy of its part in that old cliché about dogs being a man’s best friend.

(This the day that the World Society for the Protection of Animals announced that the South Korean government has agreed to consider phasing out bear farming by the end of this year, by the way.)

Of course, you may wish to go one step further and contact your elected representative to find out when he or she is going to stop turning a blind eye to a thoroughly disgraceful matter. Support your local animal shelter. Report breeders to animal welfare organisations. Boycott pet stores that sell animals. Please don’t let me stop you if I’ve touched a nerve here.

As ever, I look forward to sharing your thoughts. Brownie points for all the dog owners; doubled, naturally, if your dog has spent time in a rescue shelter.

Thank you for reading my rant du jour and thank you, David, for being generous with your time – and ink – today.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

81 thoughts on “Puppy farming”

  1. Many moons ago I had a Westie named Harry…

    Harry was as mad a bucket of frogs because he was bred in a puppy farm. The dog was purchased out of the boot of a car, he was relatively inexpensive and did not have papers. If I had known these things I would have never bought Harry by the way.

    Anyone wanting to buy a puppy should go to the Dog Pound and rescue a poor misfortunate…

    I would steer clear of pet stores as well notwithstanding what I’ve said above the instances of Parvo Virus in pet shops can be quite high. Parvo will kill a puppy within days unfortunately.

    And last but not least get Pet Insurance… it’s worth it in the long run.

    My latest Westie is a puppy and came from the local Dog Pound… his name is Angus. 😀

    1. So sorry to hear about your little Harry. It does break one’s heart though because one does feel even pet shop puppies deserve loving parents. It’s all so cruel and unfair.

      I don’t have pets any more. I’ve had to hold so many while they “went to sleep”, I just can’t do it anymore. They are all so intimately associated with important chapters in one’s life and it’s a double letting-go.

      Wish you a long and happy love story with Angus. :v

      Bella xo

  2. This is an issue I’ve been very aware of for quite a while. And I agree with every word you’ve written here, FEd. Puppy mills are horrible, inhumane places where profit for the farmer is valued above all else. I have never bought an animal from a pet store (except for the tropical fish I kept as a child) and never intend to do so, not while there are plenty of perfectly friendly animals who desperately need a home. And not when so many of the animals at the pet store originated from such horrible beginnings as are described here.

    My cat was a stray who appeared at someone’s doorstep. My wife agreed to take him in. That was a year or so before she met me, and we’ve been together for nearly 12 years now. So he’s a very old cat by now, and he has all the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and so he requires extra care. But he’s still the friendliest companion one could ever hope for. He’s not a purebred, but we’re good with that. Most important to us is that he has a home and a family where he’s treasured. He has brought us so much wonderful loving. And we know he didn’t come from the kitten’s equivalent to a puppy mill.

  3. This was painful to read.

    Part of the problem I believe is the attitude of people going to pet shops to buy puppies, like going to a boutique to choose a dress.

    There are countless volunteering organizations giving away puppies in perfect health, and natural born, in need of adoption. They only ask for the mandatory vaccination and registration costs, which are absolutely affordable.

    Nobody should be allowed to earn profits on an animal’s life.

  4. great post, fed. i couldn’t agree with you more.

    i’ve always had rescue dogs and would never consider buying from even a so-called “reputable breeder” no matter what. they’re almost all in it for the money and who takes the time to check that they aren’t? puppy farming makes me sick. i applaud david for showing what a caring man he is and signing this guitar. his signature counts for a lot and will make a difference.

    here’s hoping that lots of money will be raised to help dogs. they are man’s best friend and man should treat them better.

  5. Of course, who couldn’t agree with you? It’s a shame. I started viewing the Puppy Mills video but couldn’t even watch it till the end. Too hard.

    Not only Puppy farming, but also, how about all those people who abandon their dogs/cats when they are going on holiday or simply when the pets are growing up and are no longer the cute puppies that they bought without thinking, just because they (or their kids) couldn’t resist?

    Human stupidity, hypocrisy, selfishness. Pure cruelty.

    Our cat comes from a shelter. He is a joy. 🙂

    Our local shelter asks for help from people. They take in so many abandoned dogs/cats. They ask for people (=’familles d’accueil’) to welcome a dog/cat just for a while till they find a true/permanent owner. It’s mainly to try to warm up and ‘socialise’ abandoned pets (can’t explain better, sorry). I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but at least they try to do their best.

    I knew that David is an animal lover. Bravo, David.

    And what a nice photo! And a post written with passion, too. 🙂

    1. They ask for people (=’familles d’accueil’) to welcome a dog/cat just for a while till they find a true/permanent owner.

      That would be fostering. I think that’s a great way to build up an animal’s confidence, as shelters aren’t the nicest of places. I think I’d be very bad at it, though; I’d end up letting them all live with me permanently.

  6. Bravo for being involved with such a worthy cause. As an animal lover, I am always appalled by the inhumane methods used to breed puppies and, perhaps to a lesser extent, kittens. Of course, the ultimate solution is to stop creating a demand for their “product”.

    There’s a heartbreakingly vast quantity of animals in shelters here in the States, that need to be adopted into loving homes. If you consider your pets to be property instead of family, perhaps you should reconsider taking an animal into your life.

  7. Thanks David for offering your signature and thanks to you, FEd, for this very informative post.

    I don’t know if mills are common in Italy (probably they are), but I know for sure that my country is involved in the equally shameful business of puppies traffic.

    According to LAV’s (our most important anti-vivisection association) esteemates, most of the puppies sold in animals shops or by other kinds of private deals, was born in eastern Europe puppies farms.

    After being (too early) taken away from their mothers, they are loaded in lorries and carried to other countries. Many of them are crushed in overcrowded cages, or die of hunger and thirst before reaching their final destination, but even when they survive, their health is often compromised.

    Italian Government should have recently approved a bill about puppies traffic, but the full text seems very hard to find, so I couldn’t read it, yet.

    I completely agree with you, FEd, about the choice of adopting abandoned dogs, instead of buying puppies from breeders or shops.

    The older of my boyfriend’s dogs comes from a Municipal shelter (this one, if someone Italian is interested). She was born in the shelter because her mother was abandoned while pregnant.

    The other one is a Labrador with no pedigree. Her mother was taken away from a hunter who kept her alone and closed in a very small cage where she could not even move. 😡

    I’d go on writing on this topic for hours, but I have to go to sleep.

  8. Within the last year or so, we had an incident near me in which a puppy mill was discovered and the farmer was notified that he had one week to close his mill and find homes for the dogs. He executed the animals by shooting them all. He then abandoned his property and was found attempting to cross the border into Mexico.

  9. Excellent topic, Fed! I’m so glad to see David Gilmour supporting this cause! This is a soapbox issue for me. When it comes to new pets, you have to do your research. Convenience is going to destroy us!

    Never, but never buy a puppy without asking first to see it, the litter, the birth parents and its vaccination papers, on its home turf. And research the temperament of a purebreed before you buy: so many dogs, cats and exotics end up returned or worse because of an improper fit. Mixes are a great idea, and are mostly healthier (due to hybrid vigour) than purebreeds.

    My dogchild came from a veterinarian who advertised in the papers, and was more than willing to have us over to see the litter. A good breeder will ask YOU questions and be just as concerned that the puppy is going to a good home.

    It’s EXTREMELY important that impressionable puppies come from a good normal upbringing for the first 7-8 weeks of life, with the mother and the litter, and that future owners wait the required time for normal socialization of the puppy to develop naturally, in its very first pack. Taking a puppy prematurely can cause lifelong behavior problems.

    The reason that German Shepherds have poor reputations and increasingly severe genetic abnormalities is because of bad breeders of the ilk you describe, FED. The puppy mill trade as a whole should be banned if it can’t be regulated.

  10. Having been sitting stewing over the so called DANGEROUS DOGS ACT, should it not be renamed DANGEROUS OWNERS ACT? After all, if you mistreat a Yorkshire terrier it will not be a very nice pet, will it?

  11. …Boycott pet stores that sell animals. Please don’t let me stop you if I’ve touched a nerve here.

    Well, I boycott immediately!

  12. I’ve just found this interesting website. It contains all the most important US laws that (should) protect puppies in mills.

    I couldn’t find anything like that about Europe, yet, but I’ll go on searching.

    Even though I know it could seem not directly connected to the main topic, here is the new, shameful European directive on vivisection.

    I think the website is only partially in English, but, if someone is interested, I have no problem to translate the rest.

    Sorry, FEd, if I went slightly off topic, but I can’t help thinking there is a connection between the way of thinking which is behind that directive and the mills owners mind.

    1. Our laws are good laws, but enforcement is a biiiig issue. Even in the best of times, there have not been enough police with jurasdiction over animals. Often, police must rely upon people calling in with their concerns. And many, many puppy mills simply fly beneath the radar.

    2. I completely agree, Dan.

      Even the most perfect law is useless if there is not enough enforcement.

      Some occasional police controls and pets confiscations are not enough, especially when the illegal activities are clearly controlled by the organized crime, as it happens with the business of puppies traffic, in which my country is involved.

  13. Puppy farms disgust me.

    I did actually get my hound off a farm, but it was not a puppy farm. One of the farmer’s Foxhounds broke out of the pack and mated with a neighbouring Border Collie so they sold the hound mixes very cheaply.

    However, before I got Freddie Foxtrot, I did indeed go to the RSPCA with a view to adopting a dog. I wanted an adult dog who wanted to be loved. I did not want a pup because of their destructive nature. We found a lovely Beagle Pug mix who was over 2 years old but Imogen was frightened of him. The RSPCA would not let us have the dog (or any dog) because of Imogen’s fear. They did suggest that we should get a puppy instead so the pair would grow up together. That is exactly what I did in the end.

    But breeding just for money is repulsive. I used to clean a ladies house who used to breed Alastians. She was so tight with her money that most of her pups would die of parvo virus. She never had them inoculated. Shame on her.

    Well done, David for supporting such a worthy cause.

    1. When you think of just how much wealth those breeding bitches create for the bitches forcing them to breed, the way they are treated becomes all the most sickening.

    2. Well at least Freddie was conceived naturally i.e. a Foxhound dog sought out a Border Collie bitch who was in season. Freddie’s parents were not forced to breed, they just did as nature intended.

      As much as I like some pedigree dogs, I do not like what goes on behind the scenes. I don’t think all breeders are this way, but it makes one stop and think before buying a pedigree.

      I would love to obtain a purebred Foxhound pup but they are very rare indeed as they are normally only bred amongst the hunting community. Sorry for the sore subject here! It would not pay to rescue and adult Foxhound either as they are a working dog and they would probably suffer severe separation anxiety (from the pack). Sorry there peeps, I will be quiet now.

      …those breeding bitches create for the bitches forcing them to breed to breed…

      Are you saying that the breeders are bitches for forcing their breeding bitches to breed? Excuse my ignorance here, FEd. 😉

  14. Something very close to my heart. Thank you FEd for such a great post.

    Thank you David for being so generous for this cause.

    FEd, you definitely said it all and you should never apologize for being someone who adopts for a shelter over some breeder who doesn’t care for the puppies or the breeding dogs to begin with. I used to be so quiet about saying something to people who treat their animals horribly, that has changed drastically. Puppy Mills I heard about a while ago and it really broke my heart to see that, that and Kitty Mills too, actually go on.

    I hope you opened some eyes today with this post! 🙂

  15. Nice one!

    Couldn’t agree more, puppy farming is just wrong.

    I’d also agree with you to an extent about breeders, I’m sure a lot of them are in it for the money. That said, if we want to have dogs they’ve got to come from somewhere. If everyone went out and got their dog neutered today then we’d have no problem with abandoned dogs in, say, 15 years time – we’d have no dogs to be abandoned.

    I don’t have a problem paying someone for time spent and bills incurred (vets aren’t exactly cheap) raising a litter of happy, healthy, well socialised pups. I’d have a problem with it if the dog was having pups on a regular basis, whether it was a family pet or not.

    It’s actually quite easy to spot a dodgy breeder by what they don’t ask you.

    And no, I don’t breed dogs or have any intention of ever doing so.

  16. “We have a choice, they don’t”, that sums it up very well, doesn’t it?

    It’s the logo of – what I think is – an interesting and thought provoking website that I just found.

    ‘News’, ‘What you can do’, what to do before ‘buying a puppy’, ‘links’, ‘Investigations’, ‘your stories’ are all worth a read.

    Some very moving videos too…

    They even include a list of puppy sellers to avoid.

    We have a choice, they don’t.

  17. … we have pets for decades now, but we never bought one. I can’t imagine going into a shop and buy a family member. We either got our cats from an animal shelter or from friends.


  18. 🙁 it’s sad to hear that this goes on. i’m only 14 so forgive me if some of my thoughts are immature, but i agree with you guys. selling a life is atrocious, especially if these so called “authentic breeders” get their dogs from dog farms. i would try to support this charity however i’m not someone who has enough money to buy this guitar, but i will raise this issue at school.

    i’ve never ever bought an animal from a pet shop except my cat which was being kept in dirty cages, in an old pet shop, with faeces next to its food, and that pet shop was ultimately closed down because of this kind of neglect. my cat that i rescued from a bin when it was around 2 days old had led a happy six year life, until someone ultimately ran him over, although he had a sad ending.

    the point i’m trying to make is that animal owners can’t buy a dog for christmas or a cat as they say so often, a person needs a connection between their companion, whether it is just respect towards the animal, or love, and i think that these puppies in question need love.

    i know what i will be dedicating my year to.

    1. thank you.

      btw, anyone know if david will do any more tours in the future? he is my hero so i wanted to know. bit off subject and maybe stupid question, but my dad went to pulse so i wanted to see david once in my life.

    2. Sadly, Gabriel, David has not chosen to reveal his plans at this time. You’re in the right place, though, when he DOES choose to make his next move known.

  19. This seems to be an epidemic around the world. In Toronto last year, the Humane Society was charged for cruelty of animals of all people.

    My dog Lime was rescued before euthanasia by a friend of ours working at a Vet shop. She loves animals and cares for many. She got pregnant and couldn’t keep up.

    We adopted this tame and lovely dog, he couldn’t stand up on our hardwood floors. Now he is okay and is the most gentle dog I’ve had. The breeder originally didn’t want him because he wasn’t normal.

    I’d like to put these monsters into a cage and let them suffer the same.


  20. Hi Fed and everyone.

    I don’t have a dog. It would not be fair for the animal as Kat and I are out most of the day. My Brother has three; one looks like a sausage dog but it’s crossed with an Irish Setter – figure that out. The other is a beautiful Welsh Collie, very clever lad. And last but not least he has a Poodle that belonged to his mother in law. It’s nearly blind, it’s deaf and is ancient.

    Did you know the Koreans have farms for dogs for the dinner table? Yuk or what. I saw a documentary about it, Chinese do as well, but during the Olympics it was taken off the menu.


  21. Hello FEd!

    How are you? Long time, no post… :v

    I happen to agree with you. We take in abandoned/unwanted litters of cats, bottle feed and find homes for them. We also rescue cats and get them spayed or neutered. We have recently acquired 2 puppies from a rescued/abandoned pregnant dog that a friend found wandering the streets. We also have a German Shepherd, I got from friends of mine, whose children ignored her and left in the back yard. We had her spayed.

    I refuse to breed animals. There are way too many unwanted animals that need homes. 😡

    Have a great week,

  22. We all know very well the world is a ball full of problems and pet’s pain is not the first, but puppy farms are so cruel!

    Good idea David and thank you for sharing this kind of problem too.

    Here, in Italy, there’s a website to consult some lists of abandoned dogs, puppies and pets and everyone has a sad story to tell and needs a chance to improve the life.

    My dog is a White Shepherd, very sweet and huge: in his imagination is a “for ever puppy”… also in my eyes.

    A hug from Rome

  23. Here is an excerpt from research called “Euthanasia of companion animals: a legal and ethical analysis”. It contains the law that regulates dogs euthanasia in Italy.

    “Law no. 281/91, besides delegating the job of birth control in cat and dog populations to the regions, has made it statutory that stray dogs may only be euthanised when they are “seriously or incurably ill or proven to be dangerous”. The Ministry Circular underlines the fact that “euthanasia of dogs is prohibited except in special justified cases”. On the other hand, due to the legal classification of animals as property, the owner has the right of ownership over his animal so that he can sell it and kill it (ius vitae ac necis). In this view a request for euthanasia is licit, whatever the animal’s state of health may be.”

    The full text can be found here.

    Euthanasia as a way to limit overpopulation in dogs shelters seems not legal, here. The “ius vitae ac necis” concept, makes me doubt, though.

  24. I’m glad to see that animal welfare is important to someone so important to me. I’ve just come back from Corfu, where cats and dogs are treated like so much garbage, which had me crying on more than one occasion.

    Thank you, FEd and David.

  25. Our basset hound is a purebred that we bought from the owner/breeder, and she was a lovely woman who took exceptional care of the bitch (the mother) and the puppies. Teddy is a handful, but we love him just the same.

    Our two cats were strays we adopted. Lucky who is now 10 and Downstairs (yes, that’s her name) who we think is about 2 or 3 years old. We adopted Lucky back in October of 2000, when my sister found her shivering on a pile of broken glass alongside the apartment we lived in. She was the runt of her litter, so the mother didn’t care much to feed her or take care of her, and in brutal Chicago winters, she wouldn’t have lasted long. Downstairs came to us a couple of years ago when we found her sleeping, curled up in a ball on a chair on our front porch. She was extremely skinny and very, very loving. We could tell she had a home at one time because she’s a very social cat and loves to “talk” to people and nuzzle them and lick their arms or hands. Someone must have dumped her in the woods near our house. It’s their loss, as she’s a very affectionate and loving animal.

    So it pains me when people treat animals as nothing more than dirt on their shoes. It also warms my heart to see someone like David throw his name behind the cause and in support of helping these poor animals.

    Bless you David, you’re a better man than most.

    1. People who abandon animals don’t deserve prison, they deserve worse.

      In some ways I think animals are in more need than most people in the world, they were here before us (in some less evolved form of some sort) and then we dominate the world, creating harsh urban environments, roads, railways, and animals such as cats and dogs are at our mercy. I don’t think they should be treated the way they are.

      I also heard about “dying rooms” where children are sent (mainly girls) to orphanages where they are tied to beds or chairs and left to die of disease or starvation, because of the one child policy. Brutal is the only word to describe it. Some people’s lust for money lets down the rest of the world and the animals.

      Very sad to hear that someone abandoned your cat. I’m glad you were able to give him/her a loving home. 🙂

  26. Well I’m not going to earn any Brownie points tonight FED. :v

    Our two German Shepherds were both from breeders, but that was for a reason. We have had a Shepherd from a ‘farm’ in the early eighties but we were very naive about buying a dog then. We also took a dog from a rescue centre to keep the Shepherd company and she was a Lab/Retriever cross. The Shepherd did not work out and came to a sticky end. However, Bracken was a delight for the 15 years of her life she was with us. When we first got her she was frightened if anyone walked about with a rolled up magazine or newspaper. She also would be aggressive if anyone came near who was drunk. No prizes for guessing what went on in her former life and I am glad we were able to give her something more. She sadly passed on in 1999. We spent a year or so without a dog but found ourselves taking other people’s out. Great for a while but we yearned for a German Shepherd again, but this time we would do it right.

    Living in Aylesbury where the Kennel Club have an office, we went for some advice. We went to numerous breeders but were not happy until we found Xsora’s parents and grandparents present. She has been a great girl, won numerous awards at the German Shepherd training club we went to. My wife then wanted one so we went to a breeder we knew. Layla is a character but defies the image of a Shepherd, she is as daft as a brush.

    Please, if you buy from a breeder, make sure you meet the (dog) family as well.

    1. Good breeders breed to ensure the continuation of sound, healthy dogs with good temperament and I believe they do have a place for this reason. Puppy mills, however, are an abomination. I am so impressed with David for contributing his signature for this brilliant cause.

      My kids love to squeal over the puppies in stores but when we do get a dog, it will most likely be from the SPCA. I don’t know how common mills are here, I suspect they do exist though. Most of the dogs in our local shops I expect are from backyard breeders which is almost as big of a problem. 🙁

  27. Thanks for making me aware of this. Dogs are meant to be man’s/woman’s best friend, not a way to make fast money.

    PS. I only buy free-range eggs, for similar reasons.

  28. The creepy things people will do to living beings to for cash… people who capitalize on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of others make me sick!!! 😡

    Thanks Dr. Gilmour.

    8) What a groovy idea to adopt an animal from a shelter. I’ve been thinking lately that I could use a couple of friends here to hit the bike trail and river with after a long day…

  29. I bought a Bulldog seven years ago which I really loved and a few years later she died from cancer. So I got a Rottweiler and she died a few years later from cancer too. I was so scared of getting another dog. Then my Vet told me to get a mixed breed like a half Golden Retriever/yellow lab and I asked him why. He told me that a lot of the AKC dogs out there with papers are over breed for the money. So I took his advice and went to a humane society. A few months later I found my dog and she is in great health and I will never buy a registered dog again.

    Thanks for bring up this subject and its great to see that David is taking part in this worthy cause.

    Take care,

  30. I am shocked to discover this goes on. I had no idea. I don’t know where I’ve been all these years but I’d never heard of this.

    I always thought pet shops got their stock from local people whose cats or dogs (and assorted others) had litters and who were pleased to find someone to take them (when ready of course) because none of their family or friends wanted one.

    How naive was I? I am an animal lover, all my cats and dogs were from the RSPCA or otherwise rescued. I’ve even been involved in several anti cruelty campaigns. I just didn’t know this went on. I thought Britain had adequate laws to ensure this sort of thing didn’t go on.

    I think it useful to point out, I regarded myself as reasonably informed about animal welfare, if I am typical animal lover, how many other typical animal lovers don’t know about this. Thank you David for allowing your site to publicise this.

    Thank you Fed for what was indeed a passionate post.


  31. Do I get points for having two rescue cats?

    Hey, Mr. Gilmour: When will you see fit to release Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man? It goes without saying that those bootleg versions floating around out there are inferior in quality and to tell you the truth, I’d rather have the real thing.

    P.S. Any unreleased Syd out there for us to enjoy aside from the two songs mentioned above?

  32. This is something I found surfing the web.

    Even though I generally consider it useful to protest by boycotting something, the idea of convincing the fans to boycott the European championship doesn’t make much sense to me.

    The real issue, here, is not the championship, but the reason why, as the journalist says, “the Ukrainian authorities really haven’t done anything to take care of the stray animals”.

    Those hundreds of stray animals are the result of years of indifference and the championship is, probably, only a good excuse, for the local authorities, to clear the streets. Do you really think this is the first time they use these cruel methods to make the stray dogs disappear?

    I just think they should boycott the authorities, not the football championship, or nothing will change.

  33. Hi Fed, I have only just caught up on your post.

    I support your stance 100%. There is NO excuse for ‘breeders’ to cash in on what is pure ‘animal exploitation’. There are times when the ‘law’ fails us badly. This is one such example.

    Keep up the ‘rants’ Fed, as you could say, ‘touch that nerve’ and await the response.

    Good Luck to all involved in this cause.


  34. Dear Fed,

    have a very very rocking and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    And many thanks for your great work keeping us fans connected with David and each other.

    Best wishes

  35. October, 4th.

    “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
    by Phyllis Diller

    However you decide to spend
    this very special day,
    here is hoping
    it turns out to be
    just right in every way!

    Happy Birthday, dear F.Ed.!!

    Cheers! Have a great time.


  36. Those puppy-farms sounds horrible… actually I had never heard of that before. Not in this country anyway… well, we are so regulated (over-regulated some would say), it is forbidden, and you can’t buy dogs in pet-shops. Only fish and other small animals. I never heard of anyone who didn’t get the dog from a kennel.

    Though I don’t think it’s the most important issue in the world, there’s no excuse for abusing defenceless animals.

    By the way: Happy birthday Fed! May you be surrounded by family, friends and other people who love and celebrate you today… perhaps with a cold beer or two? 😉

  37. Hello Fed. 😀

    Are you in hiding because it’s your birthday and you’re embarrassed because we’ll all want to send you Birthday greetings?

    There is no hiding place… however, I don’t think we should have Hugs on your birthday… I do think we could have some Kisses.

    Happy Birthday Fed!


  38. Hello,

    This topic is really important and dear to me. I’ve grown up with dogs, cats and even a little horse and a goat, my life has always been filled with the presence of these wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, people try to make fast money in every possible way. It’s a shame, as if our lives depended only on the money we have, no love, no respect and no warmth remain.

    We must change the world.

  39. Hi everybody.

    Nice topic FEd.

    I´ve got to say, this is an awful situation, and the worst of it, it´s because the vanity of people cause it. I mean, unless you are a blind person or a policeman and you need some specific kind of dog, why is so important to have a “pure” dog? Here, in my country, there are a lot of persons that buy Rotweillers or Pitbull dogs just to show them in the back of a truck. Idiots!!!

    I got a dog, I don´t know what race is she. I just rescued her from the streets, six years ago and I am proud of her.

    Finally, thanks David for signing that guitar, it means a lot for the puppies and the people who care about them.

    P.S. I know that in English its supposed to use “it” to reference dogs or animals but I cannot do it. You know what I mean.


  40. Thank you, Dan, Ulli, Michèle, Elisabetta, Alessandra, Lene, Ash, Ralph and Susan – for the kind birthday wishes. Bless your cotton socks.

    1. FEd, I didn’t know that it was your birthday, I’m sorry for the delay but…

      Happy birthday! Hope you spent a very good day… my best wishes.

    2. Bless your cotton socks.

      I had never heard this expression before.

      Same here, Alessandra. And I love it too.

      I hope our cotton socks were clean. :))

  41. There are breeders who follow standards and who do things right, humanely and respectfully. That is very different from what FEd wrote about. Puppy mills are places where it is NOT done right. Where animals are hurt and live in horrific conditions. There is a difference.

    I would hate for anyone to confuse the two, to shun a real breeder who is doing it right. There is a legitimate place for such breeders.

  42. Fed, I didn’t know it was your birthday! :))

    Many happy returns! And thank you from those of us who have grown fond across the pond!

    Thank you: for all the fun, the laughs, the great joys, even the tears, the great shocks and colossal experiences, the education, awareness, and all that you do!

  43. I love dogs. The two dogs I got when I was still single I got from the pound. Great post.

    While we are on the subject of Dogs do you mind if I rant about something Pink Floyd related that pisses me off?

    Starting with Shaeffer’s book on Pink Floyd, they virtually all slam “Seamus” and “Mademoiselle Nobs”. I friggin’ love that song. I don’t consider it a throw away song at all. It’s funny but it shouldn’t be denigrated like it is in all the Pink Floyd books. It’s friggin’ wonderful. I think the dog does a magnificent job. I don’t think it takes away from the blues acoustic performance at all. It makes you feel happy. Also it’s very avant guard.

    I remember seeing the Floyd play “Seamus” on public television in L.A. in the 1970s. Maybe it was a clip or something, but when all the bands were sucking up to the music media with these silly pop songs, Pink Floyd was saying “f-you” to the establishment and playing a blues song with a dog singing. It’s great. Anyone who has animals in the house has had the animals sing along when music is being made. Why the f- do these song reviewers talk about the song being awful, when in fact it is utterly marvelous?

    Same thing with “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast”. It’s great. People dismiss it because of “sound effects?” Reviewers worship Duchamp for saying a urinal is art, he hangs it up, and the thing is worth a million bucks, but Gilmour isn’t allowed to hold a mike to “Mademoiselle Nobs” who yowls? I think it’s fabulous!!!

    1. My dog sings beautifully to Bob Dylan. 8) Throws his head back and howls like a wolf, modulating, with his own sense of rhythm, chorus and excellent timing!

      He perks up at Seamus (he alerts on the dogs, not the music) but sings neither to the Floydian harmonica, nor the Woody Guthrie harmonica, just Dylan: he has his own sense of taste!

      The exception to Dylan is when I play the harmonica for him in the only way I can, which is pretty lacking in musical ability, but when my Shepherd howls, we could cut a record.

  44. What a beautiful post for our most loyal friends.

    Thank you David Gilmour, Liam Gallagher, Mick Jones, Gary Moore and Paul Weller for putting pen to wood for our furry soul-mates.

    Happy belated Birthday FEd and all the October Birthday boys and girls… have a Byzantine celebration and celebrate all month!



  45. I am so sorry FED! Happy Birthday and I hope that you had a really good day.


  46. Thanks David for signing the guitar. It means a lot to us fans to see you involved in the things that are pulling at our own very heartstrings.

  47. FEd,

    a great topic. As a dog owner, the health, safety, and wellness of animals has become something of a serious cause for me.

    We got our dog from an American Kennel Club sponsored breeder. It costs a bit more money, but the sponsorship ensures the protection of both the mother and the litter. There are strict guidelines as to how a breeder can operate under the AKC rules so you know they are not operating as a puppy mill. Many times its very loving families who will breed once or twice max before stopping the bitch dog, and ensuring their health and well being. We wound up with the runt of the litter, and while turning out to be a very goofy dog (she loves weird things like spinning and rolling for no reason), she is strong, healthy, and well balanced.

    Anyone serious about considering adding a dog to their family needs to undertake a serious vetting process. It’s time that the world knows that inhumane practices and puppy mills will not be tolerated!

  48. FE’d:

    Thank you very much for bringing up this issue. The more this information can get around the better.

    This whole subject just makes my heart ache. I used to belong to an animal rights organization where I was introduced to so much that I finally had to take a break away from all the anguish and injustice.

    For a long time it felt like we were pushing that boulder uphill. Now it seems that perhaps there maybe some forward motion and improvement. At least in bringing these subjects out into the light of day. Certainly so much still goes on that is just so terrible, but at least it is getting more press, TV ads, and word of mouth.

    Thank you, David, for adding your name to this issue.


  49. 🙁 More tears this weekend, as I realized I might have to follow advice that I had previously offered here on this thread:

    Our dear old adventurous, heroic, why-does-he-have-to-be-so-terribly-loud dogchild was taken suddenly by an aggressive incurable cancer. We had no choice except to put him to sleep.

    He was larger than life.

    I feel as if I underwent a heart amputation.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Sharon.

      If a stranger’s advice is not unwelcome, I found quite recently that wasting no time whatsoever in adopting another dog helped me enormously when it felt as thought my chest was suddenly missing something that’s rather important. (I’ve actually ended up with three dogs in an attempt to fill the void, but their antics meant that laughter replaced tears sooner than would have been so were it not for their need for a composed and properly-functioning human to reassure them in their new home.)

      Good luck.

  50. Aloha and Mahalo for your kind words, Fed.

    He was an exceptional ‘ilio, and we’d love to jump in again, but I think we need some time to process his life before we adopt.

    When we’re ready we might “Go Greyhound”: there’s a nearby adoption program that rescues former racetrack dogs.

    When I have a moment I’ll upload a picture of our gorgeous redheaded 90-pound Wiley-Guiley Grendelian fuzzybeast. I could write a book about him.

    That dog’s hair is everywhere
    Bobo’s in the air

    My husband’s career involved moving to 3 separate states during minye bolshoi sabaka,
    ma petite chein’s long and happy life.
    We want to spread his ashes over
    Wisconsin, Hawai’i, and West Virginia.

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