CALGARY, Alberta — In a Northwest Calgary home last year, 13 dogs were seized. These dogs, called “designer dogs”, were bred for a certain visual trait rather than physical or medical fitness, which often causes severe health issues similar to the ones experienced by toadline exotic bullies.
These dogs were not a specific breed but were called ‘American Bully breed type’ and were bred for a large head, big chest and stocky little legs, causing them severe respiratory and orthopaedic problems.
A year after their removal, their owner Chun Fat (Darren) Law was convicted and sentenced to a $4,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning and caring for animals.
Thankfully, through the help of the Calgary Humane Society, all 13 dogs survived an extensive surgery and have been placed with loving owners. Brad Nichols, senior manager of animal cruelty investigations, said they are all in a better spot now and are all doing very well.
Nichols said officers were called to the home to execute a search warrant in connection with bylaw investigation of the owner’s breeding operation business licensing. But when they arrived in the home, they found the designer dogs in distress with small crates, some wounded, and all had genetically predisposed deformities causing them issues with breathing and moving.
Walking for a few seconds proved to be too much physical activity for the animals. In addition to mobility issues from their large heads and short legs, they were living in unsanitary conditions with a lack of water.
It’s important for future dog owners to know about where their dogs are coming from, and to really consider the welfare of the animals. Supporting designer breeders creates more of a market for these so-called designer dogs, making these breeding operations more common.
“This case is a cautionary tale of unethical breeding practices,” said Nichols. “While designer dogs may be cute, they are suffering medically as a result.”