AUSTRALIA — Debra Tranter snuck into a puppy mill in New South Wales to document horrible conditions when she discovered one of the dogs was hiding her puppies inside the walls in order to protect them.
Tranter, founder of Oscar’s Law, and a co-investigator observed the horrible conditions inside the farm and took photographs and videos. This wasn’t the first time this particular puppy mill had been under investigation for operating illegally.
In 2015, NSW Police and the RSPCA confirmed there were breaches of animal welfare and 16 dogs were rescued. Veterinarians found many of the dogs suffered from tumors, infections and deformed feet.
The confiscation didn’t stop the farm from starting over again in worse conditions.
When Tranter and her partner arrived inside the puppy will, they observed dogs living in rat-invested pens that were covered in urine and feces. Water was green with slime. All the dogs barked together creating a deafening experience for anyone who was there.
One dog in particular caught Tranter’s attention. She filmed the dog’s suspicious and sad demeanor.
Then she heard puppy cries.
“I immediately spun around and thought, where could puppies be?” Trantor told The Dodo.
She finally discovered them huddled together in a tiny space behind a wall. There was just enough space through a hole in the plaster for them to fit.
“It was incredibly sad,” Tranter told The Dodo. “This poor mother dog had to give birth on this filthy dirt floor, and had nowhere safe to put her puppies. She was surrounded by all these other barking dogs, so the mother had hidden her babies within the wall cavity because it was the only safe place.”
The issue with puppy mills in Australia is that, although there are animal welfare rules, it is very hard to enforce them. If a puppy mill is under investigation they can close up and move to a different location and continue operating there until they are investigated again.
Trantor wrote to NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair last week explaining that “cruelty” was “slipping through the cracks of weak and ambiguous government legislation”. She hopes for a new inquiry into the issue.