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HOME - You are here >>>> Foot and Mouth - Meg and her pups - update

Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Meg and Her Pups

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As we have had so many enquiries - This section is about Meg and her pups.

 

 

 

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These images were taken when the pups were just a few hours old.

This was the second litter to have been born in rescue care during 2001 by a bitch taken in by BCR under the Foot and Mouth Farm Dog Rescue program (both mothers were - coincidentally - called Meg)

This Meg came from a shepherd in County Durham who was made redundant due to F&M infection and subsequent culling of his charges. 4 of his dogs also lost their jobs - Meg, Moss, Flash and Snatch - and came into BCR care. We understand that Flash was the father of the litter.

Meg gave birth in the early hours of the morning to a litter of 11, of which one was stillborn and 4 others very small and under developed. In the following week, in spite of some additional hand feeding to supplement Meg's limited milk supply, three of the four weakest pups died. 

The other seven have done very well and even the last under developed one caught up with the rest.

Meg and her litter became quite famous over Christmas 2001 after a press association photographer/reporter, John Giles, came to take their pictures.
The photo's he took were featured in many National, Regional and Local newspapers over the week between Christmas and the New Year resulting in hundreds of enquiries to adopt the pups and a few dozen for Meg herself.

The pups were 4 weeks old at the time the photo's were taken.

This is how they looked at 4 weeks old.
 

 

Photo's copyright and reproduced with kind permission of John Giles, Press Association.

Here, the pups were just coming up to 8 weeks of age and were about to have their initial inoculations.

This is how they looked at 8 weeks old.

Photos of the Pups and Meg with BCR Foster Carer Mandy Vincett (left) and BCR National Co-ordinator Nicki Oliver

Mandy grows plump, happy puppies for Border Collie Rescue

In all litters there is always one to watch. A bold and early developer - the top dog.   In this litter one dog impressed us greatly - not the biggest one but the boldest.

Before his eyes were open he was reacting to human voices and wherever he was in the 'pile' of pups he would heave himself out and stagger towards the sound, wagging his tail vigorously. He even seemed to be smiling!

As the litter developed he retained his affinity to humans and showed the rest of the litter the way forward. Look at any of the three PA photo's by John Giles and there he is - right at the front and in the bottom photo he is looking directly at the camera.

So here he is again - a close up.

 

This one has far to go !

Photo copyright and reproduced with kind permission of John Giles, Press Association.

The Photo's below are of the pups at 12 weeks old - fully inoculated and soon to be re-homed.

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Here are a few more 'action shots'.

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The father of these 7 pups also came in with the mother (and two other dogs) and has since been re-homed back to a farm to work stock - he has gone to a Shepherd in Scotland.

Not to forget Mum - Meg has good eye and has also gone to a Shepherd after being spayed to make sure she has no more 'accidents'. The pups have all gone on to stock working homes.

 

This - to clear up some myths about unwanted dogs during the Foot and Mouth crisis

Contrary to some stories circulated in the Press about farmers dumping dogs and rescue centres all over the UK being inundated with unwanted farm dogs due to foot and mouth disease, Border Collie Rescue found quite the opposite. We found this out by phoning lots of rescue centres and asking them about the BC's they had taken in over the crisis. It turned out that most of these rumours were originated by two rescue organisations with their own agendas and it seemed to be more about raising funds and public sympathy.

 

Under our government approved program, we received over 1200 applications from UK farms offering homes for dogs and took just over 800 of these on file. We had so many enquiries that we had to close our application register. Reports reached us from all over the UK about a shortage of sheepdogs and enquiries we made - and they were extensive enquiries - with rescue organisations all over the UK and particularly in worst affected areas - indicated that many had seen less than the normal number of BC's being offered for re-homing and at worst had noted no more than normal. There was no evidence to suggest that farmers had been dumping dogs and plenty of evidence to indicate that there had been less puppies bred on farms during the crisis year than in previous years.

This all makes sense when you consider the depressed farming market, the restrictions on animal movements and all the other problems associated with this terrible disease. Most farms affected by foot and mouth were not allowed to have their dogs taken away without special licences issued by the ministry.

 

During the period since our Foot and Mouth farm dog rescue program was approved by MAFF and the Government (April 2001) - we took in 211 dogs. These, for the most part, were young dogs and the oldest on the Program was a 10 year old. This was certainly not because the farming community did not know about the program - it was extensively publicised through MAFF, the NFU and the farming press and on the Internet. Many radio and TV stations also covered our rescue program.

If farmers had wanted to 'dump' unwanted dogs they knew who to contact.

So things were not as bad as some people would have liked the public to think.
We thank the lord for that.

 

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