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Puppy Boom: Counting the Cost

Duration: 1 x 60'

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In this revealing documentary, Vet Fabian Rivers investigates how the popularity of certain dog breeds is causing an animal welfare crisis and exposes the illegal practices of breeders. 

Fabian has witnessed the new puppy boom first-hand through his work at a small animal's veterinary practice, particularly in popular breeds like Frenchies, Bullies and Dachshunds. Through the film, he investigates the complex worlds of these dog breeds as explores why there is a boom in people buying and breeding ‘popular’ dogs, is it causing an animal welfare crisis and what can be done to help alleviate the problems?   

The huge increase in the numbers of people wanting to buy a puppy has resulted in prices going up, which in turn has led to more people breeding dogs. This new interest in breeding has spawned two new industries – Canine Fertility Clinics and new training courses on how to do Artificial Insemination for dogs, and even includes illegal practices being taught to amateurs.

Fabian starts his journey by looking at the huge price tags attached to three popular breeds and explores some of the reasons people are so drawn to them. 

He explores the rise in puppies illegally bred and imported from puppy farms in Europe, the growing and gruesome practices associated with ear cropping, and discovers some of the unexpected difficulties owners face due to hereditary health and welfare issues, including big bills. 

Exploring the big rise in the use of Artificial Insemination, Fabian meets two people who have recently opened their own Canine Fertility Clinics, and one tells about the concerns she has about what she was taught on a dog AI training course. 

An undercover investigation reveals evidence of illegal techniques being taught, including how to take blood from dogs, and, how to use unlicensed hormonal drugs and drugs prescribed for humans, in order to try and maximise the litter size. 

 

For BBC3

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