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Bark n Wag 15 Minute Vet Talk

Apr 23, 2017

You are listening to Bark & Wag’s 15 Minute Vet Talk and I am your host Polly ReQua

Today we are talking with Chris Wallen, Volunteer with LEARN, Labrador Education and Rescue Network servicing Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.


Welcome Chris…..

First – thank you for all that you do for Labs. As a volunteer for LEARN it is such a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Two weeks ago we talked with Dr. Meredith Rives about Puppy Mills. Opening our eyes on this terrible practice. In January LEARN rescued 14 dogs from a backyard breeder. This is the second time you had rescued Labs from this breeder. The first rescue saved 11 Labradors. You dedicated the mission as Stop the Madness – Operation Sunday Labs. 

Please tell us what is a backyard breeder?

Backyard breeder is a term used to describe amateur animal breeders whose breeding is considered substandard, with little or misguided effort towards ethical, selective breeding. ... Larger commercial operations of a similar type that breed dogs are usually termed a puppy mill (especially in North America) or puppy farm.

One of the dogs your rescued was Peanut. Please tell us about Peanut.

Peanut was one of the Labs rescued in Operation Sunday Labs.  Peanut arrived in very poor medical condition.  He was extremely malnourished and suffering from parasites and tick-borne illnesses.  Sadly, despite exceptional foster home and Vet care, Peanut survived only a few days. L.E.A.R.N. has dedicated subsequent efforts to rescue the remaining Labs at that breeder's in Peanut's honor:  Operation Peanut's Promise.  L.E.A.R.N. geared up for Operation Peanut's Promise by recruiting and preparing additional foster homes.

Why weren’t all of the dogs taken with the first rescue?

How did the second rescue come about?

After several postponements, and with the help of Pets In Crisis, on Sunday, January 11th, L.E.A.R.N. rescued 14 more Labs from the same breeder. Peanut’s Promise Labs were transported to a central location in southern WI where L.E.A.R.N. volunteers bathed, examined and showered them with love.  From there, the 14 dogs headed off to their warm foster homes where they would begin learning to trust humans. One of the greatest challenges for the foster homes is to help these Labs overcome different fears — from everyday noises to riding in a car, conquering stairs, and leaving the couch.

We're happy to report that this second group of Labs, despite needing Vet care, appeared less emaciated and generally in better health than the first group.  Unlike the first group, none have required emergency care.  Nevertheless, because of their background, they require more Vetting.  As with the Operation Sunday Labs, most have parasites and tick-borne illnesses for which they are being treated.  They also need to be Heartworm tested, put on preventative, spayed/neutered and vaccinated.   Since the breeder erratically vaccinated some dogs himself, L.E.A.R.N. is running titer antibody tests first to avoid over-vaccinating, which would be especially risky for dogs who already have health challenges.


What can we do to help these Labs in foster care?


What can we do to help better laws protect animals so backyard breeders are put out of business?


Thank you very much for coming on Bark & Wag 15 Minute Vet Talk. We hope that you will come on the show again.

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