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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Is freezing to death cruel?

I have heard that some breeders kill their own defective puppies without calling in a vet. It may be a pup that is embarrassing to their line because it is incorrectly marked or it has a birth defect. It may be they have too many puppies in a litter and they want to reduce the litter size to give the other pups a chance to thrive and to give the mum a less draining experience.
I am told, by someone very, very involved in the show world, that the method of choice these days is that the young pup is wrapped in a towel and then placed in a deep freeze.
My friend had no problem with this method and said it was painless. This makes me feel very uneasy and I wonder if I am just being overly squeamish.
Is this really a humane way to kill a puppy? Regardless of the ethics of putting to sleep a 'defective' pup would the puppy feel any distress or pain? Would this method be any more distressing than a needle?
I'd be very grateful for someone with medical expertise could explain to me what happens to a puppy placed in the deep freeze, would they die of shock? Would they suffocate? How long would it take for them to die?
Would the RSPCA have any objection to a breeder doing DIY euthanasia by this method?
I just think of the pain I feel holding frozen food in my hand when I take it from the freezer, I can't begin to imagine how I would feel if I were to be trapped in a deep freeze.
Name and address witheld

35 comments:

  1. OMG i cannot believe that this is happening its absolutely grose and the thought of it makes me physically sick, surely the RSPCA cannot condone this and could prosecute breeding that do this.

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  2. my question is, how on earth do the breeders know that it is painless? Have they been wrapped in a towel and stuck into deep freeze to die? One can't make a statement that something is 'painless' without actually experiencing it themselves. Additionally hypothermia is NOT a pleasant way to die!

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  3. Guidelines for the euthanasia of lab animals by freezing states that animals must be anaesthetised prior to freezing to be humane. So if you have to anaesthetise them first, you might as well euthanase them by injection. Therefore this is not humane. Breeders are notoriously good at remaining in denial in respect to their standards of animal welfare, which is why we see so many of them being prosecuted for cruelty.

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  4. The people who do this should be reported to the RSPCA and named & shamed. This is most definately cruelty - if you left a puppy outside in snow in midwinter it would be considered cruelty, so why would a deep freeze be ny different? These people obviously have no feelings towards animals and shouldnt be anywhere near them. They also give pedigree dog breeders a terrible reputation, I don't know anyone that culls defective dogs and I hope I never will.

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  5. Call themselves 'dog lovers' !!!!!
    Such breeders should be dealt with the full force of the law. What is wrong with these people?....and why does it not surprise me? A dispicable attitude towards less than perfect pups, created by their own inbred breeding programmes!!!!!!!

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  6. I understand this is a permitted method for killing small animals prior to feeding them to reptiles. If deemed acceptable for those, why should the species matter?

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  7. I agree how dare they think they have the right to end that puppys life in one of the worst ways possible and how ridiculous is the assumption that they would die painlessly and quick?? The people that do this should be banned from breeding I am absolutely disgusted!!!

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  8. This is making me feel physically sick. Of course it is going to cause them to feel pain, it would make any animal feel pain and should not be acceptable for any animal regardless of species. Humans need to treat animals better than this.

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  9. disgusted too, how can they, first breeding then killing. why? why breeding at all if there are millions of dogs homeless and killed of overpopulation. i dont understand the world. is it always about money? crazy. dog shows for pure breed should be forbidden. make dog shows of mixed dogs. rescued dogs. saved dogs from shelters whatever. i am just sad

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  10. Usual rubbish ,sensationalistic invention designed to cause anti dog breeder emotions

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  11. How to promote yourself as a respectable breeder of pedigree animals, advertise what cruelty you subject these poor animals to!!!

    And people wonder why others try to promote adoption of dogs from rescue shelters, as opposed to buying from breeders.

    The words glass houses and stones springs to mind.

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  12. Its not right IMO, some people cull young rabbits if they don't have the correct markings, I think that if a breeder has to cull any animal because there's too many in the litter, then they should breed less often to have more of a chance of finding homes for the whole litter, if their doing it because they say that it will be less draining on mum, breed her less or hand rear some, if there's mismarkings, well guess what, no-ones perfect, but I really do have to question the level of care from anyone if their prepared to cull young animals to make it look like their breeding is better, doesn't throw up mismarks, and I don't think it should be done for any reason other then the health of the pup, if you bring life into this world then your responsible for that life, but that doesn't give you the right to end that life as for you 'its not worth it' and if a pup does need to be let go for health reasons you pay a vet to pts, if you can't do that you shouldn't be breeding.

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  13. I have not heard that this is common. I did read something about someone using this method on a puppy born with something seriously wrong and it was in pain. The vet would have taken 1 hour to reach them and the person thought this was more humane than leaving the pup in pain for that time. That is the only incident I have ever heard of.

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  14. How about freezing babies which are born with defects to death? That's basically the same thing to me! As for killing puppies just because their markings are not "show standard" or to reduce litter size, I ask these questions. What's stopping the breeder from selling their purebred puppies, with "off" markings, as pets? Why can't they hand-raise the extra puppies with bottle feeding to ease a strain on the mother? You wouldn't freeze a baby to death because it was defective, so what gives the right to do the same to puppies?

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  15. Any evidence??? As far as I can see the article is purely hear say?

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  16. OMG - This IS a method I use to euthanise baby mice, pre 6 days old. They have no shiver mechanism at that point and are unconcious if not dead within minutes. They are also so small and go so quickly that they are dead before ice crystals can form in their bodies and rupture blood vessels (and you can tell this as when defrosted there is no blood leaking out of them from the nose).
    (I feel I must point out here, I raise mice to feed snakes, so the euth. options are limited. Cervical dislocation might be the more humane method but it relies on the person doing it to be confident and quick, which I am not. Older mice (who can regulate their own temperatures and shiver) are euthanised using Co2).

    To do that to a puppy, who, whilst they also cannot shiver or regulate their own temperature, is many hundreds of times larger than a pinky mouse.. I feel sick! Though they may well not be aware of the pain caused by the extreme cold, ice crystals would form in their bodies and that would hurt, before they become unconcious.

    Whilst I suspect that a puppy would be unconcious fairly quickly (say, in comparison to an adult human locked in a freezer), and we must remain aware that the physiology of a newborn pup is VERY different to that of an adult human wrt what they can and cannot feel - I am still positive there are much more humane ways than that!

    I do personally believe there ARE valid reasons for euthanising pups at birth, I do not (rationally speaking, emotionally is a different story!) automatically think it is cruel or a sign of a dreadful person - I think its worth bearing in mind that people may be stuck, say with a bitch who has FAR too many pups for her own good, and no access to a vet willing to do the deed (and a great many wouldn't!) People may well be doing it this way out of ignorance, or fear of another method going wrong.

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  17. all of the above. apart from anonymous said 27/10/11 10.22....the species shouldnt matter, nothing should die like that

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  18. That is barbaric. I would ask the person if they have ever been cold and how unpleasant just being cold is.
    How cruel.
    How unspeakably cruel.
    It's wrong also for the small creatures fed to reptiles.

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  19. Let's whip up a bit more hatred towards dog breeders by describing a practice that I - who have been involved with breeding pedigree dogs for over 25 years and know many, many breeders - have NEVER heard mentioned!

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  20. Where's the source or is this just hearsay? I have to say I mentioned this at ringcraft and over 30 breeders all thought this statement was a load of tosh!

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  21. Well all I can say is that if the anti-showing,anti-pedigree breeding brigade are now reduced to making up this sort of rubbish in order to discredit breeders, then there can't be much wrong in the real world of dogs.

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  22. sigh ....here we go again - yet another bit of sensationalist journalistic rubbish - never mind about the truth or not lets use it as another stick to beat show breeders over the head with - I have never heard of this happening in nearly 30 years of breeding and showing but hey if 'anonymous ' says it happens then it must be true !! ....

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  23. We have had a few reports of this (and 'bucketing')- although I really don't think it happens very often in these more enlightened days and I am sure most breeders today would be absolutely horrified by the thought of it.

    It is done in the belief that it is a painless death - that the pups just go to sleep - and I can see how someone might convince themselves of that. It also saves a trip to the vets and of course a vet bill. I suspect that, today, it's mainly confined to those breeds in which culling for wrong colours and mismarks used to be commonplace - in other words where there was a culture of it - with a few 'legacy' breeders still continuing with the practice.

    Jemima

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  24. http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-love-our-freaks.html
    Here is the source. It is not done in the UK by any good breeder of show or working dogs. The source has links to American web sites.
    I have worked with dogs since 1969 and never ever have I heard or seen a puppy put into a freezer to die.
    Good breeders put heart and soul into breeding a litter, when something goes wrong and nothing can be done the pups are euthanised by a qualified vet while the breeder is usually sobbing. Every good breeder hopes that every puppy makes it. The only time I have ever heard of a breeder wanting to cut the number of puppies in a litter down was many years ago. The bitch had 16 puppies and neither the breeder nor the bitch could cope. The breeder was a pet owner, and the vet contacted the local breed club rep (a show breeder by the way) who set up a help rota so they and another club member and the pet owner could take it in turns to look after the litter and supplement the puppies. Sadly one little one did not make it but the other fifteen did.

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  25. Somehow, and this is a very unhappy point of view, I am not surprised anymore about the inhumanity that some humans will show towards anuamls. I have recently discovered the many states in America routinley put tens of dogs and cats in gas chambers at a time and kill them as a method of "animal control". The fact that breeders may kill "less-than-perfect" breed standard pups is abhorant - no matter how they do it. All dogs are perfect when they are born and should be treated with dignity, respect and humanity. Otherwise what was the point in making the mother give birth to them in the first place!???!!!! Stop breeding then!!! I feel so disillusioned with the human race just now that we can be so hypocritical and disgusting :-(

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  26. A Vet Bill!!!!! Maybe you should think up another reason Jemima why you believe this is done as it would only be a few pounds to PTS a small puppy not hundreds. I have a deformed pup here who is 16 weeks old and I fought and paid hundreds to save her. I have never heard of this practise and have been around dog breeders for over 30 years

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  27. Yet another attempt to tarnish the showing world. I have never heard of such practices, I would be interested in hearing who this person "very very involved in the show world is". Any good, reputable breeder would never do such a thing. We care for our dogs, the loss of a puppy no matter how young causes great sadness and we mourn their death just like we would mourn the death of one of our older beloved dogs. Good, caring breeders put so much effort physically with time and preperation, sleepless nights and emotionally we give our heart and soul to raising a litter and each pup you lose takes a piece of that away with him/her.

    To claim that this is the showing fraternity is totally unfair and sensationalist, mismarked puppies go to pet homes and those that have deformities or ill health are put to sleep at the vets.

    I reiterate that I am referring to good reputable breeders, whether they show or not. I cannot comment on what back yard breeders, puppy farmers or just bad breeders do with their pups as i am not part of that 'world'. All I can say though is that those involved with showing or any other dog sports on the whole are reputable breeders that care more than any of you non breeders would imagine.

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  28. I have bred dogs for over 20 years and have never heard of this. I actually don't believe that this was a real question, rather something scripted to ignite an emotional response.

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  29. If breeders did do this, I'm sure that they are not going to admit to it, for fear of prosecution. To think that this was still being done by people who have these tiny lives in their hands, is totally sickening.

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  30. If this practice (and 'bucketing', bashing over the head etc)is carried out, it is most likely to be happening at puppy farms, where large numbers of litters are being bred from unfit/unhealthy and exhausted bitches and reared in unhygenic and unsuitable conditions. There will inevitably be quite a few puppies which are not thriving and the 'breeders' who are producing quantities of puppies purely for maximum financial gain are not going to spend time, money and effort in trying to save the life of a puppy which will only end up as an unsellable runt. They are not going to be taken to a vet for expensive euthanasia, especially if it is an unlicensed breeder, so their end will be far from humane.
    It is also the puppy farmers who are most likely to 'dispose' of puppies which are unattractively marked, or have a deformity such as an ear/tail chewed off by the mother, these will be less saleable and the aim is for a quick turnaround.
    Please take note and direct your anger to those who really deserve it!

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  31. 'I have heard'- why is it that this hasn't been attributed to a specific source? I know this is a blog, but it is bad journalistic practice not to attribute a quote/fact.

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  32. I can tell you as a registered nurse and as someone who has experienced a hypothermic event, though many years ago that death due to hypothermia is a process. An individual shivers until they cannot maintain their body temperature, at which point the lowered body temperature causes them to lose consciousness.

    I cannot imagine, and am trying not to imagine a puppy wrapped in a towel and placed in a dark freezer to die. That sounds cruel and heartless to me. No one is comfortable when they're cold, and to separate the puppy from its mother and put it in a cold, dark place to die slowly sounds very callous to me. I would think that killing via lethal injection would be quicker and less discomforting.

    I wish it didn't happen at all. I hope these breeders are making every attempt to sell or give away these "defective" puppies who don't meet conformation standards to people who can provide them with loving homes.

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  33. To quote another poster :
    "How about freezing babies which are born with defects to death? That's basically the same thing to me."

    That would fit in nicely with eugenics and practises carried out by the Nazis... and you know what happens when you compare KC/pedigree dog breeds to eugenicists?.... (you hit a nerve ;-)

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  34. The only person freezing is "less distressing" to is the breeder & their wallet.

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  35. I don't know where you get your information from. I have been involved with owning, showing, breeding and judging dogs for almost 40 years and have NEVER heard of anyone doing this. I have sat up nights with sick puppies, feeding they every 2 hours to keep them alive. Walk around with them up my jumper to keep them warm. There are many, many people who do this. I think this is just hearsay, where are your facts !!

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