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Even though I thought this would be obvious, I would like to make it clear that I am not referring to any ES member in Annie’s story. I would be breaching my terms of membership as well as the suggested Code of Conduct if I did this. I am also not writing Annie’s story to discredit registered dog breeders. Unfortunately Annie’s story revolves around a disreputable registered English Setter breeder. I wish with all my heart I was not writing this story.

I am not ashamed to say this – because of the grief and trauma I am suffering from Annie’s tragic death as well as the stress and worry I suffered from the moment I met Annie at Coolangatta airport on 22 May 2012, it is necessary for me to receive weekly counselling from a psychologist. This is an indication of how much Annie meant to me. I have been encouraged by this psychologist to write Annie’s story, not only to help me heal, to raise awareness.

I have also taken steps to try to stop this from happening again. For instance, (even though no one listens to me) I have recommended to the Canine Control Council that changes be made so that purebred puppies cannot travel inter-state in Australia until they have reached the age of at least 12 weeks and that a veterinary certification must be obtained by the registered breeder and provided to the new owner prior to travel to ensure the puppy is physically and emotionally capable of coping with the required travel.

As I have said many times in ES forum topics, there are good breeders and there are bad breeders; there are good pet owners and there are bad pet owners. When one of us sees or experiences something that is bad for the breed of dog we love so much, or any animal, I believe we should speak out. This is a quotation I show on the Legal Status of a Dog web page of my website www.findingbeau.com/legal_status.htm :

"Laws can embody standards, governments can enforce laws but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice." ~ Robert Francis Kennedy.

This is why I am writing Annie’s story.

The photo I have shown above of Annie was taken on 22 May 2012 after we had arrived home from Coolangatta airport. Annie was covered in urine, vomit and faeces. Even though it was after 6PM and it was cold, I had to clean Annie to try to make her feel better. I bath my English Setters in my bath tub and I have placed a spray nozzle on the tap to help me clean them thoroughly. I placed Annie under this nozzle and using warm water, I gently washed away the physical signs of the trauma she had suffered this day. Annie was so grateful to me. How could I not love her deeply! I searched the cupboards to find something to place on Annie to keep her warm. I found Benmore’s rug. Even though Benmore was a dachshund, his rug was still much too large for tiny, baby Annie.

As you can see, Annie is a pretty little girl and maybe you will also notice her heart-shaped nose. My English Setter, Beau also had a heart-shaped nose.

This is all I am going to write for now.

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Comment by Chantal McIlveen-Wright on July 24, 2012 at 5:13am

She looks such a perfect beautiful little baby!!! poor little mite, this trip was horrible, she must have been very highly distressed to soil herself that way, don't they slightly sedate them to travel? how long did this trip last? Not sure about the age but I would certainly expect to have the ok of a vet before travelling. Poor little girl, it is a heart breaking story, so very sorry for you Susan, big hugs from me.

Comment by Dee Rance on July 24, 2012 at 10:45am

Susan they say for bad things to happen it only takes one person to do nothing....she does look so sweet...such a sad story....

Comment by McBIRDY - Jean DUHANT on July 26, 2012 at 6:30am

We have been very touched by your story and the loss of so many poor dogs . We hope you can find a healthy baby who will be a good friend for your Hobson. We hope you feel a little better and don't give up ..for you and your dog  ! Be strong , take care !


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