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Friday, May 6, 2011

Gran spends savings on facelifts for dogs

An Australian grandmother is using her life savings to pay for facelifts for roly poly designer dogs.

Shar Pei dogs are deliberately bred to have folds of floppy flesh on their face, reports the Herald Sun.

But this can lead to problems with an estimated eight out of 10 of the dogs suffering eye deformities.

Owners who pay up to £1,600 for pups are dumping the animals when they learn they face another £1,300 bill for surgery.

So big-hearted Melbourne grandmother Amanda Booth is using her life savings to pay £10,000 a year to rescue and re-home as many of the dumped dogs as possible.

Mrs Booth, who is president of the Shar Pei Rescue Inc group which she established, said hundreds more dogs had to be put down and she blamed greedy breeders.
"Some breeders are simply failing in their duty to warn prospective owners of some of the veterinary and personality problems associated with the ancient Chinese breed," she said.

Vet Scot Plummer from the South Eastern Animal Hospital said heavy skin on their head forces a shar pei's eyelids to turn in, causing their eyelashes to scratch their cornea, leading to blindness.

He performs 50 entropion surgical procedures on the rescued dogs in which he cuts skin from the eyes to give a dog the appearance of having had a nip and tuck.

Rumple and Stiltskin, pictured, underwent the surgery after being given up at 16 months in Queensland. They are recovering with Ms Booth until they are adopted.

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