Just been alerted to a horrible news story in Ireland. According to the Dublin SPCA and the Ulster SPCA a puppy farm near Moate has an outbreak of Canine Brucellosis (Brucella canis). This is a virulent disease that affects fertility in dogs, and can be very difficult to recognise. Male dogs will have pain and other problems with their testicles, while females will re-absorb puppies or abort, both genders will in all probability be rendered sterile.
In rare instances, (through handling aborted foetuses) humans may be infected with the disease, although in humans it affects the liver or may cause arthritis.
This is yet another indication that keeping dogs in the dire circumstances associated with puppy farms is a recipe for disaster. Dogs are not meant to live or breed in that way. They have needs - companionship, proper diet, socialisation, training, comfort, veterinary care, and so on - and that's just for everyday life; for breeding there are a whole lot more issues to consider.
Dogs have a unique place in our lives, as they developed alongside us. They work with us, support us, and love us. Alone of all the animal species they are our partners. Your cat may love you, but try having a nice day out with him. Your horse may be wonderful, but you wouldn't let him sleep at the side of your bed. The dog is truly our best friend, and by letting so many of them suffer at the hands of puppy farmers, we fail them.