ONE of Warwick's prominent rescue groups is experiencing a spike in numbers taking the number of dogs in care to record highs.
A number of confronting incidents, including a starved mother being left on the side of the road with her litter in a box, and a pregnant mother being handed in to the pound, are leaving Southern Downs Ark and their foster carers at capacity.
The ugly issue of backyard breeding continues to rear its head.
Mayor Tracy Dobie said there was no excuse for the unlicensed breeding.
"It's appalling behaviour," Cr Dobie said.
"Government brought out legislation to do with dog breeding to try and manage casual breeding.
"People have to be serious about management of dogs.
"Puppies grow into dogs. A cute puppy might be great, but grown dogs for some aren't.
"It is important to consider all circumstances when buying a dog or taking on a dog."
Southern Downs Ark president Ann Simon said the 50 dogs in foster care was a record for the group.
"A reason for the increase might be breeders not having a Breeder Identification Number," Mrs Simon said. "Rather than getting caught, they may have been dumped."
New breeding laws have been implemented in Queensland this year in the hopes to reduce the negative impacts of unsafe breeding practices.
Mrs Simon said this form of breeding only created further issues.
"The issue of backyard breeding is the biggest problem," she said.
"People think it is a good idea to breed dogs and try to sell them.
"They can't sell them, don't make money and dump them. They get lazy, and the cycle continues.
"We are happy to take the dogs but this shouldn't be happening."
In a heartbreaking twist, Southern Downs Ark came across further dogs in need recently.
"Two weeks ago near Deuchar we came across a mother dumped with her litter," she said.
"Nemo, one of the litter, had to go to the vet for a blood transfusion and a drip on two separate occasions.
"The vet rang and asked if we wanted to put him to sleep, but he deserved a second chance
"In another incident, a brother and sister came into the pound, and the sister gave birth after coming in.
"My heart drops with every phone call, but I am happy we can save them, and know we can find them good homes.
"I would rather find these animals a home than leave them in the care of some people."
As we come into the Christmas period, there is a clear message for responsible pet owners considering purchasing an animal.
"We ask people to adopt, don't shop."
Mel Nowlan has been volunteering as a foster carer for almost a year, and she said it has been a rewarding experience.
"These dogs can undertsand when they are rescued," Mrs Nowlan said.
"My two current foster dogs, Bubbles and Blossom, are so affectionate and homely.
"All these dogs want is a chance with loving owners."
The issue of backyard breeding was one that caused hurt, as have the circumstances of previous rescues.
"It makes me upset," she said.
"People should have their dogs desexed if they are not a registered breeder.
"I once took in Roo, who was an abused puppy from Inglewood.
"He was starved and bashed by other dogs.
"I couldn't not take them and see them put down."
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