Shar Pei tragedy in Ireland
Ten Shar Pei have been euthanised in Ireland after their owner had a car accident and was unable to look after her dogs.
Dot Wade of the Topengo Shar Pei moved to Ireland with her husband from the UK several years ago to enable them to have more room for the dogs. Mrs Wade had a heart attack in 2006 but was, she told Our Dogs ‘just getting back on her feet’ when she had a serious car accident five weeks ago, in which she broke her leg and was seriously shaken as the car had exploded.
Mrs Wade called her parents from the hospital and her mother and father came over from the UK to help look after their daughter and the dogs. They are elderly but with the help of a local handyman the 13 dogs, including an American champion and an Irish champion and five puppies, were being looked after as well as they could be under the circumstances.
Mrs Wade also owns a dog in partnership with a friend and he suggested that Sue Meadhurst and Cath Evans, members of the Midland Shar Pei Club (MSPC) and well known to Dot could be asked to help.
The ladies were very concerned and made arrangements, privately, to bring two vehicles to Ireland with a view to bring all the dogs back to the UK to re-home them. It was clearly going to be an expensive operation so they asked the MSPC if their rescue fund would make a contribution and the Chairman, Barry Bull and Secretary, Mrs Jenkins, readily agreed. At that stage, Cath and Sue were advised that it was important the dogs should be transfered to their names so that they could take any decisions about them. At some stage, Mrs Wade had also made it clear that she was not going to be able to look after any dogs and, in fact, wanted to dispose of her Shar Pei memorabilia which would be too painful a reminder of them. She suggested that any money raised could go to Shar Pei rescue.
Ms Meadhurst and Ms Evans arrived to find the dogs in a much worse condition than they had expected. Mrs Wade’s father went to the hospital for her to sign the transfer documents and the dogs were all taken to the local vet.
Of the thirteen adults, ten were considered to be in too poor a condition to be re-homed and they were put to sleep on veterinary advice.
The MSPC would have paid this bill but Mrs Wade’s parents were so grateful for all the help they had received that they undertook to pay it personally. They also helped Cath and Sue to remove the Shar Pei memorabilia into the cars which had travelled over fully equipped with cages to transport the dogs. Incidentally, all the memorabelia has been retained by the MSPC and can be returned to Mrs Wade should she decide she would like it back.
The puppies and the three adults were taken back to the UK where the dogs were taken to a local veterinary surgeon. They nearly all needed medical treatment but are now ready to be re- homed, any donations for them to be given the the MSPC rescue service. Sue and Cath, although severely traumatised by the events, submitted a full report, including photographs, to the MSPC which has been discussed by the committee.
At this point the story becomes more complicated, for when Mrs Wade returned home in a wheelchair she was very distressed to find the invoice from the vet and to see that her pictures and artefacts had been taken.
She told people that those she considered her ‘friends’ who came over supposedly to help had ‘while I was still very poorly got me to sign a paper which allowed the MSPC to take ownership of the dogs. They then took all the dogs to the local vet and asked for them all to be put to sleep. He would not put the puppies to sleep and I think they are now being re-homed by the MSPC.’ She says she was then sent the vet’s invoice for 1,400 Euros. ‘All my dogs were destroyed’, she said. ‘Two were elderly, it is true and the others may not have been in top condition, but this was entirely due to the fact they had not but looked after by me for several weeks.’
The problem was quickly compounded by stories which appeared in various chatrooms, very few of which appear to have given the correct version of events.