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GSP whelps in car park at Belfast

A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED Pointer owner and exhibitor has caused outrage after taking an in-whelp bitch to Belfast show and allowing it to whelp in the car park.

At a time when all dog breeders and exhibitors are under intense scrutiny, Emma Towns is alleged to have taken Indijazz Exception (Izzy) to Belfast Championship show, and was in the ring showing another dog whilst she was whelping.

Emma told Our Dogs that the bitch in question was not due to whelp, in fact the litter was not due for another week. When Emma entered Belfast she thought she would be going with the bitch she wished to exhibit and two friends with their dogs. Unfortunately for Emma just days before the show her partner had been told he must attend a training course as part of his job. This meant that Emma would have to take both her children, who are 11 years old and three years old, plus Izzy.

On Friday night as they loaded the van Izzy showed no signs of whelping, Emma said: “I had no reason to believe that Izzy was so close to whelping”. On arrival at the show all the dogs were taken from the car and allowed to have a moment to stretch their legs and have a chance to relieve themselves. At this point Izzy still had no obvious signs that she had started to whelp. As Izzy crouched to urinate, out popped a puppy. “I was so surprised at this happening, she had shown no signs at all”, Emma told Our Dogs, adding “I have been a breeder for 14 years and the last seven years have been exhibiting seriously, I would never ever have taken a bitch in whelp to a show if I thought she was so close to whelping”.

In touch

Contrary to reports Emma did not show her bitch in the challenge, but did exhibit her bitch in the post graduate class, which had only four entries. When Emma arrived at the show she was in a remote car park, but as the bitch had started to whelp, she moved her van closer to the show ground, so that it would be easier for her to stay in touch with the two adults travelling with her, who were holding her dogs and their own at the ringside. Keeping in touch with them by mobile phone, Emma was able to let them know what was happening back at the van and she was able to know what was happening in the ring.

Emma told Our Dogs that she only left the van for “a period of ten minutes to show her bitch in post grad, having whelped a puppy first”. Knowing it could be some time before the next puppy would be delivered she knew she would have time to go to the ringside and return before anything else happened. “Had the puppy not arrived at the time it did I would never have left my bitch” Emma said, “Izzy is an experienced bitch, this was her fourth litter, there is no way I would have brought her if I had ever imagined she was going to deliver her pups early, usually she whelps on her due dates”.

The vet attending the show was called and he asked Emma to get the bitch out of the van, he thoroughly examined the bitch and said he was not worried that the pups were coming a week early. He commented on the fact that the bitch appeared to be stress free and was ‘coping well’.

Huge mistake

Emma saids that showing is not that important to her that she would knowingly risk taking an in whelp bitch who was close to or due to whelp over the period of the show. Izzy had nine healthy puppies, all appear none the worse for wear for their rather untimely appearance in the world. Emma concluded by saying “I made a decision it was a bad decision as it turned out, we all make mistakes and I have made a huge mistake, which I might not have done had I got foresight and known the way events were going to go”.

An official complaint has been lodged with the show secretary and with the KC, by other exhibitors present at the show. At the time of going to press the secretary of Belfast Alexa Brown has not been available for comment.

A KC spokesperson told us: “The KC is considering the reports received and this will be the subject of a full and thorough investigation”