Give Deaf Dalmatians a Chance
15 CommentsSunday, 17 May 2015 | D for Dog
Did you know that, in the UK, deaf Dalmatian puppies can legally be euthanised i.e. humanely killed simply due to their deafness? Sadly, this is true and happening all the time.
The killing of deaf Dalmatian puppies is not uncommon and, as I say, this culling of otherwise perfectly healthy dogs is totally legal.
Some arguments suggest that a deaf dog may be in some way dangerous and require lifelong special care. This is simply not true. These rumours are presumably just an excuse to hide the real reason for the cull… to hide the prevalent deaf issue and therefore preserve the reputation of the breed and the breeders.
Dalmatians are homozygous recessive for the extreme piebald gene and deafness is associated with this gene. Deafness in Dalmatians is common. Between 15% - 30% have some form of hearing loss and around 5% of Dalmatians are deaf in both ears.
As an owner of a deaf dog (a little white terrier), I am passionate about deaf dogs. When I was emailed the ‘Give Deaf Dalmatians a Chance at Life’ petition I had to help. The aim is simple - to encourage the British Dalmatian Club to create a positive and supportive policy on deaf Dalmatians.
Every day Dalmatian puppies over 5 weeks old have their hearing tested and, if found to be deaf, the breeders have the option to put the puppy to sleep.
The petition states: “We believe that someone needs to take responsibility for the welfare of these puppies, who didn't ask to be born and are not aware of what they can or cannot hear.”
They go on to say: “The British Dalmatian Club are already streets ahead of their American counterparts (who actively encourage euthanasia of deaf pups). We would urge them to go one step further, taking into account recent genetic research findings and the knowledge and experience of a large number of deaf dog owners.”
Urge the British Dalmatian Club to consider the following:
- The creation of an informative and supportive policy on Deaf Dalmatians that will increase breeder awareness, signpost to support networks and ultimately discourage members from using euthanasia as the only/preferred way of taking responsibility for deaf puppies.
- Reconsider their position on Dalmatians with 'patches' (see note 1) in order to further reduce the number of deaf puppies being born and put to sleep.
Sign this petition if you feel that killing an otherwise healthy deaf puppy is wrong
“I have signed the above petition because I believe that the British Dalmatian Club could be doing more to support deaf Dalmatian pups and those that breed them. I hope that you will consider providing more information to members, breeders and prospective owners through the development of a policy on deaf Dalmatians.”
Each time the petition is signed it sends an email to the British Dalmatian Club expressing support for deaf puppies.
Note 1) When the piebald gene is passed on but incomplete the puppy develops a patch and is less likely to be deaf yet this is considered a fault according to the breed standard, which requires perfect spotting and selects against pups born with patches. A recent amendment goes only some way to addressing this, stating that “Some patching on ears or head is not to be penalized.”