Friday, April 2, 2010

Neopolitan Mastiff puppies Belle & Bronx – breaking the backyard breeding cycle

(crosspost from Frogdog Blog)

Bella and her 7 surviving babies

Updated: Ten puppies, three of them dead – but the seven live ones are doing fine so far. Kelly isn’t convinced that Belle is done yet – she said that everytime she turns around, it seems like another puppy falls out of Belle!


Kelly is a sucker for an animal in need.

Her house is filled with them – kittens she couldn’t say no to, one eyed Frenchies, senior citizen Bullmastiffs, a pair of miniature horses, an Amish work horse rescued just before it went to auction, a draft mare who spent her life pumping out foal after foal.

With a heart like this, it’s no wonder her attention was caught when she came across an ad reading “Moving, Can’t Take Them With Me”.

The dogs the ad referred to were a pair of intact, pure bred Neopolitan Mastiffs – a five year old dog, and a three year old bitch. The owner, who truly seems to have cared for his dogs, had ran into some financial and personal difficulties. He was out of money, out of dog food, and was about to be out of a place to live. He had to place the dogs, immediately. Oh, and did he mention that the bitch was pregnant – and due any moment now?

With a story like that, you can imagine the kinds of responses this ad was getting – people who saw the chance to buy a ‘breeding pair’ of Neopolitan Mastiffs as a golden, money making opportunity.

Kelly immediately knew where this was going to end. The bitch, already on her fourth or fifth litter (her owner didn’t seem to have an exact number, although he did have pictures of her with her previous litter of twelve (!) puppies), would be continuously bred until she or her uterus gave out. The dog would spend his life chained in a yard, siring litter after litter, and offered at stud to anyone willing to pay a fee.

Kelly was determined to stop this from happening. She contacted the advertiser, explained that she’d give the dogs a good home, and offered him cash on the spot. He jumped at it, and she arranged to meet him.

Pulling up in front of the tiny house, Kelly was greeting by the sight of two Neos lounging on the sidewalk, while their owner sat on the stoop. The dogs were happily greeting everyone who passed by, thumping their tails and offering their heads up for a friendly scratch. They were definitely drawing a crowd. Kelly promised to do her best to take care of the dogs, paid their owner, and loaded them into her truck.

Once at home, Kelly has been spending as much time as possible with the two dogs, getting to know them, making them comfortable and trying to asses their temperaments.


The dog, Bronx, is a heavy set blue brindle – slightly aloof, which is normal for the breed, but very dignified and calm. He’s already bonded tightly with Kelly, and would likely be happy to transfer that affection to an owner he can call his own. Like most Neos, he’s not safe around small dogs or cats – he’s very prey driven, and would definitely chase them, given a chance. He’s not tested around children, and will not be placed with them. He’s a healthy dog, but he has a horrible cherry eye, which Kelly will have fixed while he’s being neutered.

Kelly would like to see him be placed as soon as possible into a great home, and is willing to have him brought back for his neutering and cherry eye surgery, which is scheduled for April 12th. She’d also like to have him properly evaluated by a trainer, to better determine the right home for him.


Belle, the little brindle bitch, is a very sad sight indeed.

She’s at least forty or fifty pounds underweight, and so emaciated that her spine sticks up above her back like a ridge. Her sunken ribs make the bulge of her pregnant belly even more poignantly prominent. Kelly had her xrayed, and she is carrying at least eight puppies, on frame that is barely able to support her own weight. It’s enough to break your heart.

In spite of this, Belle has the most winning personality. She’s a foot sitter, a leg leaner, and head butt-er. She craves affection and companionship, and is tightly bonded to Bronx. She’s outgoing and calm, but is also untrustworthy around cats or small dogs, due to her high prey drive. She’s a beautiful girl, and will make a wonderful pet for someone willing to open their hearts to her.

Belle will be placed once she has whelped her puppies. Her puppies will also be placed, on very rigorous spay/neuter contracts. There will be adoption fees for the puppies, and donations are welcome from anyone interested in adopting Belle or Bronx.

Their veterinary fees are high, and growing higher, but Kelly is determined to do whatever it takes to get them fit, healthy and ready for their new lives.

If you are interesting adopting Belle, Bronx or one of their puppies, please contact Kelly directly, via email. She’s located just outside of Orangeville. If you are willing to foster Bronx, or to do temperament testing or evaluation on him, please contact her as well.

I’ll be posting details on the puppies as they grow, and I do have lots of photos of Belle and Bronx, which are here:

If you blog, or if you belong to Toronto or Ontario area mailing lists, please pass along Belle and Bronx’s information to anyone you think might be interested in offering them a home. Adopting these two dogs might not end backyard breeding, but it breaks the cycle for Belle and Bronx, and for their children.


Pibble said...

What a sad life for such wonderful dogs. Kelly should be given wings now, because she's an absolute angel.

With your permission, I'm going to post a link to your post on my blog. I don't know if it will help, but it can't hurt.

Fred said...

Yeah, feel free. Kelly's had loads of inquiries about the pups but almost nothing for the parents.

Amy said...

The pictures of Belle are heartbreaking. God bless Kelly for taking in this beautiful pair and giving them the opportunity to have a life that doesn't revolve around birthing pups. It may be only one backyard breeder, but each one stopped is a step in the right direction.

Pibble said...

Of course not. Everyone wants puppies; no one wants adults.

Belle and Bronx are gorgeous. They deserve a chance, too. I'm sure they'll find great homes, it will just take time.

Evil Shannanigans said...

Thank god for people like Kelly. I hope these dogs are able to find a home they can live out the rest of their lives in happiness

Lynda said...

I'll be sure to pass the word along, Fred.