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Banning inbreeding "impossible" to police, says local veterinarian


(TC Media) TRURO - A local veterinarian says having a ban on inbreeding dogs would be "impossible" to police.

Ed, a 10-month pitbull rescued by Krista Mader and her husband, was euthanized three weeks ago after attacking Mader.

Dr. Gwen Mowbray-Cashen, who owns and operates the Truro Veterinary Hospital, made the comment after reading comments made by Krista Mader, a Debert woman whose 10-month-old pitbull attacked her.

"It's tragic that this woman was mauled by her dog. He was a big dog and big dogs can do a lot of damage," said Mowbray-Cashen. "He was a young dog as well, and I would be suspicious of his personality."

Mader is calling for legislation of inbreeding dogs after her pitbull, Ed, attacked her three weeks ago. Mader suspected Ed was inbred and is planning on having an autopsy done to try and prove it.

"It's impossible to prove inbreeding without the DNA of the parents," said Mowbray-Cashen. "It might show genetic defects, but it's not going to shed any light on if the dog was inbred. Nor will an autopsy - it won't show much, unless there was a major organic brain disease."

The veterinarian said the number one dog that is surrendered to shelters, such as the SPCA, are pitbulls and the like, because many people who purchase pitbulls don't have them spayed or neutered.

Mader said her dog lunged at her out of nowhere while she was mopping her living room floor, and says she does "everything right" when it comes to her dogs, including keeping them trained, socialized, and up-to-date on their medical needs.

Mowbray-Cashen admits dogs can be unpredictable if they're not socialized at a young age.

"I don't know anything about the relationship between this woman and her dog, but almost all dogs give warnings before they attack," Mowbray-Cashen said. "They may have been missed, but dogs do give warnings."

The veterinarian commends Mader for taking her plight publicly, as backyard breeders can be a problem.

"But to ban inbreeding is virtually impossible," she said.

The SPCA is working for better control over the sales of animals, said Mowbray-Cashen, and the province passed legislation to have every animal sold in Nova Scotia now be examined by a veterinarian.

"That will be helpful. That means that every dog sold will be scrutinized by a vet who will make sure the breed stock is healthy. That's probably the way to go. No one should buy a dog without being inspected by a vet."

Mowbray-Cashen said euthanizing the dog was the right move when it came to Ed.

"Dogs don't go psycho for no reason," she said, adding any behavioural issues that are identified early will help those in the long run.

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