‘Desexed’ dog gives birth to eight puppies | Stuff.co.nz

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This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

An Auckland couple who picked up a supposedly desexed dog from a Hawke’s Bay pound before Christmas are now caring for eight puppies. 

Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan are now trying to get answers – and money – from the Hastings District Council, who she claims have offered to put the young pups down. 

Bryant told First Up‘s Lydia Batham that the advertisement on their website stated it would cost $250 for Bella to be desexed, vaccinated, wormed, and get flea treatment.

Bella was picked up the weekend before Christmas last year by Nathan’s sister, who handed over the sum upon arrival but was told Bella was not vaccinated, Bryant said.

“[She] just assumed that was part of the agreement and didn’t ask any questions. She was told she had to sign an adoption form on our behalf, so she did that, and on the form there’s a few boxes and it says vaccinated, wormed, desexed, etc, and there was a cross in the vaccination box, but that was the only one that had any marking in it.”

Bryant said they were confused when they were told by the sister that Bella was not vaccinated, but took her to the vet to get it done.

That was when they decided to ask to check on the other items on the list, including desexing.

“[The vet] looked at [Bella] and said she doesn’t have a scar or anything, it doesn’t appear like she is [desexed], it actually appears like she is on heat. 

“He said he wouldn’t desex her while she is on heat, apparently there’s a potential for that to cause a whole lot of bleeding and issues, so he said to bring her back in March to have her desexed or she could potentially be pregnant, and I’m not going to know for a couple of weeks, so bring her back.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella was adopted the weekend before Christmas by Auckland couple Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan.

In the meantime, Bryant said they had been trying to contact the pound but got no response. 

When Bella was taken again to be checked, the vet said it could be potentially be a false pregnancy but couldn’t be sure, Bryant said.

“He said the only way you’re going to know, so we can figure out if you can do desexing or not, is to take her in for an ultrasound.”

But while they waited for the day of the booked ultrasound appointment to arrive, Bella delivered eight puppies.

“It was definitely a surprise, and at the time we were just like ‘well it’s happening now’, and just sat with her and waited for all the puppies to come out … and made sure they were healthy.”

Bryant said it was “not what we signed up for”, and had been in touch with the council to possibly ask for money back or pay for Bella’s treatment and something to contribute towards the puppies.

“[The person contacted at the council] said that that wasn’t part of their policy and that their policy would be that we could surrender them and they could put them down, and so I said that’s not an option for us.”

After another chat, the council offered a refund of up to $250 for the desexing, vaccination, worming, flea treatment or again to surrender Bella with the puppies, Bryant said.

She said she was angry about being told they would be put down.

“I tried calling back to say that’s not an acceptable resolution and we need to work this through, and that was on Tuesday and I left a message, and I haven’t heard back again from them.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella and her pups.

In a statement, Hastings District Council said dogs that were adopted were treated for fleas, wormed, vaccinated, microchipped, registered and desexed prior to release at a cost of $250.

However, the council claims that because the owners wanted the dog immediately, it was agreed for them to pay $250 up front but they would have to make their own arrangements for treatment and desexing.

It said the dog was registered and microchipped prior to release, and that the person who picked Bella up was aware none of the treatments, including desexing, were done.

The council said it offered to pay for the treatments up to a cost of $250, but 36 days later, Bella had puppies. 

Since Bella was at such an early stage of gestation when taken, the council said it could not have known she was pregnant.

“We have had discussions with the owner since the birth of the pups – they are wanting us to pay to look after the pups for three months, but this is not council’s responsibility.

“When you adopt a dog, or get a dog from anywhere, you run the risk that it may have health or behavioural issues or, as in this case, be pregnant.”

The council reiterated its offer for the owners to surrender Bella and the puppies, but said they could either foster them until they could be rehomed, or get SPCA’s help with this.

“Unfortunately, in some circumstances euthanasia is the best option.”

Bryant said she was in the process of filling out a Disputes Tribunal form, and would like to see the council apologise.

“I would really like them to change their policy and do what it says on their website they would do.”

Meanwhile, she said the puppies were  the “cutest little things”, and they were getting support from the community.

This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

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Avoid skin-lightening creams ‘at all costs’

BBC Image copyright Getty Images

Consumers are being warned to steer clear of skin lightening creams that can “act like paint stripper”.

The Local Government Association warns the products should be “avoided at all costs” after recent seizures by trading standards officers.

Many contained the bleaching agent hydroquinone – the creams can also contain mercury.

The British Skin Foundation said people should speak to a doctor if they had any concerns about their skin.

The LGA says the toxic products are being sold by rogue retailers, as well as online and at car boot sales and market stalls.

And they do not always spell out the correct levels of ingredients, putting consumers at risk.

Hydroquinone, described by the LGA as “the biological equivalent of paint stripper”, can remove the top layer of skin, increasing the risk of skin cancer, and cause fatal liver and kidney damage. Mercury can cause similar life-threatening health problems.

Unless they are issued on prescription by a doctor, creams containing hydroquinone, steroids or mercury are banned in the UK – because of their potentially serious side-effects.

‘Avoid at all costs’

The LGA highlighted several recent seizures including –

  • The seizure of 360 products from a store in Dagenham, some of which contained hydroquinone. Ingredients were listed incorrectly and failed to meet EU regulations. The store’s owners were fined £6,500 and ordered to pay £8,010 to the council
  • Southwark Council seized about 2,900 skin-whitening products, most of which had been imported directly from Nigeria, in a single raid in 2018. It also saw what is believed to be the UK’s first jail sentence for the sale of dangerous skin lightening products
  • A quarter of a tonne of illegal skin lightening products were seized at Gatwick Airport after arriving from Cameroon. Samples were found to contain hydroquinone

But the LGA said the ability of trading standards officers to keep on top of the problem was being threatened by cuts to council budgets.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs.

“Consumers should always check the ingredients of their skin creams, be suspicious of very low prices which are likely to indicate the lotion is fake and potentially harmful, and never use a product containing hydroquinone.

“If the product doesn’t display the ingredients at all, then don’t use it.”

He added: “Councils have been targeting rogue retailers selling these banned creams and people should report any concerns so that town halls can take action to prevent anyone from buying these lotions, potentially ruining their looks forever.”

Lisa Bickerstaffe, a spokeswoman for the British Skin Foundation, said the issue of illegal skin lightening creams came up “year after year”.

She added: “It’s difficult to know whether the problem is increasing due to the illicit way the products are sold under the counter and online.

“Ingredients in these cosmetics can cause serious health problems and the British Skin Foundation strongly advises against using them.

“Speak to your dermatologist or GP if you have any concerns about your skin tone and they will be able to advise accordingly.”


Have you used skin lightening creams? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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Toxic skin-whitening creams should be ‘avoided at all costs,’ UK officials warn

' UK officials warn - CNN

(CNN)Skin-whitening creams can be as toxic as paint strippers and should be “avoided at all costs,” the UK’s Local Government Association has warned.

Many skin-whitening products are banned in the UK due to harmful ingredients — but recent seizures of banned products indicate they are still being sold in a booming industry, the LGA said in its press release.
Most of those products include the banned ingredient hydroquinon — a bleaching agent which is “the biological equivalent of paint stripper,” said the LGA statement. It essentially removes the top later of skin, increasing cancer risk and potentially causing liver and kidney damage.
    Mercury, another common banned ingredient, can cause reduced resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, liver damage, anxiety, depression or psychosis, according to the World Health Organization.
    “Skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs,” said Blackpool Councilor Simon Blackburn in the press release.
    news
    Skin-whitening creams with natural or non-harmful ingredients are legally allowed, but they are often expensive, driving up the demand for cheap and dangerous banned products, said the LGA. Company executives who are caught selling these banned products can be fined up to 20,000 pounds (about $24,500) and jailed for up to a year.
    The illegal creams and products are often sold at local markets, said the LGA — but they are on shelves at cosmetics stores as well. In May, hundreds of products containing hydroquinon were seized from stores in areas outside London. The owners of one store were fined 6,500 pounds (about $8,000) and ordered to pay 8,010 (about $9,800) to the local council. Last August, a shopkeeper in South London was sentenced to 20 months in prison after selling products with hydroquinon and mislabeling their cosmetics.

    Booming global industry

    Globally, the demand for whiteners is climbing, projected to reach $31.2 billion by 2024, especially in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to market intelligence firm Global Industry Analysts.
    The Asia-Pacific market is the most lucrative region, making up more than half of the global market — an estimated $7.5 billion out of $13.3 billion — in 2017, according to Future Market Insights.
    The products are particularly popular in places where beauty norms often favor lighter skin. Routine skin-whitener use ranges from 25% in Mali to 77% in Nigeria, and it’s 40% in China, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea, according to the World Health Organization. A 2017 study found that more than half of survey respondents in India had tried skin whiteners.
    Skin-whitening creams should be 'avoided at all costs
    But skin safety and health concerns aside, many critics say skin-whitening products are inherently problematic for furthering the racialized narrative of fair-skinned beauty.
      The issue also made headlines recently after two Japanese comedians reportedly joked that tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, should bleach her skin. The comments sparked outrage on social media, and the two comedians issued apologies on the entertainment company’s website.
      Osaka responded to the comments on Sunday on Twitter. “‘Too sunburned’ lol that’s wild. Little did they know, with Shiseido anessa perfect uv sunscreen I never get sunburned,” she posted.

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