I have been talking to this woman for a few months. She is rightly devastated and angry with the horrible puppymill type breeder that unnecessarily sold her a sick puppy. If he had simply done a liver shunt test before placing his puppies, this painful decision would not have been thrust on the new owner. That would have required that he keep his puppies for three or four more weeks. That would have cut into his profit, and that was his only concern. This breeder is a member of the puppymill front group, National Irish Wolfhound Association. I have been ranting for a few years about the damage this group is doing to our breed. This is exactly why.
Analee Gold12h ·
June 5th, I took ownership of an (almost) 8 week old male Irish Wolfhound puppy whom I purchased from Bill and Noel Donahue; AKA Mactire Irish Wolfhounds in CA. He was welped 4/12/22. His Sire was Ri-Mactire and Dam was Mo Chroi Mactire.
This was Mo Chroi’s 4th litter, and 3rd using this stud, almost back to back between the years of 2019-2022, totaling 24 offspring (although only 15 are documented).
There were originally 6 dogs in the litter born 4/12/22, although 1 male “failed to thrive” and died within the first week of being born, leaving 3 males and 2 females in the litter.
At 15 weeks of age, after an emergency hospital visit, a liver bile acid test, an ultrasound, followed by a portal scintigraphy, as well as a full CT, my puppy was definitively diagnosed with a congenital intrahepatic portocaval liver shunt.
Prior to picking up the puppy, Mr. Donahue insisted a liver shunt test was not necessary. He also made his stance clear through posts on Facebook and his website, https://www.mactireirishwolfhounds.com
I immediately notified Mr. Donahue and forwarded all medical summaries, reports and test results.
My focus then shifted to informing the other people involved or that could be affected by my puppy’s medical history.
I was able to connect with the new owners of the other 2 males of the litter to tell them about my hound’s diagnosis, specifically and urgently, because I had seen both of the other owners posts about their desire and discussions with Mr. Donahue about wanting to breed their dogs at least once for a “personal puppy in future” (which they later also confirmed directly with me via texts and over the phone).
I was heartbroken to learn that the other two males also had serious, and potentially genetic and/or fatal health concerns, specifically cryptorchidism and Mega Esophagus. They notified Mr. Donahue and received no support. I don't know who owns the 2 females, but hope they have been made aware of the issues with this litter.
Later on, I also contacted the individual who bred Ri-Mactire and owns his father, (New Yorker “Prince” Ionmhain Norman) and mother (Nunneleys Queen Zury of Berry Hill), voicing my deep concern because of the shared bloodlines between multiple dogs at that point I had been able to trace.
On 9/11/22, at only 21 weeks old, I had to make the impossible and heartbreaking decision to have my sweet “heart hound” euthanized due to his shunt.
I am not looking to place blame or point fingers at this point. To be honest, the sheer emotional exhaustion and heartbreak that I have experienced through this journey, has left me feeling completely defeated. That has been compounded by the lack of transparency, and utter disregard from a large portion of a community (particularly my puppy’s breeder) that I blindly trusted and believed to be ultimately motivated by what is in the best interest of their dogs and the breed itself.
I am also aware that I contributed to this situation. I take full responsibility for lacking and falling short in knowing the right questions to ask, what health tests and certificates that needed to be produced and of simply not doing a better job of due diligence in so many other areas as a first time purebred IW owner and dog purchaser in general.
This was not something I went into blindly or impulsively. However, being someone who has worked in animal welfare over a large portion of my adult life, I did naively trust and assume that it is always the dog’s health, happiness and well-being that is the priority and of the most importance.
I am not looking to engage in any kind of social media war, or intentionally or maliciously hurt anyone in any way.
I want to share my experience.
I felt and still feel strongly, that everyone has a right to know any potential risks and factors that could influence and effect decisions made in the future, especially when owners have the intention of breeding IN ANY CAPACITY.
I feel the responsibility and want to share whatever information I can that I believe is potentially pertinent in keeping this magnificent breed healthy and thriving in the future.
There shouldn’t have to be a cruel or heartbreaking “learning curve” to navigate this journey in order to end up with a healthy and well bred dog.
My dog was never registered with the AKC or the reason for his death recorded. In fact, (up until after my pup had crossed the Rainbow Bridge) most of his pedigree or any health tests associated with his lineage were not recorded, either with the AKC or the IWHB. Due to the lack of and difficulty in having my dog’s history documented, I have chosen to make this post.
I TRULY believe we can only do the best we can with what we know at the time. But I also believe even MORE so, that knowledge can help us do BETTER. And good God, do we all need to do better.
The irony is that I have not had any contact with the breeder that produced my puppy since September and he has since moved out of state. They disappeared off social media (or blocked me) and their original website has been taken down.
However, a new Mactire Irish Wolfhound website has recently reemerged, https://mactireirishwolfhounds.square.site
where liver shunt (or any other health) testing is not addressed or mentioned at all but has been replaced with the following paragraph.
“It is only through careful, selective breeding that any breed is improved. With your help we can prevent dogs with health problems from breeding and breed only solid genetics, improving the breed.”
So, yeah. Let’s do that.
Finally, thank you to the people in this community and the IW groups who HAVE been a source of support and comfort to me, as well as mentors. I am truly grateful for you.
If anyone has any questions or would like to talk to me regarding this situation or anything else, please feel free to PM me directly.