I WAS saddened by the report on the revolting dog breeding conditions.

However, I was not surprised.

There have been frequent similar reports nationwide.

The law must strike hard at anyone causing such horrors.

However, the general population can play its part.

Encouraged by the media, people often acquire dogs regardless of domestic suitability.

Many of the dogs we see are the result of mass breeding programmes, treated as market items, often bred to meet the fashion of the time.

So-called celebrities, TV programmes and magazines all contribute.

We need to ask ourselves, however much we like dogs, can we provide a happy, healthy home?

I have always liked dogs. Their pack instincts show through in happy ways when they are part of the household.

Apart from childhood times, I have never owned a dog.

Work, weeks or weekends away or whatever, I decided not to have a dog.

Decisions have to be made.

Cats can cope. During absence, if someone can feed and let it in or out, a cat gets on with life and adjusts its routine.

Less so with a dog.

We all need to think whether a dog is a suitable addition to the household.

We must not be led by cuddle shots or celebrities.

Without a mass desire to own dogs, regardless of suitability, there would be fewer sick pups raised in squalid pens and more of the happy dogs I see out on country walks with friends.

Dogs which feel they are part of the family pack.

David Sharples

Tarbet Drive