Romania hit the international headlines in early September 2013, after a four-year-old boy was left unsupervised in a Bucharest park and mauled to death by stray dogs. A public backlash led to vigilante killings, and protests calling for government action. Images of dogs being beaten to death, and bloodied corpses lining pavements were shared across the world through social media.
Warmer weather and lighter evenings mean more time spent enjoying our gardens, starting off with simple tasks such as weeding and planting. But it's important to remember that while many of the plants that we commonly keep are beautiful to look at - they're also capable of causing serious damage to the health of our precious pets.
The lack of genetic diversity caused by inbreeding greatly increases the likelihood that recessive genes, which cause debilitating afflictions, will be passed along to puppies. As a result, roughly one in four purebred dogs suffers from serious congenital defects, such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cataracts, allergies, heart disease and hip dysplasia - a disease that can lead to crippling, lameness and painful arthritis.
Whenever I am presented with the gorgeous bundle of fluff and blue eyes that is a sled dog puppy in my clinic, I have a serious chat to the proud new owner about what they are taking on but by this point it is often too late, they are enamoured with their new pet and blind to the potential problems they may have.
"Pet crazes": a purchasing fad initiated by popular on screen representations, and reinforced by badly researched photo-led tabloid journalism. Photogenic animals are labelled as the next "must-have" pet, trend-setting breeders are afforded free national publicity, and an unsuspecting public can make the "craze" a reality.