Happy New Year

2019 REVIEW – HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM C.A.R.I.A.D.

As we move into a new year with new challenges ahead, we want to thank you all for your support throughout 2019. To those of you who have and continue to support our work through donations and fundraising, we are so incredibly grateful to you for believing in us.

2019 has been an extraordinary year – a year where our actions have seen genuine results – from contributing to documentaries and TV programmes and helping journalists expose puppy farming and puppy dealing like never before, to providing evidence that has resulted in raids on unscrupulous breeding establishments and exposing dealers trading in misery, to seeing our Foster First programme truly make a difference to the lives of rescue pets and their rescuers. Here are just some of our highlights and achievements throughout 2019.

We began the year with the news that the brilliant actor and passionate animal advocate, Peter Egan, had agreed to become Patron of our organisation. The much-loved and respected actor is passionate about rescue dogs and has five adopted dogs as part of his family. Of his new role with C.A.R.I.A.D. he said: “I have admired and supported the great work C.A.R.I.A.D. have been doing for many years now, so I am both proud and thrilled, in equal measure, to become their Patron.”

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Following extensive campaigning and lobbying, we welcomed the Welsh Government’s launch of the consultation into a third party ban on the selling of puppies and kittens. It was something we had been eagerly awaiting since Lesley Griffiths spoke at our Lucy’s Law For Wales launch event at The Senedd last summer. We were delighted to have secured this consultation alongside the tireless efforts of our Lucy’s Law campaigning colleagues and with the support and assistance of cross party AMs, MPs and Councils across Wales.

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We released our ‘Turning Wales Pink for Lucy’s Law’ film to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those whose spirit, love, passion for dogs and belief in us to help us end puppy farming is what makes it possible for us to keep doing what we do every day. Wales spoke and it called for Lucy’s Law. As part of C.A.R.I.A.D.’s campaign for Lucy’s Law in Wales which included an official presentation at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, a drop-in session for Assembly Members to meet puppy farm survivors, rallies and marches with dogs wearing Welsh flag bandanas, Councils across Wales also made it clear that the cruelty and exploitation of puppy farming had to stop.

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The C.A.R.I.A.D. team had a very busy and productive weekend in July putting together the first batch of Foster First leaflets and poster packs for smaller rescues to help them attract more fosterers in their local communities. Even little Alice bichon lent a paw to help her fur friends! Foster First was launched just before Christmas last year and thanks to the exceptional dedication and compassion of Ana Cossart, our Foster First Co-Ordinator, Foster First has had an exceptional first year.

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We launched our SIT-STAY-LEAVE-WAIT campaign, which consisted of four posters for people to share and download to help to make a difference in their local communities. We felt we couldn’t just rely on messages being seen purely on social media, so we encouraged people to distribute in their high streets, supermarket car parks, vets, dog groomers and other highly visible areas.

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After 10 years of hard graft, fighting the exploitation of breeding dogs and puppies, supporting the work of rescues and being part of a team that has changed the law to stop puppy dealing in England with #LucysLaw (hopefully soon in Wales and Scotland too!) our tiny organisation has never stopped trying to make a difference for dog welfare. In all that time it never occurred to us that we would actually be acknowledged for our work with an award! But we were overwhelmed to have been voted ‘Dog Protection Charity of the Year 2019 – UK’ in the Pet Product and Services Awards by LUXlife Magazine.

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In July, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths confirmed third party sales of puppies and kittens are set to be banned in Wales after a consultation showed overwhelming public support. The announcement put Wales in line with England where Lucy’s Law will be fully implemented in April 2020. The introduction of Lucy’s Law in England and Wales is a result of years of campaigning led by Pup Aid, C.A.R.I.A.D. and Canine Action UK. C.A.R.I.A.D. led the campaign in Wales. At the time of writing, an implementation date has not been confirmed.

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C.A.R.I.A.D. attended an historic meeting in Scotland where it was confirmed that third party sales of puppies and kittens (Lucy’s Law) are set to be banned in Scotland. This meant our Lucy’s Law campaign team had secured a third party ban in England, Wales and Scotland. Our thanks went to Mairi Gougeon MSP, Scottish SPCA, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and all those who supported our LucysLaw4Scotland campaign.

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Following the BBC One Wales documentary aired in September (which C.A.R.I.A.D. worked on extensively) highlighting the appalling state of the licensed, legal, regulated puppy farming trade in Wales, the failures of the inspection process, the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of Council licensing inspection reports and the often disturbing guidance provided to licensing inspectors (who are not animal welfare experts) by vets on the fitness of dogs to be bred from, we launched our petition calling on the Minister to intervene with immediate effect and instruct all Welsh Councils to embargo any further licensing, licensing renewal and planning applications relating to dog breeding until such time as there has been a full inquiry into these failures.

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C.A.R.I.A.D. founder Linda Goodman was presented with the People’s Postcode Lottery Local Hero Award at the Animal Hero Awards on Monday, 30th September. Here’s what Linda had to say: “It was extremely humbling to receive this amazing Animal Hero Award on Monday night and huge thanks to the People’s Postcode Lottery for sponsoring my Local Hero award. It was also a huge thrill to be presented with my award by the wonderful Paul O’Grady. The atmosphere at the awards was quite extraordinary, so warm and genuine and in some cases deeply moving. The hosts were superb as was the delicious vegan menu. And it was just brilliant to be sitting around a table of people I love and respect.”

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With the help of Wales Online we exposed the shocking slaughter of puppy farm dogs. Throughout 2019, C.A.R.I.A.D. researched why dogs were being systematically killed by certain puppy farmers in Wales without any apparent way to stop them. With the current broken licensing system about to be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary, there has never been a better opportunity to stop this slaughter of the innocents. We called on the Welsh Government to take action as a matter of urgency.

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Our friends at Dogs Today Magazine wrote a super article on how our Foster First initiative is helping victims of domestic violence. We launched Foster First for a number of reasons, what we didn’t anticipate when we launched our initiative was that it would prove to be a lifeline for victims of domestic violence and their pets. Escaping domestic violence can be difficult. Trying to do so with a beloved pet is even harder, but there are people out there ready to help. Our sincere thanks go to our friends at Dogs Today magazine for supporting our work and that of the many animal heroes who work tirelessly to help victims of domestic violence and their beloved pets.

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In November we celebrated our Foster First anniversary. Thanks to a dedicated network of over 100 smaller rescues around the UK and a fantastic number of caring individuals and families who have opened their hearts and their homes to rescue pets in need, we were able to help save over 225 rescue pets including dogs, cats, cockerels and hens. We also helped and supported 42 victims of domestic violence in finding them somewhere safe for their animals to stay for a while. And ofcourse we couldn’t have done it without YOU! The overwhelmingly kind and caring members of the public who opened your hearts and homes to rescue pets in need. So, to all 378+ members of the public who joined our foster carer list this year, we THANK you from the bottom of our hearts.

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In addition to our collaboration on the BBC documentary, we worked extensively with Times journalist Mark Edmonds on an excellent piece for the Times Magazine. Mark Edmonds headed to Wales to investigate licensed puppy farming and with our help was able to further expose the failings of a broken licensing system and how dogs were still suffering in these licensed premises. A number of these premises have since had their licences revoked.

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Throughout December we ran our ‘Make a Difference December’ advent calendar where we celebrated and supported the work of smaller rescues. Rescues that are there for animals in need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week no matter the cost or personal sacrifice, and who so often go the extra mile (sometimes hundreds of miles) to find fosterers, adopters or safe havens in cases of domestic violence. Rescues that save pound dogs on death row when their 7 days are up. Rescues that don’t turn dogs away because they don’t ‘fit their brand’s criteria’. Rescues that never turn dogs in need away because they’re too old, or because they need expensive veterinary treatment, or because they’re not a popular breed. Rescues that have volunteers frantically fundraising for them on the streets or at events in their spare time. Rescues who are the backbone of the nation’s rescue system.

There is still a lot of work for C.A.R.I.A.D. to do and there are still many who will do whatever they can to oppose our aims in order to protect their financial interests. We’ve learned never to underestimate the lengths some people will go to. Fortunately, we’ve learned over the years who we can trust to genuinely have the best interests of animals at heart.

2020 will see more campaigning, educating, lobbying, events and no doubt more exposing of those who continue to consider animals as commodities and not sentient beings. But we are more than up for this challenge. And we have more initiatives to bring to the table in an attempt to find solutions to problems, not band aids that maintain the status quo. Our first big initiative, Foster First is gaining momentum by the day and we’re thrilled to say that people are coming forward to become fosterers and more rescue and rehoming organisations are getting involved every day – not just for dogs, but also cats, rabbits and even ex-battery farmed chickens and other animals. And we want to say a special thank you to Ana Cossart Hall for not only embracing #FosterFirst and running with it so brilliantly and with such enthusiasm, but for being such an amazing fosterer herself.

If you would like to join or support our Foster First programme, please visit our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

C.A.R.I.A.D. is a not-for-profit organisation that relies solely on the generosity of the public to continue with our vital work. So if you too believe Care And Respect Includes All Dogs then please consider donating or sponsoring us.

We wish everyone and their animal friends a happy, safe and peaceful 2020.

With love from Linda, Sue and Ana xxx

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