Penny and Scrappy

A POEM FOR PENNY THE LABRADOR – A POEM OF LOVE AND HOPE

We recently received the most amazing message from a wonderful lady called Anna who had not only completed our Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey, but had shared with us the poem she’d written for her puppy farm survivor rescue Labrador, Penny.

A Poem for Penny is a poem of survival, determination, hope, happiness and ultimately, LOVE. We are truly honoured to be sharing Anna’s poem as well as photographs of Penny and Anna’s other rescue, the adorable Scrappy. Are we in love … you bet!

Penny and Scrappy

A POEM FOR PENNY

Penny was a cocoa bean
The cutest one you’ve ever seen
But born in the dark
No heat, no sun,
No warmth, no light
No games, no fun.
A noisy box, a smelly bed
No human touch on her fluffy head

As months went by not much had changed
Still not a pet, still with no name
She thought this is what life’s about
She thought that without any doubt
Her life was all for giving birth
That raising babies was her worth
Until they left her for a home
and poor Penny would remain alone

Then one day Penny left that place
A sullen look upon her face
Her baby making days were through
What was she now supposed to do?
She found herself inside a cage
With other dogs around her age
With sunshine, food and different smells
That was clean and pleasant, for a cell
Humans passed and said hello
She wasn’t sure which way to go
People were not things she’d seen
She only knew that they were mean

Until one day a couple came
And smiled and gave her a new name
“Penny, you are coming home
To run and eat and play and roam
And make our couple up to 3
To turn us into a family”

4 years have passed, and Penny says
She’s not forgotten those early days
But now she’s happy, with daddy and mummy,
A comfy bed and a full tummy
A place where she can run and jump
Her coat is shiny and she’s plump!
A family to call her own
If only she had always known
That this is how a dog should live
With humans who have love to give
Not in a dark and lonesome place
Never seeing a kindly face

So next time when you see a pup
And cuddle him and pick him up
And think ‘so cute, I want a dog’
I’ll find an online catalogue
Of angelic faces, cute as ever
Puppy farm? Oh no, oh never!
Remember Penny, sad and lonely
In her box all skin and boney
Making puppies by the dozen
Along with her mum, sister and cousin
So that someone can make some money
And take a plane to somewhere sunny

Go find yourself a rescue page
There’s dogs of every size and age
All with stories that they cannot tell
Who’ll love you forever, just as well
As any pup you buy online
As long as you give them some time
To know you and to know you’re there
To love and hold, to feed and care
Cos rescue dogs aren’t bad or lame
They’re dogs, they’re pets, they’re not to blame
So Penny says “don’t shop, adopt”
And get the puppy farmers stopped

Penny and Scrappy 2

Pixie-Belle

A MESSAGE FROM C.A.R.I.A.D. TO THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SPEAK OUT

There’s not a moment in the day when we aren’t thinking about and working hard to end the suffering of the thousands of breeding dogs and their puppies still suffering in licensed and unlicensed puppy farms across the UK.

Today, we’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge the plight of other victims in the dark world of the puppy trade – the families caught up in an industry that is designed to pray on the emotions of people who just want to share their lives with a doggy companion. The families who opened their hearts and their homes to a puppy only for their hearts to be torn apart by an industry that doesn’t give a damn about dogs, puppies or families.

These are the often silent victims of the puppy trade, the victims often too scared and more often than not, too ashamed, to speak out. Today, we acknowledge the bravery of the families who have taken the decision to speak out.

Recently, investigative journalist Andrew Penman gave a voice to a number of families and their puppies by way of hard-hitting and revealing articles. For the purpose of this blog we’re focusing on the two brave families who spoke out in Andrew’s most recent article.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/quarter-puppies-bought-impulse-sick-11163361

Pixie-Belle

Lily

Pixie-Belle and Lily were very much wanted and very much loved puppies. Thankfully Lily remains a very much loved family member. Although the phrases ‘impulse purchase’ and ‘purchased on a whim’ are often used when describing the purchasing of puppies from licensed pet shops and puppy dealers, we recognise that it is more complex and goes much deeper than that. We know from experience that the entire puppy farming, puppy dealing and pet shop industry prays on our love of dogs and the joy sharing our lives with doggy companions brings. We also know of the often hard sell techniques used by the puppy trade to emotionally blackmail vulnerable puppy buyers, guilting them into a purchase. And what’s worse, this industry is licensed – an industry licensed to kill.

Pixie-Belle and Lily were purchased from a licensed pet shop currently under investigation by C.A.R.I.A.D.. At this point we should state that we do not undertake these investigations lightly, if an individual or business is under investigation, it is for good reason. We have reported this particular licensed pet shop and its vet to the authorities, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the RSPCA and yet here we are, still fighting for justice for the dogs and their families.

We were bitterly disappointed last week when the RSPCA told us they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed with any action against this puppy seller, despite C.A.R.I.A.D. having provided them with considerable documentation. But we are determined to get justice for Pixie-Belle and Lily and every other puppy and family affected by puppy farming and the third-party puppy trade.

One of the most telling things about the experiences of people who have bought puppies from licensed pet shops and puppy dealers is that the majority tell us that they’re too afraid to go public for fear of recrimination by the puppy seller, or that they have been threatened by them if they speak out. What an utterly shocking indictment of this ‘licensed and regulated’ puppy trade. But be under no illusions, this is an industry that has a lot to hide and a lot of money to protect.

This is a trade built on the notion that licensing means legitimate. And it continues to be given a veneer of respectability by those whose brands continue to allow themselves to be associated with it through ‘puppy packs’ and also by those who continue to be an embarrassment to the veterinary profession by being complicit with this vile industry. The late Pixie-Belle came with free Petplan insurance, a veterinary examination certificate from the onsite vet and the vacuous backing of a licensed pet shop. What Pixie-Belle didn’t come with was good genetics and the name of her breeder. To this day, the pet shop that sold her refuses to name Pixie-Belle’s or Lily’s breeders. Transparency simply does not exist in this industry. And without transparency there can be no public protection.

Governments both national and devolved stress time and again that ‘public education’ is the key. But it is very hard to educate members of the public when they believe that if something is legal and licensed it must be okay. How do you convince the public to stop doing something that is at present completely legal? Putting the onus on the public to ‘do the right thing’ but making it perfectly legal for them not to is not only a contradiction in terms, it is perverse.

In Wales this is exacerbated by the term Model Licence Conditions which sound impressive. But having been in force since 2015 and still not reviewed as promised by the Welsh Government, have proven to be as effective at protecting these exploited dogs as a chocolate fireguard. In fact, not only are they ineffective, they are largely unenforceable. Not just our opinion but also that of one of the Welsh Councils that is notorious for its sub-standard attention to dog welfare.

One look at the dogs that come out of these establishments – their compromised physical and emotional health – is the most incriminating evidence of all.

Stop Puppy Farming

Joint Briefing Document Page 1

DOGS TRUST AND BLUE CROSS JOINT BRIEFING TO DEFRA AGAINST A BAN

In March 2017, Canine Action UK submitted a Freedom of Information request to DEFRA requesting specific information relating to the Government’s response to the EFRA inquiry into Animal Welfare: Domestic Pets.

In its published response to EFRA’s recommendation for a ban on the third party sale of dogs DEFRA stated:

“We have considered the matter very carefully including in light of the views of many welfare charities.” and “We note that a number of established welfare charities with experience and knowledge of the sector have ADVISED AGAINST a ban on third party sales.”

We wondered which welfare charities had offered views relating to EFRA’s recommendation and under what circumstances they had provided opinions – as no official consultation had taken place since the publication of the report that we were aware of. We were also concerned and surprised that ‘a number’ of welfare charities had apparently ‘advised against’ a ban, given that the 2014 Pup Aid petition had been supported by the major welfare charities.

The Freedom of Information request asked:

1. Which welfare charities provided views specifically relating to this recommendation? Please can you indicate whether the views of these charities favoured or opposed a ban and if they provided evidence to support their views.

DEFRA’s answer: We considered a number of responses to the EFRA enquiry. However, in October 2016 the Dogs Trust and Blue Cross provided us with a joint briefing on the EFRA enquiry, separate from their submissions to EFRA during their call for evidence. A copy of the joint briefing is enclosed.

Below is a copy of the joint briefing document, submitted by Dogs Trust and Blue Cross in October 2016 and separate from their evidence submissions to EFRA.

Joint Briefing Document Page 1

 

Joint Briefing Document Page 2

Joint Briefing Document Page 3

The joint briefing, issued to DEFRA ahead of the publication of the EFRA report raised concerns that a ban on third party sales of puppies was “not currently a practical solution” and suggested that the “most effective way to tackle and improve the breeding and subsequent selling of all dogs, not just puppies, is to introduce an effective registration and licensing system.”

We were also concerned that the Government’s decision seemed to be strongly influenced by one particular sector – ‘welfare charities’, therefore the FOI request also asked:

2. Did the Government consult stakeholder groups other than welfare charities specifically in relation to this recommendation? If yes, please indicate which stakeholder groups were contacted (e.g. BVA, Local Government Association etc.) and indicate whether these groups favoured or were opposed to a ban.

DEFRA’s answer: We did not consult any organisations, animal welfare or otherwise, in preparing the Government’s response to EFRA.

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LAUNCH OF THE GREAT BRITISH EX-BREEDING DOG SURVEY 2017

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Following the success of The Great British Puppy Survey in 2016, and the significant data gathered about the puppy buying habits of the UK public, welfare groups C.A.R.I.A.D., Pup Aid, The Karlton Index and Canine Action UK officially launched The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey at Pup Aid in Primrose Hill on Saturday, 2nd September 2017.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/greatbritishexbreedingdogsurvey

This is the first survey of its kind that looks at the experiences of people who have adopted or fostered dogs when their breeding lives are over, regardless of which type of breeder or breeding establishment they have come from.

The survey will gather information about the physical and psychological health and welfare of the UK’s rescued or retired breeding dogs over the last 7 years and as with the Great British Puppy Survey, the results will be shared in a Report later in the year, with the wider canine welfare community.

The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey Flyer

We urge all rescues and breed clubs to share the Survey with their social media followers and members to ensure the widest range of experiences with ex-breeding dogs are included.

The Great British Ex-Breeding Dog Survey will run until November 4, 2017.

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FAILED BY RICHARD JONES AND A SYSTEM LICENSED TO KILL

In January 2017, the plight of countless dogs bred to within an inch of their pitiful lives was reported in the media. It shocked, sickened and angered the UK public. The Mirror’s headline read ‘Inside sick illegal UK puppy farms where cruel breeder left dogs in complete darkness ‘close to death’.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-sick-illegal-uk-puppy-9691272

richard-jones

photo: cascadenews.co.uk

This article belies the ugly truth about Richard Jones and his premises which we internally referred to as ‘The Barn’ for more years than we care to remember. We are here to expose the full, ugly despicable truth about a Welsh puppy farmer who was sanctioned and licensed year upon year by Ceredigion Council.

Hundreds of dogs were failed by Ceredigion Council, the Welsh Government and a Welsh Licensing System that was, and still is, not worth the paper it’s written on. But what saddens us the most is that like Puppy Love Campaigns, we too feel we failed the dogs because despite how hard our two campaigns tried, we couldn’t stop their suffering during all these years. Here’s why …

NOTE: One of Richard Jones’ official council inspection reports was one of the worst and most damning we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen hundreds, yet the council saw fit to relicense him.

On 27th April, 2013 we first went public with the shocking case of Blaen-Y-Ffiniau, Silian – a puppy farm licensed for up to 70 breeding dogs. For those who still deny that there is even such a thing as a puppy farm, this is the licensed puppy farm run by Richard Jones. A licensed puppy farm already exposed in 2011 by Puppy Love Campaigns.

Here is our original Facebook poster from 2013.

The Barn

Here is the original post on Facebook that accompanied our poster:

Ceredigion County Council, the authority who within the last two weeks voted 16/1 in favour of a planning application for Nant Y Castell, Pontsian – a puppy farm licensed for up to 70+ breeding dogs – will shortly be considering an application from a puppy farmer who lives approximately 5 miles away from his unattended barn licensed to house 70 dogs. This puppy farmer has been licensed for a considerable amount of time without planning permission, something certain Councils in Wales deem perfectly acceptable.

These recent photos show the face of puppy farming in our country today. Puppy farming is a U.K. wide travesty that is a blot on our landscape. C.A.R.I.A.D. and Puppy Love Campaigns have challenged Ceredigion County Council on a number of occasions about this particular establishment, below are some of their responses.

“I would confirm that the premises concerned has been inspected by an Officer of this Department who was accompanied by an authorised Veterinary Surgeon. At the time of the visit the premises was found to generally comply with Ceredigion’s licensing conditions.”

“I can confirm that the date of visit was the 26th January 2012 and during the inspection the dogs did have warm, clean bed areas and gas heaters are available if needed.”

“To clarify the term “generally “ it is to say that the premises is collectively and on the whole complying with Ceredigion’s Licencing Conditions. The premises is not an overflow from a Licenced Breeder. At present there is no one living on site but the dogs are visited at regular intervals in accordance with the Licencing conditions.”

C.A.R.I.A.D. does not deem sawdust and planks of wood, seen in these concrete compartments, to be ‘warm, clean bed areas’. Neither do we deem it acceptable that Ceredigion County Council have licensed an unattended barn where the owners live approximately 5 miles away.

This application is for a Certificate of Lawfulness which is different to a Planning Application. Can this application be challenged? Highly improbable because the certificate will almost certainly be passed under delegated powers this week. Can you express your disgust and outright objection to this puppy farm? ABSOLUTELY!

We urge you to find time this weekend to make your feelings known to the powers that be. Council members are PUBLIC SERVANTS there to serve the needs of all in the community, including those who oppose puppy farming. Members of Parliament are elected by the public, for the public to represent our interests and concerns. Tell them puppy farming has no place in our country. Tell them to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Ask them why puppy farming is still legal in the UK when if just one of the five freedoms was applied, “the freedom to exhibit normal behaviour”, puppy farming would be ILLEGAL.

Approximately 8 million dogs are kept as pets in the U.K. Every single one of us who share our lives with our canine friends must speak up and give them a voice. If we all spoke out it would be a voice that nobody could fail to hear.

If you think it’s acceptable for 70 breeding dogs to be housed in an unattended barn, in the middle of nowhere, then please do nothing. If however, you think this lack of humanity towards our companion animals does not belong in our country, please make your voice heard now.

THANK YOU!

On 17th May, 2013 we reported that the application for a Certificate of Lawfulness had been refused.

Below is our original Facebook poster.

The Barn Refused

Here is our original post on Facebook that accompanied our poster:

Unfortunately, all this meant was that the barn would in principle be subject to planning regulations. It was decided by the Council that no enforcement action would be taken as the premises would be unlikely to breach planning regulations. However, there was a further planning application for the building of a house alongside the barn. The planning officer recommended refusal as this was against national planning guidance.

The planning committee subsequently over-ruled the planning officer’s recommendations and voted to accept the application for building of a 3-bedroomed house. C.A.R.I.A.D. submitted a complaint to the Welsh Government asking them to ‘call in’ the application. Once they had considered our complaint the Welsh Government said yes, the application was in breach of planning guidance, but it was outside their remit to call it in as it wasn’t raising an issue of ‘national importance’. So the situation is – Blaen-Y-Ffiniau, Silian continues to be licensed – though in our view it actually breaches the authority’s own licensing conditions. The barn itself has not been subject to any planning regulation scrutiny and won’t be. A house has been approved for construction adjacent to the barn in which the applicant will live – mainly deriving income from the puppy farm, though this is formally in breach of planning guidance, but was approved by the planning committee.

On 27th April 2014, we we’re appalled to report that Blaen-Y-Ffiniau, Silian was still operating – breeding and selling puppy farmed puppies.

The Barn 2014

Over the years we have continued to pressure Ceredigion Council, the Welsh Government and frankly anyone else who would listen, including the RSPCA, but Richard Jones remained untouchable. Even when his licence wasn’t renewed in 2015, coincidentally the same year the new Welsh dog breeding regulations were introduced, officials clearly did nothing about the countless breeding dogs they knew were in Richard Jones’ possession.

NOTE: These poor dogs still remain in Richard Jones’ abusive hands. Please sign this petition as a matter of urgency to help free these souls. This family has a shocking history when it comes to their treatment of animals.

Whilst we’re grateful and relieved that Richard Jones has finally been exposed to legal proceedings and publicly shamed, it in no way makes up for the years of immeasurable suffering these poor dogs were subjected to under his ‘care’. It takes away none of their pain or fear. And whatever lenient sentence he is given, it will not fit his crime. And it will certainly not bring him to justice for the countless dogs whose lives cannot be accounted for once they ceased to be ‘productive’. It is, quite simply, too little too late. These dogs were left to rot by a system that is licensed to kill and by people who were employed to protect animals from this sort of neglect and abuse, and failed. A perfect storm.

It is no coincidence that Ceredigion Council only intervened when they discovered Richard Jones was operating without a licence. They turned a blind eye to the welfare failings of this disgraceful commercial breeding establishment for all the years he was operating ‘legally’ with a licence. A licence that granted him impunity. Yet more proof that licensing does not protect dogs, it just legitimises this sort of cruelty. Some claim that he went underground when his licence wasn’t renewed – he did not. He remained in plain sight in exactly the same premises he’d been in for years, just like the Carmarthenshire breeder in our One Visit documentary.

One final point: Richard Jones sold his puppies to pet shops and dealers (third party sellers). Richard Jones, and puppy farmers like him are the reason we will never stop lobbying for a BAN on the sale of puppies away from their mothers. Without this holistic strategy in place, no amount of licensing on its own will ever stop puppy farming. Because puppy farming, by its very nature, operates behind closed doors where people can quite literally get away with canine murder.

richard-jones-2

photo: cascadenews.co.uk

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lord-gardiner-letter

THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT

ONE of the things we are pushing for within a holistic strategy to combatting puppy farming, is a ban on the sale of puppies by third parties for one simple reason – most puppy farmers never have to open their doors to the public or any kind of prying eye apart from council licensing inspectors. These inspections happen once a year and do not give a true picture of what happens on a daily basis in these establishments on the other 364 days of the year. Nor are licensing staff animal welfare experts. Added to this is that in Wales puppy farmers can dictate which vet signs off their dogs as fit to breed from when they relicense. It is the perfect storm when it comes to the lack of transparency and impartiality which continues to allow canine suffering. These are the same establishments that sell their poorly bred and often sick puppies to licensed pet shops and puppy dealers.

Daily Mirror Article: Puppy Farms Operating Behind Firmly Closed Doors

What this means is that thousands of puppy farm dogs are suffering behind closed doors and their often sick and underage puppies are being sold on to YOU, via a network of third party sellers (pet shops and puppy dealers). This is HUGE business not just here on the mainland, but with the thousands of puppies being imported from Ireland and the rest of Europe (puppies bred on industrial scale puppy farms). These too are being sold to pet shops and puppy dealers. THIS IS ALL PERFECTLY LEGAL.

We, and many others have continued to lobby government on virtually a daily basis to get a ban enforced so that EVERY dog breeder has to open their doors to public scrutiny. Unfortunately, and although many of you don’t want to hear it, a handful of the largest and richest national charities are doing the complete OPPOSITE*. They are actively lobbying government to keep this network of puppy dealing going, knowing this will keep thousands of dogs suffering on puppy farms, and ensuring thousands of sick puppies imported into the country will continue to be sold to puppy dealers. They will tell you their reasons are based on a belief that a ban won’t or can’t work – they’re wrong. We have our own thoughts on what their real reasons really are, but we’ll keep those to ourselves for now. (*We have the evidence)

Below is a screenshot of a paragraph taken from a letter issued by Lord Gardiner. This paragraph clearly states that ‘a number of established welfare charities have advised against a ban on third party puppy sales of puppies’.

lord-gardiner-letter

Below is a screenshot of the response by George Eustice to Justin Tomlinson MP on the issue of a ban on third party sales of puppies. George Eustice’s response clearly states ‘Evidence was also presented to the recent EFRA Committee inquiry by Blue Cross, and The Dogs Trust on the annual demand and the risks of applying such a ban.’

response-from-george-eusticeThankfully, we are not alone. There are other charities and organisations out there lobbying for a ban because unlike the speculation being offered to Government by these three powerful charities, organisations lobbying FOR a ban can support this with evidence; these include IFAW, OneKind, Brian May’s Save Me Trust, Naturewatch and more recently due to their revised position, the RSPCA.

Another great campaigning organisation called Protect All Wildlife has started a petition urging Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to reverse their stance on this ban and do the right thing for the dogs. These three charities have the ear of the Minister and the Minister has acted according to their wishes and dismissed EFRA’s and the RSPCA’s recommendation for a ban on selling puppies in pet shops and by third parties. We have been told that this consultation is the last chance for this ban to be considered by Westminster for many years. So, at the eleventh hour we are desperately asking them to reverse their decision as it seems that Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Battersea hold all the cards for the future of our nation’s long suffering puppy farm dogs and pet shop puppies.

As an aside: Even if selling puppies in pet shops wasn’t linked to the puppy farming industry, we would have thought that these charities would be fighting tooth and nail to stop puppies being sold like commodities in pet shops. These are sensitive, intelligent sentient beings, not groceries or electrical goods. But the fact that the third party puppy trade is inextricably linked to the cruelty of puppy farming makes it even more disappointing that they have lobbied the Government to dismiss calls for a ban – especially after all the evidence we have provided to these charities in so many face to face meetings with them.

We love dogs and we know you do to. If you want to see an end to puppy farming, if you believe that selling puppies in pet shops as commodities is wrong, PLEASE read this blog by Protect All Wildlife and sign and support their petition to these three charities as a matter of urgency. The clock is ticking and time is sadly running out for the dogs … thank you.

https://protectallwildlifeblog.wordpress.com/dogs-trust-blue-cross-battersea-please-dont-let-puppies-keep-being-sold-by-pet-shops/

#BanPetShopPups

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PUPPILEAKS – THE TRUTH WILL SET THE DOGS FREE

Sometimes the truth hurts. Tough! Dogs are dying and we MUST be their voice.

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Over the coming days, weeks and months we’re going to be speaking the truth. You won’t always like what we have to say, but it will be truth based on evidence and years of experience.

Thousands of dogs are suffering on puppy farms and in pet shops and they’ve been suffering for decades. When we first started C.A.R.I.A.D. we were naïve about why this had been allowed to continue for so long. But now we understand. We understand because we have taken the time to meet face to face with people. The public, breeders both good and bad, vets, behaviourists, Councils both good and bad, welfare organisations large and small, the pet trade, AMs, MPs and MEPs.

This type of suffering doesn’t happen by chance, it is being enabled by inadequate legislation, ineffective council officials and a vast network of people and organisations that so many of us have had great faith in all our lives. But regrettably many have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. In other words, they are saying one thing publicly but behind our backs they are doing something quite different so that the cruel puppy trade continues, no matter the consequences to the dogs, the puppies or YOU the public.

Some of these people and organisations have tried to silence us and some may try to again. But their threats, false accusations and attempts to denigrate us are nothing more than distraction techniques designed to not only try and derail the truth but to disguise their own failings, ignorance and in many cases pure self-interest and financial greed.

Now in our seventh year of campaigning and lobbying we have, over time, been gradually peeling away the skin of an onion and revealed layers that have made us cry discovering things we could never have imagined at the beginning of this journey. We thought the greatest enemies of the dogs were the puppy farmers themselves. But what has emerged has in some cases shocked us to the core. The real politics of puppy farming and the puppy trade in the UK is shameful. And now it’s time for those responsible to be publicly challenged.  At the end of the day, knowledge is power. And 2017 is the year when we will provide you with that knowledge so that the balance of power is returned to the public and ultimately to the dogs we all care about.

#PuppiLeaks

imagine

DEFRA DECEMBER 24TH – IMAGINE

24TH DECEMBER – Today, the dogs need you to read and share our ‘IMAGINE’ blog. Why? Because we can dare to dream.

IMAGINE … THERE ARE NO PUPPY FARMS (it isn’t hard to do)

‘Twas the day before Christmas and in a change from our usual schedule, we journey into a fantasy world. A world without puppy farming and other forms of canine exploitation. What could an idealistic dog world look like and how would it affect dogs, dog lovers, the pet industry, charities and society?

If  you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin…

Picture in your mind only healthy, well socialised and genetically sound puppies being born – whether pedigrees, cross breeds or mixed breeds. Puppies that are healthy, happy and valued family members; bred from healthy, happy parents, cared for as cherished companions instead of being used as breeding machines and treated like commodities as they were back in 2016 when puppy farming and back street breeding were rampant.

Now, as you might expect these puppies aren’t cheap because they’re not mass produced. But boy are they worth every penny, and also the time people have to wait to buy one because, unlike the bad old days, in this world you can’t just buy a puppy in an instant or on a whim.

You have to put your name down on a waiting list because these carefully bred puppies are only sold to people who can prove they are committed to a lifetime of caring for them as members of their family. Gone are the Dickensian days of puppies being sold in pet shops or advertised on internet classifieds. And you definitely can’t get a puppy delivered to you.

When your puppy is ready, you take home a cute fluffy bundle of joy that is as healthy as possible and has the perfect temperament to be in a family environment with children. Because your puppy has had the best start to life, the whole dog owning experience is a real joy.

In this alternate universe, as a dog guardian (we dispensed with the term ‘owner’ back in 2020) you have a dog licence which provides councils with funds to support and enforce animal welfare in their counties as well as providing dog friendly spaces where you can exercise your canine friend in complete safety.

Every dog has a third generation RFID chip that means all dogs can be tracked (making dog theft virtually impossible). Every dog in the country is accounted for through a central database from the moment he or she is born to the moment they pass away. These chips also prove invaluable in providing their guardians and the veterinary profession with data on how their dogs are feeling, both physically and emotionally, so that they can respond to their needs quickly.

Because these puppies are healthy, with wonderful temperaments and are easy to train – more and more people who once considered that getting a dog was a bit of a lottery, now want a canine companion or two, or three in their lives. Well, because there are no more puppy farms and back street breeders, no more imported pups from puppy farms in Europe and Ireland, to cater for this high canine demand more and more smaller caring, high welfare breeders have emerged.

But what about rescue dogs I hear you ask? Well here’s the really good news. Since people stopped being able to buy cheap, mass produced puppies with health and behaviour problems, they’ve  stopped relinquishing their dogs to rescues. Because people have to wait to buy a puppy and pay quite a lot of money for their new friend, the days when people used any old excuse to ditch their dog because they were too much work, too old, they’d become bored with them, or had chosen the wrong type of dog for their lifestyle, are long gone.

Dogs are no longer considered to be fashion accessories either, so breeds never become ‘trends’ that go out of style. Yes, in this alternate universe, people do everything they can to ensure that their loved dog is a dog for life. They can’t imagine parting with them for any reason. In fact the only dogs that still do end up in care centres are there because their owners have passed away or have gone into care homes and no other family members are suitable or willing guardians. But these few dogs are never without a home for long because dogs of all ages and sizes are so valued in this world.

There are no strays or dumped dogs either, because every dog born is accounted for and every guardian is accountable for ensuring they are kept safe, healthy and cared for.

Breed Specific Legislation no longer exists because it was finally understood that controlling canine aggression and biting wasn’t about a ‘breed’ at all, but about ‘breeding’ and education. And as  puppy farming no longer exists, it’s no coincidence that reports of dog bites are now almost unheard of.

Greyhound racing has also been consigned to the history books having been replaced by virtual dog racing, so the gambling industry can still rake in billions of pounds without having blood on its hands.

Service dogs such as those who help sniff out drugs, search for missing people, detect cancer or assist the disabled now have special legal status, with penalties of life imprisonment for anyone deliberately seeking to harm them. While anyone found guilty of hurting an animal is now given a custodial sentence of 10 years without parole and banned for life from keeping any animals. Such deterrents have seen very few instances of animal cruelty since being introduced.

An added bonus for dogs themselves is that the complex health problems certain breeds had once been forced to suffer through misguided breeding standards and human vanity – you know the ones that left flat faced dogs like Pugs unable to breathe properly, Cavaliers with skulls too small for their brains and German Shepherds with sloping backs that left them crippled – have finally, completely been eradicated.

Of course, this idyllic new world also means that without a constant supply of dogs needing to be rehomed – and unlike back in the day when big charities had to raise millions from public donations to open more and more new state of the art kennels – these big centres have been able to close their doors.

With most dogs now staying with their families for life and more people wanting at least one dog in their family, the pet industry has flourished. People spend more and more on their adored friends for many more years. As dogs now live longer, healthier lives, the UK has become totally dog friendly so people don’t have to leave their four legged friends at home as much as they once did. And those companies that allow people to bring their dogs to work find their employees are more productive and contented as a result.

Another cool side effect is significantly lower premiums on pet insurance because dogs don’t get ill so often, and it’s only when they have unfortunate accidents and hurt themselves that they really need expensive veterinary treatment.

Our utopian UK dog world is full of people who have been well-educated about caring for and respecting our non-human friends because animal welfare has been part of the school curriculum for decades now.

Science has moved on from testing on all animals and so our beagle friends and others dog breeds who were once tortured for the pharmaceutical industry’s benefit, never have to fear being used in laboratories ever again.

And so, in this wonderful, idyllic world for our best friends, the long-held knowledge that pets are good for people can now finally be returned, because at last people are also good for pets.

Just imagine …

Of course, people of a certain age might say that some things in this fantastical future dog world are reminiscent of a bygone era. Before everything was mass produced and disposable. Before the internet. Before we knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing …

To those who are campaigning just as hard to end all other forms of animal abuse, never give up. However hard the battle and however many unreasonable obstacles are thrown at you, you are the only hope that one day we might live in a kinder, safer world where all sentient beings can exist without fear, pain or suffering.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that people once branded those who said they wanted to land on the moon as fantasists and idealists. But man did walk on the moon because someone, somewhere had the passion and will to make it a reality.

Read more about our Defra December campaign here.

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WHY PUPPY FARMING MAY NEVER END

For years we have held meetings with the biggest UK charities who have an interest in dogs and provided them with evidence about the detrimental effect of selling puppies away from their mothers. We’ve helped to educate them about what third party sales actually means – yes, they were unclear and in some cases unaware about how current legislation works and why it directly fuels and enables puppy farming.

There is a great deal that we are unable to say publicly about those discussions, however, the most disturbing aspect of our meetings over the last 12 months with them has been to hear senior representatives of these much loved and respected charities dismiss hard evidence in favour of speculation and assumption that has no basis in fact. And in some instances U-turn on their previous support for a ban.

Dogs Trust says a ban would be a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, which begs the question, how many years do they need to understand that puppies being sold away from their mothers in pet shops is morally and ethically wrong? And Blue Cross states that a ban “will not solve the issue of poor welfare standards in puppy breeding”, failing to understand that it would be the most significant way to eradicate puppy farming altogether. As for any charity using the excuse that a ban would ‘drive the trade underground’ they’re basically saying that people would actively look for puppies from criminals – the way drug addicts look for a hit. Wrong again. The majority of the public are trying desperately hard to source puppies responsibly but are being failed by a law that allows them to legally buy puppies away from their mothers.

We’ve learned a great deal about what drives these charities to be run as businesses and we’ve held all this information close to our chests for a long time because we have never wished any of these charities any harm. In fact, rightly or wrongly, we’ve been protecting them for a long time because, despite our disagreements with their senior management and directors, we believe the work of the people on the ground at these charities is genuine and heartfelt and to be applauded.

However, after much soul searching, and having to deal with the heartache of so many people who have been duped by this evil, legal trade and seen too many puppies die and too many puppy farm breeding dogs suffer, we can no longer protect these charities from themselves because that is not our job. Our job is to protect the dogs and puppies from policies that continue to allow their exploitation, neglect and cruelty at the hands of the puppy trade.

It gives us no pleasure to reveal that despite providing them with our evidence and hard data, and in many cases actually begging them to do the right thing, they have chosen not to and instead have been actively lobbying Government not to impose the ban on third party selling that was recommended by the Efra Committee. In doing so these charities have effectively signed a death warrant for thousands of our canine friends and their pups.

We know this will be hard for many of you to accept. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are just a few examples of why we are so deeply disappointed in the way they have lobbied Government to keep puppies in pet shops and prolong the suffering of puppy farm breeding dogs.

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DEFRA DECEMBER 23RD – ONEKIND CALLS FOR THIRD PARTY BAN

23RD DECEMBER – Today, the dogs need you to promote and support the call by leading animal welfare charity, OneKind for a ban on the third-party sale of dogs in Scotland.

Click on the image below to read their press release.

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It came ahead of a debate lodged by Emma Harper MSP on ending the Illegal Puppy Trade. Motion S5M-02454 was debated in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 21st December.

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You can watch the debate here.

OneKind is yet another wonderful organisation supporting a legislative ban on all third-party sales of dogs, which would cover pet shop sales and dealers.

To support the work of OneKind, please visit their Facebook page and website.

Read more about our Defra December campaign here.

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