Alison Priestley, founder and owner of Ruff and Tumble talks about Puppy Farming and how we can all help to finally put a stop to it.
As dog lovers you must have noticed that ‘Lucy’s Law’ and puppy farming have been in the news lately. It’s time to get serious and make a difference, and I am moved to voice my thoughts and hopefully help to raise awareness. In this fast moving, highly complex and emotional debate, there are three things that strike me:
- We share a love of dogs and want cruelty for financial gain to stop as soon as possible
- The law does not protect puppies adequately and we need guidance on how to buy responsibly
- Interested parties’ arguments are causing confusion amongst those of us who want to help!
I am no genius, but 60 years on this planet has taught me that working together is the only successful way forward. After all, every one of us agrees that cruelty to these defenceless dogs is not acceptable - surely the perfect starting point is to unite in finding a way forward?
I do not want to go into the details of Lucy’s Law, puppy farming and the legal ins-and-outs - leave that to the journalists and the politicians - it’s their job after all, not mine. My aim is to share what I think is important and point you to the websites that have helped me to understand the complexity of this issue.
I urge you to become informed, spread the word and act: all for the love of dogs.
Know the difference between reputable breeders and puppy farms, (‘third party dealers’). It’s not as easy as it sounds. Puppy farms can look respectable because they are legal, for now. If you are still unsure, always ask to see the mum, and never buy a puppy without her present. See the Kennel Club advice here: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/finding-the-right-breeder/where-not-to-buy-a-dog/and here: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/finding-the-right-breeder/
- If possible, adopt rather than buy a new puppy. This way you are not fuelling the demand for puppy farming and designer breeds. Many Tears Animal Rescueis full of very sad, discarded ex-breeding puppy farm dogs who are desperately in need of kind homes.
- Look at and learn from some of the key peopleand organisations that are working tirelessly to get something done: CARIAD, Marc the Vet, Mayhew, Sarah Clover, and Pup Aid
- Support Lucy’s Lawand write a letter to your MP to get them to support a change in the law as it stands now. At the time of writing, 67 MPs have signed an early day motion 365which is campaigning for all that Lucy’s Law supports. If you don’t know your MP, or don’t know how to write to one, simply put your postcode intowrite to your MP.On 8 February, those supporting Lucy’s Law were delighted to hear that Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is launching a call for evidence on a ban, and has invited all interested parties to share their views by May 2nd 2018, on how a ban could best be introduced. The battle is not won yet, but some ground was gained, so be encouraged and add your support to keep the momentum going! Learn more about the evidence they need here- can you help?
I love to see happy, healthy dogs, and at Ruff and Tumble we are lucky enough to meet so many dogs who are given wonderful lives by our customers. However, I am realistic enough to know that, as with people, there will always be some who are much luckier than others. Let us all take responsibility to do what we can to try and stop this awful practice of treating animals as a commodity.
Talk about it, write about it, share stories about it, tweet about it, read about it or campaign about it.
Please do something - for the love of dogs.