Tag Archives: puppy mill

Lucy’s Law – The Story and Why the Proposed Legislation is so Significant

Lucy’s Law, or more commonly seen as #LucysLaw, is named for Lucy the Rescue Cavalier. Lucy was rescued from the life of a UK puppy farm breeder at the age of 5, in March 2013. According to her website (written in Lucy’s voice),

“As a result of years of neglect I had discoloured fur on my legs from the urine and faeces I had been kept in. My fur and skin had a burnt odour to them which was a result of the ammonia in the urine burning my skin.

Lucy immediately after rescue
Lucy the Rescue Cavalier when she was first rescued.

“In addition, I suffered with bald patches to my fur, fused hips, and an extremely arched back, to the extent my back feet nearly touched my front!.  I was very underweight, weighing in at a tiny 3.5 kg when I was rescued, less than half of what most Cavaliers generally weigh.

“For a long time I was scared of doorways and even to this day, don’t like to be locked in a room or left on my own.  I eat every meal like it might be my last and when someone goes to pick me up sometimes I still cower, I have to remind myself that not every human is going to treat me badly.”

However, Lucy also adapted quickly surrounded by love in her forever home, and became “the happiest dog you’ll ever meet.” Lucy’s mom, Lisa Garner wrote.

A smiley Lucy.
Lucy after her body healed and she learned to love and trust.

Lisa began fighting for the rights of puppy mill dogs in the UK, and Lucy fast became the poster child for the fight. Sadly Lucy passed away in December of 2016 but not before she made a considerable impression on animal welfare campaigns, stars, and government officials.Lucy stop puppy farming t-shirt

In 2014, Lucy the Rescue Cavalier was awarded a ‘Heroic Hound’ award at The National Pet Show for overcoming adversity & raising awareness. Dogs Today magazine awarded her a Hero award at Dogfest 2016, also for her work in raising awareness about puppy farming. In 2016, Lucy and her mom, Lisa Garner, were floored and thrilled when she won Daily Mirror’s Animal Hero Awards – ‘Rescue Animal Of The Year’ 2016.

Plum Pudding holding sign
Plum Pudding carrying on the fight for #LucysLaw

 

Shortly after Lucy passed, Lisa rescued another dog, Plum Pudding, who now carries on the fight for her sister Lucy.

 

 

 

According to the C.A.R.I.A.D (Care and Respect Includes All Dogs) Campaign, “Lucy’s Law was launched in December 2017 at a reception hosted by vet and campaigner, Marc Abraham, of Pup Aid, and supported by APDAWG, the All Party Parliamentary Group for dog welfare, chaired by Dr. Lisa Cameron MP.

Lucy’s Law has been championed by the Daily Mirror, and has
received significant attention and support, from MPs across all
parties, from the press, and in social media.”

Lucy’s Law calls for the ban on third-party sales of puppies and to make it illegal to sell puppies without the mother present. The ban will make it incredibly difficult for the puppy mill industry to continue as most farms rely on these third-party sales to hide the atrocious conditions in which these dogs are born and live.

The launch of Lucy's Law
At the launch of Lucy’s Law in Westminster with Marc Abraham (Vet and Founder of PupAid),  Rebecca Weller (PupAid), Lisa Garner (Lucy the Rescue Cavalier), Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, Peter Egan.

According to the Daily Mirror, “The call for a ban on third-party puppy sales has the backing of the RSPCA, while the Kennel Club recently stated: ‘Third-party selling is effectively puppy dealing. We believe that legitimising third-party sales contributes to the increasing problem of puppy farming and buyers not knowing where to get a well-bred puppy.'”

However, the UK government is considering more lenient restrictions despite acknowledging both the research and the problem.

The C.A.R.I.A.D. Campaign site states, “The Government rejected the recommendation, referring to lack of clarity over enforcement and stating it supported “robust licensing” as an alternative solution. However, the Government also reiterated the importance of prospective buyers seeing puppies interacting with their mother which seems to conflict with continuing permission for commercial third-party dealers to sell puppies, where the mother is not present.

“Instead of a ban on these third-party sales, the Government, at the moment, prefers the idea of continuing to license them. This means that anyone in the business of selling pet dogs would require a license, as is currently the case. Licensing is based upon the assumption that animal welfare needs can be met, and that the regime will be able to prevent harm from occurring.”

In reality, a licensing regulation would put most of the responsibility of detection on the public and would likely create stretched resources unable to investigate every case of potential unlicensed puppy sales.

We have seen the impacts of licensing regulations in various states and counties throughout the United States, very few of these have had much effect if any.

Support for Lucy’s Law has been rushing in from across the world. Between the tweets of photos of pets holding signs that say I Support #LucysLaw, to the number of people who have written the Daily Mirror with pictures of their pets, stories, comments, and support. (Callie is in this list of supporters!)

Goya the Setter on Twitter
Goya the Setter Supports Lucy’s Law on Twitter

Lucy’s Law could be the first step in breaking apart the commercial dog breeding industry in the United Kingdom. The legislation could also be the building block for other countries to enact similar laws, protecting their dogs as well.

Please, if you haven’t, take the time to write the Daily Mirror (using their form at the bottom of the page) in support of Lucy’s Law. Tweet if you have Twitter. If you are in the UK, write your local MP. If you are elsewhere, write your representatives, over and over and over!

The more people fighting for it, the louder we get!

In South Australia, there have been recent changes to their dog and cat welfare policies. The government has put new stringent licensing systems in place which also give officials the ability to take photographs, seize evidence, and require people to provide their name and information without jumping through so many hoops. Perhaps this will be an example of whether or not licensing policies help puppy mill dogs.

The Peeing Puppy and an Interview with Us

I have to apologize for the non-Holiday nature of this post. I should be doing one, but perhaps this will give you something to read and get a laugh out of amid any craziness. And, well, I’ve meant to catch up for a while!

Oh, Charlie…

Why is it that every post about Charlie begins with Oh, Charlie? Possibly because while you are incredibly adorable, you are also getting naughtier and naughtier.

Although this isn’t about you being naughty, this is about puberty😳!

Charlie was officially 10 months old on Friday and, being still intact, is right in the middle of major PUBERTY. He also weighs just over 11lbs, go Charlie!

First, though, I feel I must explain the reason he is still intact. After reading the various research, etc., I have come to believe it is much better for the dog to have their full set of hormones during their entire growth period. Given that Charlie has a luxating patella on each hind, the right being far worse, I was insistent about this when we adopted from the rescue, and they agreed with my reasoning.

But, about a month and a half ago, it started. Charlie’s always occasionally humped his toys, but this time it was a dog bed, and then, suddenly, he was peeing all over it.

I threw that bed away – it had seen a few puppy accidents and now a potential marking… it was done. He didn’t pee again in our house – that we saw. But, the occasional dark circle would appear on our upstairs rug.

Remember his bestie, the cat with whom he loves to play? Yeah, Pippin gets humped a lot, though he doesn’t seem to mind it. What?! I don’t know. Pip is a strange, strange cat, he’s a tri-color male, we are pretty sure he’s not all there.

But then he started humping Callie. She would let him but look terrified while doing so. I swear, she had PTSD moments, and I don’t use that lightly. We would catch him almost every time – not sure what happens when we aren’t here – and yell, to which he would immediately stop, thank goodness!

And the final straw was when I went to my ex-husband’s house to hang with our daughter out there as she had a school performance that evening and I brought the dogs. He has two dogs as well. One who is the most amazing Labrador in the world who we raised together in the early years, and one who is an aging pittie and does not like other dogs. She stays in another room most of the time.

I thought I watched him and kept him downstairs, but NOPE. He went and marked EVERYWHERE upstairs, and I’m fairly sure the Lab followed suit as he is want to do with just about any other dog.

I bought him a belly band diaper right before we brought our Christmas tree in, because, well, it’s a tree that suddenly appeared inside.

a belly band for the peeing puppy
The Belly Band

After watching him for a while he seemed fine with the tree, so we stopped having him wear the diaper except when we aren’t here.

But now it’s Christmas Eve, and we are headed to my parent’s for the night with the dogs, and then they are watching them Christmas night as we will be at my in-laws. The poor boy will be wearing his diaper for at least 36 hours (don’t worry, we will let him air out occasionally).

He hates it. It makes him act much more submissive and shy, and it’s apparently uncomfortable, in many ways he seems not to understand why he has it on.

Charlie looking sad
Why, Mom, WHY?!?

Oh, Charlie, your New Year’s present will be to visit the vet a little earlier than we planned and lose those walnuts – for a tiny dog I really do mean WALNUTS!

Ok enough about poor Charlie and his diaper/future vet visit.

I have to apologize for our radio silence again, this time it’s been because I have been working on our other Callie’s Wag blog in between Holiday preparations.

If you missed my mention about it before, it’s a new blog I write for a local news collective that has a broader focus – general animal topics, issues, and rescue, particularly local stories.

Anyway, recently, we were interviewed by our local public access TV station as part of a series to celebrate the Year of the Dog. It was wonderful! We got to talk about/show puppy mill rescues, dog love, and silly pup antics. Check out the full article.

Here is the interview, I hope you enjoy it!

What If I Do Want to Find A Good Breeder?

It’s evident that I am a rescue oriented person, and so is this blog. However, I will admit that my bucket list includes purchasing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy from a breeder. At some point. Way down the road. Still, I want to, and I never want individuals to come read this blog and wonder why it seems like rescue people will not talk about purchasing a dog, ever.

So, you want to buy a puppy, but you want to do it right. That’s cool. Support good breeders all the way! Without good breeders, the Cavalier breed would die out.

Cavalier king charles spaniel puppies
Adorable Cavalier puppies in all four colors.

First, a question. Is the puppy a gift? If so, remember, pets should NEVER be given as gifts, and decent breeders will not sell a dog for someone to give as a gift.

USDA approved puppy mill
USDA approved puppy mill

How do you find a puppy without supporting a puppy mill?

Sometimes that’s harder than it seems. Aside from avoiding those pet store pups and any that can be purchased over the internet, how do you know? Not all puppy mills look like this one.

Some mills are smaller, harder to see, but are still putting profit above the welfare of their animals. On top of that, finding a good breeder with a litter of puppies can take more than a year.

Not all breeders are great. Even some of those listed on sites like the AKC breeder recommendation list don’t fall into the category of a “good breeder.” The AKC doesn’t have the capacity to inspect every breeder they certify and have acknowledged such.

Puppy mill in a house
Puppy Mill run out of a house

 

Some breeders might look good from the outside but be running small puppy mill operations out of their home or another location.

 

Some breeders may not have that many dogs, but if they don’t care for the health of their females, and breed them repeatedly for several litters, the breeder still fits in the category of using the animal for profit.

Some breeders think they are doing everything right but don’t health test. These breeders aren’t contributing to the future health of the breed, which is currently tenuous, and therefore do not care about the welfare of the dogs. Find out more about health testing at Cavalier Health.

Some breeders don’t want you to visit, or don’t want you to see any of their other dogs aside from the mother. This is a big red flag. It may well look like the house above if they are unwilling to show you where the dogs live.

Some breeders don’t want you to offer you any guidance after you purchase the dog. This is not necessarily a sign of a puppy mill but just a sign of a breeder worth avoiding.

Ok, all these no’s probably aren’t helping you figure out how to tell what a GOOD breeder looks like and how to find one. 

A breeder you found online is neither a good or a bad one although their website may or may not give you some information about them.

The first sign that you have found a good breeder is if you feel a little interrogated, politely of course. Questions you should be asked include:

  • Why do you want a dog and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in particular?
  • Who in your family will be responsible for the pup’s daily care and training?
  • Where the dog will spend most of his or her time?
  • How often will the dog be left alone?
  • Can you provide both veterinarian and personal references?
  • Will you sign a contract to spay/neuter the dog?
  • Are you willing to sign a contract agreeing to return the dog should anything change in your situation?

A breeder is going to want to know all these answers in depth. They are also going to want to hear you ask questions. Some things you need to ask are,

  • How old are the mother, father, and their parents? The mother and father should be 2 or older and the parents preferably 5+.
  • Do you health test? Will you provide me with the results of these parents/grandparents? (You are looking for MVD and SM in particular.)
  • Can I come visit?
  • When is your next litter of puppies planned?
  • Do you have a waiting list?
  • Can you provide me with references?
  • Do you breed any other dogs? Breeders with multiple kinds of dogs are not likely to be good breeders.
  • Are you willing to answer my questions after a puppy comes home with me?
  • Do you have a contract?
One website you can start with for a list of breeders, as well as more information on purchasing a puppy, is spanielking.

 

Good luck!

Happy Gotcha-Day Callie-Wag

To the girl who started it all, the one who fit the missing space in our family, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love you.

You are magic. Your presence has changed our family for the better since the day we saw you; first on Petfinder, with your terrified eyes and ridiculous looking picture – you still make yourself look like a fat turtle in some photos – and then, in person, at the rescue. Again you looked scared beyond belief but you rose above your fear to protect your fellow adult rescue, cutting her off to keep her from pacing too close to the wires where she would jump up and cut her feet. That’s who you are. A lover, a protector of other animals from whatever possible abuses you had experienced at the puppy mill where you had been churning babies out for years.

Even in your eyes on the car ride home, I could see the love blooming, despite your understandable myriad of fears.

I can’t fully put into words just how special you are, Callie, instead I have a photo tribute. Happy First Gotcha-Day baby girl!

The ride home from the rescue
Is that love hidden behind the fear? The car ride home.

 

Callie snuggling on couch
Callie learned that kids make the best friends, and cuddle buddies.
Callie running
Callie learned to go for walks, even if it meant she had to run to catch up
Callie walking
She got a little better at walks 😉
That first time you fell asleep on me. ❤️
Callie watching us in the snow
Callie learned what snow was, but questioned why we played in it.

Callie did amazing in her first obedience class.

And then she got to learn what a real vacation was on our Cavalier & Mother’s Day vacation at Wilburton Inn in Manchester, VT.

Our Twitter CavPack book with our dear friends’ faces and silly pictures throughout.
That time we brought home a puppy. You don’t look very happy in this photo, Callie.
Rescue Cavalier's Callie and Charlie snuggle
Serious little brother love happened anyway.

So much so, he taught you to play –

We started having doggie play dates and you found a new best friend.
Although you’ve been a bit sick lately and we’ve even started acupuncture to help, that hasn’t changed everything about you.
Callie's smile
You’re still one of the smiliest girls around 😊
We were bad, we couldn’t resist getting her some kind of treat for her gotcha-day 😉😁
Because this girl gets to experience freedom forever, even the freedom to go past the yard limit and get in trouble (recognize that facial expression anyone 😂)

Mom made her dinner gotcha-day cake, although sitting at the table was a little scary!

Charlie's bowtie
Charlie looked dapper with his first bow-tie

I love you forever Callie Wag. I hope we will be so lucky as to be celebrating your gotcha-day next year when you turn 8.

pic of Callie snuggling
My heart and soul. This dog is magic.

If you want to see another small tribute to Callie, check out this post from the mini version of Callie’s Wag, a new blog on a local website called the DailyUV.

Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month!

It is adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Remember those loving dogs who are waiting for their forever homes ❤️. Ray is one of the best examples of a magical, loving shelter dog. While his owner started out never having had a dog before, he and Ray learned together, eventually supplying enough education and anecdotes for Colin to write a book.

A Dog's Life? (Stories of me and him)

Thank you USA for providing the greater percentage of my Blog Followers and, probably not surprisingly therefore, the greater percentage of my book sales. I thought it would be an appropriate reciprocal gesture to promote your (ASPCA) Adopt-a Shelter-Dog month!

The ASPCA have designated October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month which compliments the “Adopt don’t shop” movement very nicely, and no doubt explains the increase in dog adoption related Posts here in the Blogiverse.

Whereas many will argue in favor of buying a dog from a breeder, there are so many benefits to at least checking out your local shelter before making any decision.  One must always consider that a dog in a shelter  is not there by choice, and would no doubt really love all the comforts of a real home just as you and I do.

Adopting from a shelter serves a double benefit because it is not only giving…

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