In 2016 Boycott Dogs4Us began a new direction for the campaign with a new focus on politics as a way forward.
We started by submitting written evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s Animal Welfare: Domestic Pets Inquiry. We also sent letters to each member of the committee.
Our campaign organised a protest outside Parliament with TV Vet Marc Abraham calling for a ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops and other third-party dealers in support of PupAid and C.A.R.I.A.D, who were giving oral evidence to the committee. The protest was attended by Labour MP Rob Flello, Conservative MP David Amess, SNP MP Paul Monaghan, Labour MP Rosie Cooper, Linda Goodman (CARIAD), Leigh-Catherine Salway (K-9 Angels), and Jodie Marsh (Bodybuilder and Glamour Model).
Due to the work of national campaign groups Pup Aid and CARIAD and support from smaller groups such as ourselves, the committee published a report recommending a ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops and by other third party dealers. Boycott Dogs4Us’ evidence was very briefly quoted as part of the report.
Aran Mathai from Boycott Dogs4Us spoke on BBC 2 about why the sale of puppies in pet shops needs to be banned.
Following the protest we went on to secure local politician’s support for our campaign. We were overwhelmed by messages of support from both Councillors and MPs. You can see the messages on our Celebrity and Political Support page.
Working with our local political contacts we worked behind and in front of the scenes pushing the Councils to take action regarding Dogs4Us, including holding a protest outside each store which highlighted an investigation by the BBC which included shocking undercover footage shot inside Dogs4Us puppy farm suppliers.
The Boycott Dogs4Us Team then attended the UK’s largest anti-puppy farming event PupAid to spread the word about our campaign.
In Leeds we delivered a Deputation to Full Council calling for a ban on the sale of puppies in Leeds pet shops. A vote was held and the Council unanimously agreed to pass the issue to the relevant department.
We held a rally for Puppy Farm Awareness Day in Manchester City Centre. The rally was attended by actress Shobna Gulati (Anita in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies and Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street) and speeches were given by or on behalf of numerous dog welfare/animal protection groups including Manchester Animal Action and the Linton Pet Shop Campaign.
In Salford (Manchester) following our lobbying efforts the Council began a consultation into license conditions for pet shops. We submitted a response to the consultation thanking the Council for beginning to address the issue and to point out shortcomings in their proposed changes. We also staged a protest in Salford town centre at the end of the consultation period.
We held a protest at Leeds Town Hall calling on the Council to end the sale of puppies in pet shops and by other third-party dealers in Leeds.
The next day we met with Leeds Council representatives securing commitments to investigate concerns raised by our campaign.
Finally we held two days of action at the Manchester and Leeds stores educating the public as to why puppies are not presents.
Sadly champion of puppy farm dogs Lucy The Rescue Cavalier passed away in the run up to this two days of action. Therefore our campaign decided to hold a minutes silence for Lucy at our Manchester event. Other campaigners including our friends at C.A.R.I.A.D galvanised thousands of people across the world to join the minutes silence remotely, spreading the message even further.
Boycott Dogs4Us would like to thank all the people and groups that have supported and helped the campaign throughout 2016. In 2017, we at Boycott Dogs4Us will be redoubling our efforts to support campaigns such as PupAid and C.A.R.I.A.D in their push for a ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops (and by other third-party dealers). We will also continue to push the Councils locally to take action against Dogs4Us.
With your help a better future is possible for the dogs!