Transparency and traceability have always been an enormous obstacle in the online pet classified environment because both lead to accountability, the lack of which is something the unscrupulous pet selling trade have literally made a killing on for many years.
The announcement by Gumtree to introduce a nominal fee for advertising pets online represents a step forward. Whilst the selling of any animal as a commodity is not something we can ever feel comfortable with, the reality is that it is not about to disappear overnight. And as we have also said for a very long time, as welcome as the PAAG standards and guidelines are, they have not prevented unscrupulous traders to operate.
The end of the free listings of pets for sale on Gumtree means that those who do use this medium will no longer be able to disappear without trace once they’ve made a sale. They will now have to pay for their advertisements which will require a method that requires a bank account, which in turn requires an address. This will serve to improve public protection against unscrupulous sellers and aid the authorities and other organisations in tracing offenders.
Along with other proposed measures yet to be announced, this is another step in the right direction to help combat not only puppy farming and the puppy trade, but the appalling and merciless trade in exotic animals.
Eliminating free classified advertising for pets via a nominal payment system is something that we have recommended on many occasions over the years, so we are relieved that Gumtree have changed their policy with immediate effect.
Gumtree have set a benchmark for the classified industry, and it is now incumbent on all classified advertisers, whether online or offline, that allow pets to be advertised for sale, to follow suit without delay – including social media platforms such as Facebook.
We’re really excited to be holding our first ever fundraising auction which we hope will help fund some of the ambitious projects we have coming up for the dogs.
Dogs are incredibly precious and it’s rare for us to show you something totally upbeat. But our auction is sure to make you smile because it’s an auction of beautiful, dazzling jewellery! So, we’ve called it our Little Gems Auction because it’s all about raising money to help all those precious little gems out there who need us.
There are items to suit all budgets and all occasions including precious genuine gemstones set in precious metals. Perfect for treating yourself, giving as gifts for family and friends, or stocking up early for Christmas.
To all our wonderful friends and supporters, we have a confession to make.
Because we have spent all our time investigating breeders and sellers of sick puppies, supporting and assisting families left devastated by unscrupulous puppy traders, obtaining evidence to provide to local authorities and the RSPCA which has led to raids and in some cases prosecutions, negotiating the safe release of unwanted breeding dogs to rescues, working with documentary makers and the press to expose the barbaric puppy trade and keep the plight of puppy farm breeding dogs front and centre so that the focus isn’t always just on puppies, and of course lobbying for legislative change, we have had no time to do any fundraising for our work or even look for sponsors. In fact, to be honest, we’ve been so 100% focused on our work for the dogs, that the urgency of our need to fundraise didn’t hit us until last week.
What began as a small campaign around a kitchen table in our spare time eight years ago, quickly required full-time commitment by us, seven days a week. And although we are still small in terms of people, we hope you will agree that we have made a big impact with our initiatives over the years.
Ironically about 90% of what we do continues to be covert and behind the scenes – work we can’t share publicly. But we are and have always been happy to be the quiet achievers because taking credit isn’t what we’re about. We’re about developing solutions and getting results for dogs.
However, as we enter a new era in the fight to end puppy farming, we still have an enormous amount of work to do for the breeding dogs and their puppies. And now we need your help to keep going for them, and to keep being the voice of our exploited, abused neglected canine friends.
It is out of character for us to ask for financial support, but as we are now on our knees we need your help to keep going for the dogs that need us. Whatever you feel able to donate, it will be appreciated beyond any words we would write here.
On Wednesday, 11th July 2018 C.A.R.I.A.D. held a Lucy’s Law Wales event at The Senedd. The event was kindly sponsored by Eluned Morgan AM and co-sponsored by Vikki Howells AM.
Lucy’s Law was launched on 6th December 2017 at a reception hosted by vet and campaigner, Marc Abraham, founder of Pup Aid, and supported by APDAWG, the All Party Parliamentary Group for dog welfare, chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron MP. Lucy’s Law is being championed by the Daily Mirror, and has received significant attention and support, from MPs across all parties, from the press and in social media including greatly appreciated support from Dogs Today, Dogs Monthly and Our Dogs (read more …)
Here are some photographs from the Lucy’s Law Wales event, as well as The Mirror report courtesy of our friend and exceptional journalist, Andrew Penman. We are especially grateful to all the wonderful puppy farm survivors who came along with their human carers and especially to the amazing volunteers from Friends of the Animals Wales.
We are so excited about the launch of The Evil Secret of Chestnut Farm by author, Marie Stubbs. Why? Firstly, because it’s not only a great story for dog lovers of all ages, but an important story as well. And secondly because Marie has generously offered the proceeds of her book to help four organisations close to her heart.
As well as helping C.A.R.I.A.D. in our relentless fight against puppy farming, the book will also help The League Against Cruel Sports in their work to stop dog fighting, Vets Get Scanning with their campaign for mandatory scanning of microchips to reunite lost and stolen pets, and Muffinpug Rescue who rescue, rehabilitate and rehome pugs – so many of whom have been purchased on a whim and are then sadly discarded because of their health issues.
We are also incredibly grateful to wonderful animal champion, Peter Egan, for writing the foreword for this book. You can find out more about The Evil Secret of Chestnut Farm and how to buy a copy (which we really hope you will!) here: https://evilsecretofchestnutfarm.wordpress.com/
The reason we are so adamant that the biggest impact on bringing the barbaric industry of puppy farming to an end is through banning the selling of puppies in pet shops and by other third parties such as puppy dealers, is really very simple.
Puppy farmers use third parties to sell their mass produced puppies. Why? Because it’s convenient. Because it saves time. Because it means they can’t always be traced as the birthplace of puppies if they become sick or die. And, most importantly, because they don’t want Joe and Jane Public setting foot on their land.
As was proven in this excellent article by The Mirror’s Andrew Penman [click here], the public currently have no access to the majority of puppy farms. Not because of their locations, but because these farmers use the excuse of ‘health and safety’ and ‘farm machinery’ to ensure there’s no public entry and therefore no public transparency of what really goes on behind barn and shed doors.
Let’s face it, the last thing puppy farmers want is year round public scrutiny when at the moment they only have to clean up their premises and move sick and dying breeding dogs to other farms for a once yearly local authority inspection. An inspection that we can prove is flawed to the point of being almost worthless.
Imagine if puppy farmers had to keep things ‘presentable’ every day of the year? Imagine if the public could see how the mothers of these internet and newspaper classified advertised pups were really being kept … what their physical and psychological state was like and stare into the eyes of these shut down and terrified dogs? People may still buy the odd puppy in the belief they were saving it, but they’d also immediately report their concerns about the mothers and littermates to the authorities and campaign groups.
And word travels fast. People talk about their experiences good and bad. All it takes is one horrified puppy buyer to see the truth and that establishment’s reputation is in trouble. With all that pressure on these breeding establishments two things would most likely happen. One is that it all becomes too hard to be a puppy farmer and they sell up and get out altogether. The other is that they improve their establishments and animal husbandry to such an extent that they cease to be classified as puppy farmers and become high welfare commercial breeders. The latter may be a stretch but hey, who knows?
Ah but wait. There’s another problem. At the moment these puppy farmers are selling puppies for a pittance … in some cases for as little as £80 each. For the lack of time and effort they put into raising these puppies, that’s still a pretty good profit. But the real winners here are the puppy dealers. They hold pet shop licences which allow them to buy in these puppies and then sell them on to other puppy dealers, pet shops or direct to the public. Now that same £80 puppy is being sold for around £300+. The longer the supply chain, the more the cost of that £80 puppy goes up until it reaches you the consumer. In a high street pet shop for example, that £80 puppy, which will have travelled hundreds of miles and changed hands several times may now cost you anything from £700 to over four figures.
And here’s the real kicker. The reason this is a problem is that it ensures puppy farmers can never afford to improve conditions sufficiently to make it possible for them to sell puppies directly to the public in the first place. So third party selling actually perpetuates the existence of an industry that everyone wants to see eradicated. (Well nearly everyone – plenty of criminals definitely want it to continue!)
How anyone can think this sort of puppy supply chain is good for either dogs or the public is astonishing. And yet, there are still those who think a ban on third party puppy selling isn’t worth fighting for because it’s ‘idealistic’. Damned straight it’s idealistic. It’s our job to fight for an ideal world for our sentient, voiceless friends and not lower our sights and give in to what naysayers think is more ‘pragmatic’ and more convenient.
A third party ban isn’t the only part of the whole solution. There are many other improvements which we support. But as the most significant and decisive action that can be taken – an action that would starve puppy farmers out of business – we’re standing firm on pushing for a ban with Lucy’s Law because, quite frankly, without this in place, all the other excellent recommendations won’t achieve the intended aim which is surely to end the cruelty of puppy farming and the hugely damaging trade in puppies.
When C.A.R.I.A.D. had sight of an email that Dogs Trust had sent to MPs this week who had signed EDM 695, we were not surprised. It’s no secret that the largest dog rehoming business in the UK does not support an immediate ban on puppies being sold in pet shops or by third parties.
But, when we read the contents of the email we were quite frankly disgusted. It’s one thing to lobby MPs for what you believe in, but it’s quite another to deliberately mislead MPs about what Lucy’s Law is calling for, and it’s also rather disingenuous to look as though you’re delighted that there is a debate in parliament on 21st May when this debate was triggered by campaigners.
So here is the offending article for all to see. The original email sent by Dogs Trust.
And just in case we haven’t been completely clear, we have placed below a version amended by us which is what we believe Dogs Trust should now send to those same MPs immediately.
Trust is something that must be earned and once lost is incredibly hard to regain. Our trust in Dogs Trust has been sorely tested of late …
Why did Blue Cross go to great lengths to expose the suffering of puppies in pet shops then go to even greater lengths to ensure they’re kept there?
In September 2016 two Blue Cross team members travelled across the UK to investigate the commercial breeding and sale of pets. Their resulting documentary was entitled ‘What Lies Ahead’.
The Blue Cross documentary opens with undercover footage taken inside a licensed UK pet shop, and a Blue Cross team member stating: “I think there’s about 90 pet shops that are currently licensed to sell puppies in store we certainly at Blue Cross believe that puppies should not be sold in pet shops and we would advocate for a ban.”
The Blue Cross team members then discuss licensing of pet shops. One team member states: “We have found during our research vast discrepancies and inconsistencies across inspections.” The team member proceeds to show her colleague an inspection report that is typed up and five pages long, then another which is one page and handwritten.
In December 2016, Blue Cross released their Unpicking the Knots report alongside their What Lies Ahead documentary.
Within their report, Blue Cross highlights the fact extensive animal welfare and breeding and sale of dogs legislation already exists, yet despite this, animals continue to suffer and licensing continues to fail them.
In December 2016, Blue Cross were very clear – pet shops were not the place for puppies to be sold and the whole third-party trade was detrimental to dog welfare.
Yet, in October 2016, Blue Cross submitted a joint briefing to DEFRA in conjunction with Dogs Trust urging DEFRA to ignore the advice of the EFRA Committee and not introduce a third-party puppy sales ban, instead, proceed with more licensing: The very licensing that Blue Cross had exposed in their Unpicking Knots report as having failed the dogs for decades.
Throughout 2017 and now into 2018, Blue Cross continues to defend its stance on not supporting an immediate third-party puppy sales ban, citing numerous spurious claims, unsupported by any evidence, such as the trade would go underground. They have been vocal in both media publications and in their own publications.
Blue Cross have made it very clear, they do not support an immediate third-party ban. They do not support Lucy’s Law.
Why then did they bother travelling across country to expose the horrors of puppy farming and pet shop puppies? Why did they state in their report that puppies should not be sold in pet shops and they would advocate for a ban? Why are they constantly jumping on the puppy farming and puppy dealing bandwagon giving the impression to the general public that they want to see an end to puppy farming and puppy dealing but continue to focus on the ‘illegal’ trade when the legal trade is equally as damaging?
Why did Blue Cross go to great lengths to expose the suffering of puppies in pet shops then go to even greater lengths to ensure they’re kept there?
And how is it that Blue Cross no longer support a third party ban or the Lucy’s Law petition, when they were extremely vocal about supporting the Pup Aid petition in 2014, which called for the same thing.
To find out whether Blue Cross came to its senses and finally supported an immediate ban on puppies being traded as commodities by third party sellers we’ll have to wait until their response to the Government is in the public domain. (Submissions close at 11.45 pm tonight, 2nd May 2018).
We look forwarded to scrutinising their submission document at that time. And we really hope they take the time to scrutinise our coalition’s.
Our supporter and dear friend, Nicky Jevon has kindly shared with us her experiences and words of encouragement. Thank you Nicky for always being there for us and the dogs.
“Some weeks ago I had a dream. Well, more of a vision. In it I was helping a lady attempt to untie little white puppy-farmed dogs. It was very complicated as they were tied with heavily braided/woven strong leather strands. We had to find special tools to set them free. We worked frantically, realising the utter urgency of this situation. We did not cease in our endeavours.
These puppies and dogs were Bichons and when I realised this I thought one of them was one of my cherished canine friends. Almost screaming his name, I was desperate to get to him and untie him. The emotion was overwhelming. When I reached him, I turned him over. It was not Koru. It was a dead lamb with eyes wide open that had seen, smelt and experienced fear and pain, his soul departed.
The phrase ‘lambs to the slaughter’ was embedded in my head. A strong, almost unbearable, dream/vision – yes. Highly symbolic – yes, of the machinations, deceptions, scandalous lies and sheer cruelty perpetuated by these so-called breeders, their accomplices and traffickers.
‘Lambs to the slaughter’ is not too strong a description. This is indeed the fate that so many factory farmed dogs face. It feels like many might almost be bred just to be slaughtered. Others may face a lifetime of disabilities, physical, emotional or mental. Those with a stronger constitution and admirable spirit will fare well, giving their new guardians joy that is difficult to describe.
Since writing this Tiaki, one of my beloved Bichons, passed over. He was our first ex-puppy farm friend who made the sun shine everyday. His light continues to shine brightly, though in a different way. His name will live long. Thousands from his background will never have had a name.
Come mid-February a new and great presence will join us, as in Year of the Dog – more on this soon. Let us hope that this brave, new energy will bring about desperately needed changes in the way many view dogs and puppies, and of course untold other animal friends. We need to wake up. Dreams are one thing – indeed dreams and visions can be triggers that lead to great happenings. Let us hope that this year we can follow up so many people’s dream of ending the battery farming of dogs NOW.
Heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to all who are working so hard to raise awareness and make this happen, Nicky X”
In 2015, Nicky shared with us ‘In Less Than a Minute – A Love Story’ and ‘Where Are You? – Another Love Story’.