Sept Review: Puppy Farm Awareness Day Report & Photos

When I received an email at the end of May which read:

“Marc, Puppy Mill Awareness Day will be taking place on September 19th in the States… Did you wanna do something in the UK..?”

I was on holiday in Spain and quietly chilling by the pool.

The phrase “Red rag to a bull” sprang to mind immediately, and not just because I was in Spain either, so after a few refreshing and brainstorming lengths of the azure-blue ‘piscina’, Brighton was set to hold it’s first Puppy Farm Awareness Day on September 19th 2009, it just didn’t know it yet.

September started with the annual sponsored walk to raise money for two excellent local charities: Sussex Pet Rescue & Cat Welfare Sussex of which I am their proud patron. The picturesque seaside walk itself is from Hove Lagoon to Brighton Pier and back, along the promenade – about 6 miles in total – and once again was very well-attended by over 300 local animal-lovers all keen to get involved and accompanied by their dogs. Some even dressed-up in fancy dress and a staggering £10,000 was collected on the day – congratulations guys!

Sponsored Walk for the Animals, Brighton (Pic: Geoff Penn)
Sponsored Walk for the Animals, Brighton (Pic: Geoff Penn)

The following weekend saw a Scruffts double-header as I was judging these prestigious heats on the Saturday at Paws in the Park in Kent, and then on Sunday at the Battersea Dogs Home Reunion.

Paws in the Park has got to be my favourite summer dog show. It’s hard to put into words what makes it so special but I guess the attitude and energy of the organizers is primarily responsible and seems to effortlessly filter down through the show into every stall holder, dog-owner and even down their leads to the dogs themselves.

We were also blessed with great weather, nice and sunny but not too hot for the dogs. As well as judging Scruffts and a great day out, I was very impressed by the standard of the ‘My Pet’s Got Talent’ final which I also judged and was won by a Labrador who could ‘read’ and not a Border collie as usual!

At Paws in the Park with Labrador winner of My Dog's Got Talent
At Paws in the Park with Labrador winner of My Dog's Got Talent

Battersea Reunion was another great day out held just around the corner from the Dogs Home in beautiful autumnal Battersea Park. It was my first time attending this event but what a celebration of rescue it turned out to be with a great atmosphere and a huge range of rescues from Borzoi’s to Miniature Dachshunds, Staffies to scruffy-looking crosses.

My day was complete when the organizers asked me to help judge one of their categories with Gavin and Stacey actress Joanna Page (below). It was also now less than a week away from my first very-own dog show in Brighton…

Actress Joanne Page (left) with Battersea Power Station lookee-likee, owner, and me.
Actress Joanne Page (left) with Battersea Power Station lookee-likee, owner, and me.

Now I’ve always admired dog show organizers who get it spot-on as these annual doggy days are often built on word-of-mouth reputation, which often decides a repeat performance the following year.

Events like Paws in the Park and Battersea Reunion are tried and tested, with stall-holders and general public eager to attend and make the event as successful as can be.

So I was obviously super-conscious that the first Puppy Farm Awareness Day in Brighton needed be a good ‘un.

But what I wasn’t prepared for in the months running-up to the event was the politics that I experienced from various charities, organizations and even potential stall holders who couldn’t be seen to work with others.

It reminded me (on a much smaller scale naturally) of this years’ whole Crufts debacle, where for example, some charities who’s sole mission is to rehome their dogs snubbed the year’s best chance of actually talking face-to-face with a massive potential rehoming dog-loving public and giving their canine inmates the best chances of a brand new life.

But this was Puppy Farm Awareness Day?

Surely the most important thing here is that us humans who, like it or not, are part of the same species that are causing all these bitches, stud dogs and puppies all the pain and the cruelty, forget our differences and join together as a unit to try and sort this mess that we’ve created out?

After all, do you really think a pup in excruciating pain at 6 weeks-old dying of parvovirus, or an abused breed bitch with a life-threatening pyometra after giving birth to her 14th litter really cares who is seen to exhibit next to whom as long as this dire situation is finally sorted once and for all?

Really made me think about who’s really in it for the welfare of the animals and not their own egos/reputations and thankfully the true animal loving businesses who desperately want change really shone through.

They came, they exhibited, they even sent prizes, and they helped what turned out to be an important ground-breaking day in our country’s animal welfare.

So special thanks to Puppy Farm Awareness Day show sponsors Eukanuba; and also to Reg & Ruby, Pet-ID, Sara Abbott, K9 Kitchen, Barkley’s Dog Emporium, The Dogs Products, Petographer, Spiffy Dog, Funky Mutts, PriceRightHome.com, Paw Plunger, Suzart, Absolutely Animals, White’s Dog Food, Byofresh, Treatment Rooms, Company of Animals, John Paul Pet, Lily’s Kitchen.

Also I’d like to thank the Kennel Club for all their help, support and letting me tap into their vast experience of show planning (thanks Sara!!), Master of Ceremonies Mr Danny Pike (BBC Radio Sussex), as well as all the charities that supported included Sussex Pet Rescue, Pro Dogs Direct, Dog’s Trust, PAT Dogs, and Vets Get Scanning.

The crowd was also treated to excellent and informative displays by both Canine Partners and Sussex Police Dogs as well.

Puppy Farm Awareness Day was for me, and still is, totally overwhelming – and on so many levels.

From that initial email only four months ago to seeing all the exhibitors, celebrities, political figures, charities, and of course the hundreds of owners with their dogs – come together and make some noise about puppy farming; concerned enough to be pro-active, raising awareness and create much-needed change.

Julie Cowell and Debbie Forsyth with winner of ‘Most Handsome Dog’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Julie Cowell and Debbie Forsyth with winner of ‘Most Handsome Dog’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

Every time I looked up at the ring I was completely blown away. At one point Monty Python actress Carol Cleveland, Simon Cowell’s mum Julie, and Bruce Forsyth’s daughter Debbie were all busy conferring over the ‘Handsomest Dog’, when five minutes beforehand top models Liz Fuller and Jo-Emma Larvin were deciding who deserved the prestigious title of ‘Prettiest Bitch’.

Models Liz Fuller (left) and Jo-Emma Larvin (right) with winner of ‘Prettiest Bitch’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Models Liz Fuller (left) and Jo-Emma Larvin (right) with winner of ‘Prettiest Bitch’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

Other highlights included actor David Spinx who played super-slob Keith Miller in EastEnders being reunited with his actual Irish Wolfhound screen-partner ‘Genghis’ (pictured) and then going on to judge ‘Laziest Dog’.

Actor David Spinx with ‘Genghis’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Actor David Spinx with ‘Genghis’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

Political candidates Nancy Platts (Labour), Simon Kirby (Conservative) and Caroline Lucas (Green) all made their dog-judging debuts too and added a sense of even more importance to the day’s enjoyment and underlying campaigning theme.

Labour candidate Nancy Platts and Roger Mugford with winner of ‘Golden Oldie’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Labour candidate Nancy Platts and Roger Mugford with winner of ‘Golden Oldie’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

As well as the fun aspects to the day, I was conscious to try and hit home to people’s minds and hearts what we were all actually there for on this beautifully sunny day on the coast, a million miles from the damp, diseased and depressing surroundings of a dilapidated Carmarthenshire puppy farm.

This was achieved at 2pm with the Parade of the Ex-breeding Bitches (pictured). Thanks to fantastic charity Pro Dogs Direct who proudly wear their heart on their sleeve, i.e. no politics; as recently rescued ex-breeding bitches up for rehoming were walked around the ring, many with their teats dragging along the grass, in front of everyone, and to a round of applause. I noticed some people crying, some were simply unable to speak. The message was hitting home. Puppy Farm Awareness Day was doing just that.

The Parade of Ex-Breeding Bitches (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
The Parade of Ex-Breeding Bitches (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

Another moving moment was the day’s über-special guest, ex-world champion boxer Michael Watson MBE arriving to judge ‘Best Boxer Dog’ (pictured). I’m sure most of you will know this already but for those who don’t, Michael was severely brain-damaged a few years ago in the ring with Chris Eubank.

His presence at Puppy Farm Awareness Day will never be forgotten by all who attended as he not only answered questions, signed autographs, thoroughly enjoyed himself and of course picked out the winner of a fair few boxer dogs (one of which his owners had travelled from South Wales just to see him).

Me, Michael Watson with winner of ‘Best Boxer Dog’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Me, Michael Watson with winner of ‘Best Boxer Dog’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

I would also like to thank the Mayor of Brighton & Hove Ann Norman, proud owner of four Tibetan Terriers, also the live bands that came and played for free on the day; as well as the Speaking Out For Animals group (SOFA) who came all the way from Norwich to collect money in individually designed buckets. Sadly Keith Hall, who inspired the SOFA campaign, recently passed away – a real hero and true champion for animals that will be sorely missed by the animal-loving world.

Conservative candidate Simon Kirby and Rob Alleyne with winner of ‘Child’s Best Friend’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Conservative candidate Simon Kirby and Rob Alleyne with winner of ‘Child’s Best Friend’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

In the couple of weeks since the event, there have already been many spin-off happenings including more contact with MPs expressing an interest and a growing support for another event next year. With such public support, I’m sure this issue can really become a high priority for MPs with a General Election coming up next Spring.

Actor Chris Ellison with ‘Best in Show’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)
Actor Chris Ellison with ‘Best in Show’ (Pic: Tabatha Fireman)

Finally I would also like to thank my team of organizers from www.ThePet.net Andy and Tom, as well as Anna Webb from Paws PR, and Garry Trotter for sending fantastic photographer Tabatha Fireman.

For those of you still unaware, www.ThePet.net is a free online resource where you can add your (or someone else’s) dog-friendly business, e.g. dog breeder, and tell your clients to add valuable feedback. This online presence will then strengthen a potential puppy-buyers trust in your service and make them much less likely to visit a pet shop or dodgy online deliver-to-your-door puppy dealer.

October is a complete change of scenery as I’m off to New York’s famous Bronx district to volunteer my veterinary services to The Toby Project, a non-profit organization working to end the killing of thousands of adoptable dogs and cats each year in New York City’s animal shelters.

The Toby Project is the only organization in New York City whose sole mission is to address pet overpopulation at its inception by preventing the births of unwanted dogs and cats. Their goal is to “spay/neuter the very animals that would otherwise directly perpetuate a vicious cycle of unwanted birth and unnecessary death, and make NYC a true ‘no-kill’ community.”

So I’ll catch up with you next month and tell you all about it, and don’t forget, for regular updates on all things funky, follow me at www.twitter.com/marcthevet.

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35 replies

  1. Is there any reason why Puppy Love did a “no show” for this important day? It’s alright talking about puppy farming to people who are aware of the problems, but the proof of the pudding is getting out there on your weekend off and educating members of the public as to what is going on.

    Well done Pro Dogs for doing such a great job, and spreading the word.

  2. Many of the ‘active’ members of Puppy Love put a lot of effort into campaigning against puppy farming ALL of the time (anyone who reads posts on the site would know this). We give up a weekend every month when we spend the day outside a pet shop in Leeds handing out flyers and generally raising awareness of this trade. We had a march and protest in Leeds on ‘Puppy Farm Awareness Day’ and other members staged events in other parts of the country.We are constantly working to raise awareness of this vile trade and give up many of our weekends off and much of our spare time during the week too, organizing these regular protests.

  3. John Hamish, you are a member of the Puppy Love forum and last visited the forum on the 13th September, only 6 days before the Awareness Day on the 19th., and therefore would have been fully aware of the venues around the country that Puppy Love members, (yourself excluded of course), had arranged to attend in Wrexham, Kent , Scotland and Leeds. Venues I might add that were specifically planned to ensure that the knowledge and the cold hard facts of puppy farming was brought directly to those members of the public who were intent on actually buying a puppy from a pet shop on that particular day. We are proud to say that through our presence, a total of 4 puppies were not purchased, and, if you had taken the time to read the forum you will have noticed that our ‘proof of the pudding’ has been and is continuing to get ‘out there’ once a month, rain or shine outside a large pet shop in Leeds. We do more than sit at home and write letters and make comments on websites ,we are very active. What did you do John?
    When Puppy Love were asked by Marc to nominate who we felt should benefit from the venue at Brighton. We had no hesitation in suggesting Pro Dogs because of the great job they do, I am sure Marc will verify this.

    I find it hard not to believe John Hamish, that there is an underlying detrimental motive behind your comment, and I am mystified as to why you felt the need to post your thoughts on this site when all you needed to do was visit the Puppy Love forum.

    I hope that in fairness my comment in answer to John Hamish’s post will be published on this website – Thank you.

  4. Puppy Love is a small group of people all of whom volunteer their help, there is no office , membership or funding just a group of people, spread about the country, dedicated to stopping puppy farming.They have been working away for several years finding out as much as they can, without them none of us would have even known about Puppy Farming Awareness Day! and not many of us would have had so much information on the situation.
    For Puppy Love the ending of puppy farming is their sole aim they do not fit it in amongst other schemes it is a day to day hard slog to get the public and authorities to listen and act.
    It is to be hoped that all the people at the party will go away and spread the information they picked up, also that they will join with Puppy Love and continue to work, every day, so we can see the end to this vile trade .
    Working together is the only way forward.
    I

  5. Actually I was there from Puppy Love John, The clue might have been me wearing a ‘Puppy Farms Suck’ tee shirt. Thank you to all that turned up for the fantastic day, I am sure you will all agree that it was a wonderful and worthy occasion

  6. As I have mentioned before on another forum what Ronnie does is get everyone else to do her work, whilst she sits at the computor.

    Puppy Love has been in existence for less than two years not “several years” I still have the original email when she first approached me. We had been working with Leeds Council long before she came on the scene and she had the cheek to ask for all our paperwork relating to Dogs4Us and Leeds Council

  7. As I mentioned before on my previous post,

    ‘I find it hard not to believe John Hamish, that there is an underlying detrimental motive behind your comment, and I am mystified as to why you felt the need to post your thoughts on this site when all you needed to do was visit the Puppy Love forum’.

    Ahhhh – and so the mist clears!

  8. Marc I have to congratulate you on organising such a splendid Puppy Awareness Day in Brighton with celebs, businesses and well known charities. But who represented us the little groups and individuals (anti puppy farming campaigners) that relentlessly try to educate the public by awareness of puppy trafficking? Advise those that have been mis-sold a sick, diseased puppy and on occassions have the assistance of the media for undercover filming to show the reality of the situation.
    I did email Marc asking this question but I did not receive a reply. However I was contacted by Paws PR for infomation and advised that I would receive an invite and be contacted by Marc – nothing.
    The small groups and individuals such as us do not have the finance or contacts to enter the bigger arena of celebs and businesses at such an event unless invited or assisted. We are web and message board based, our only means of reaching the public and contacting the media, Governments, Councils etc in our quest aginst puppy farming.
    We do our best and would like to do more but we need to be contacted by those that are in a position to organise such a large event and hopefully that will be the position in the future.
    Puppy Love were invited but declined for the reasons given, HopeUK, PuppyWatch, WAG and Puppy Alert were not invited. These are all quite well known groups/individuals that have web sites campaigning against puppy farming/dealers/pet shops. It would have made sense to have invited and assisted someone from these groups to attend but it appeared that their input was of less value than large businesses, charities and celebs. Maybe we would not have individually drawn the crowds but we certainly could have educated and enlightened the public, which after all this is what Puppy Farm awareness day was all about.
    Maybe Marc it would be worth rembembering those that do work tirelessly daily behind the scenes to highlight this despicable trade in puppies. Please do not make unfair comments and be over critical of us when we are all trying to do our best. None of us have an over inflated ego, if you knew us better you would realize what a silly comment that was to make.
    Maybe next year the situation will be different and we will all be welcome.

  9. Thanks for all your comments criticizing my event on Puppy Farm Awareness Day 2009.

    As for the comments on my blog, not only did I not mention any names, but I clearly stated the word ‘businesses’ in my article so that you would know that it couldn’t possibly be Puppy Love I was referring to as they’re clearly a campaign group.

    I was referring to a group of exhibiting businesses who let us down by withdrawing last minute and didn’t pay for their stands, thus taking a substantial amount of money out of the overall charity pot which was meant for the dogs. So I hope that clears that up.

    This day was not a cheap day to put on so it had to be paid for by sponsors and money from exhibitors. Therefore we had to limit the number of charities attending to get maximum income from the stand holders.

    Charities/campaigning groups attending included Dogs Trust (Shoreham), Sussex Pet Rescue, Vets Get Scanning, SOFA, and as for the small independent charities educating the public about puppy farming, the very lovely Pro Dogs Direct came along bringing literature, rescued ex-breed bitches (we had a very moving parade of these beautiful girls which really hit home the severity of this matter) and they did just that.

    Initially of course, I had wanted to highlight the work of Many Tears Rescue (was told not to) and Puppy Love (wouldn’t attend).

    As for saying ‘if you knew us better’ that was another reason for inviting Puppy Love; I really wanted to meet them at long last, but I never ever expected this backlash as I thought we were all on the same mission?

    So regarding Puppy Love’s e-newsletter/press release, I find it absolutely amazing how quickly they can jump to conclusions and then subsequently put them into action without any proof, purely based on scepticism, with no facts at all, and from comments on a blog that weren’t even about them?

    To try to ruin my reputation like that will only ever (in the public and pet-industry eye), belittle the work we’re ALL trying so hard to do in achieving results for these poor dogs, delaying progress even more.

    A real shame.

  10. Until the KC make a real stand against puppy farmers and stop registering the puppies that come from them, those puppies will always have a value, by pushing the accredited breeder scheme the KC are perpetuating the wrong impression that puppies with KC registration are some how better then those with out.

    Marc you need to read the Courting disaster, Ethics warning for vets,Printed in the veterinary times it is I think, relevant to any vet making statements about controversial subjects, I can let you have a copy if you need it.

  11. ‘Until the KC make a real stand against puppy farmers and stop registering the puppies that come from them, those puppies will always have a value, by pushing the accredited breeder scheme the KC are perpetuating the wrong impression that puppies with KC registration are some how better then those with out’. – well said Robert.

    Marc, you clearly state…
    “But what I wasn’t prepared for in the months running-up to the event was the politics that I experienced from various charities, organizations and even potential stall holders who couldn’t be seen to work with others”.

    Although your words were aimed at certain parties, we certainly didn’t think Puppy Love was included due to the fact, as previously noted by Puppy Alert, none of us are a large or important enough organisation to make much of an impact by our attendance or non attendance at the Brighton Awareness Day. Our egos’ are definitely not inflated to the extent that we even felt important enough for you to take the time to specifically mention our failure to attend on this blog.
    Our outrage came after John Hamish posted his comment. As we are all aware, comments posted on this site are vetted before being published, so why was his attack, aimed solely at Puppy Love, allowed onto the site? Surely a response from us would have been expected? Especially, as previously stated John Hamish is a member of Puppy Love and would have known our plans for Awareness Day.
    To date, John Hamish has declined to either answer or defend his comments, instead, ‘A Dog’s Life’, having already accused ourselves of ‘affiliating with Marc Abraham’ with regard to our original intention of attending Brighton’s Awareness Day, has once again seized an opportunity to make further derogatory comments, not about Puppy Love’s views or values, but a personal attack against one of the founders. Whether a person has been working to see the end of puppy farms for months or years – who cares? Where is the justification of allowing a post that has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic that we are discussing?
    We would hope the issues here will not cause any animosity between Puppy Love and yourself and hope that should we be invited to attend a future event, an agreement to the message that will be given out will be reached.

  12. I was at the Puppy Farm Awareness Day, and have to congratulate Marc and his team for organising this event. I am surprised however that Sylvia Wragg from Many Tears was suggested as an appropriate organisation to be at the event. Many Tears is not a charitable organisation,therefore a profit making business. The website has many ex-breeding bitches for rehoming. However, there is nothing on the website codemning puppy farming. How can this be right?

  13. I was shocked and saddened to receive an email alert from Puppy Love on Tuesday. It’s sole intent was to demonise a man who has sacrificed a great deal of time and effort to help bring Puppy Farming to the forefront of the British media and into the public eye. Puppy Love obviously feel strongly about comments Marc made in his September review, but as far as I am aware Puppy Love was not named, so why launch a bank-handed campaign against a man who has contributed so much in raising the public awareness levels of this cruel practice?

    I was fortunate to attend the Puppy Farm Awareness Day in Brighton on the 19th September and I have to say it was one of the most wonderful dog shows I have ever attended. The highly organised event managed to successfully combine fun and enjoyment with a strong educational message throughout. Marc’s strong media campaign prior to the event managed to capture an audience of thousands who turned up on the day to show their support and learn more about the ways in which they can help the campaign.

    I understand that Puppy Love made the decision not to attend due to their strong feelings regarding the Kennel Club, however, Marc’s association with the Kennel Club is purely on an advisory level as an unpaid independent consultant, so surely Marc cannot be held responsible for any of the Kennel Club’s practices as he is not directly employed by them and has no over riding authority over any of the internal decisions made? He is purely a consultant, who can only give advice in the hope that this advice is adhered to.

    The Puppy Farm Awareness day had no association with the Kennel Club what so ever, so I too do not understand why Puppy Love decided not to attend?

    Quite frankly I find it appalling that Puppy Love would publicly insinuate that Marc would in someway condone the practice of Puppy Farming. I’m sure you’ll agree that change takes time and Marc is working extremely hard to help find solutions with the Kennel Club, but changing the working practices of a giant institution cannot happen overnight so this requires patience.

    I find it ironic that the Puppy Love January newsletter states ‘Evil men only prosper when good men do nothing’. Well here is a good man doing something and Puppy Love seem intent on demonising him for it.

    Overall I am saddened by the whole debate. Two parties both fighting for the same cause, now fighting each other. Everyone should be sticking together and creating a united front. Perhaps Puppy Love’s time might be better spent targeting the real villains, and not a man who works tirelessly to educate the public, professionals and the British media, not only regarding Puppy Farming, but all areas of animal welfare. Maybe they could send email alerts educating about Puppy Farming instead of using this vehicle to deliberately work behind the scenes to destroy the reputation of one of the few media personalities who has stood up and publically condemned this vile practice.

  14. Catherine, before you demonise Puppy Love please remember, this could have been avoided if Marc had not cast a slur publicly on anyone who didn’t attend because of their principles. Thank you.

  15. Catherine, you quoted,
    “The Puppy Farm Awareness day had no association with the Kennel Club what so ever, so I too do not understand why Puppy Love decided not to attend?”

    May I draw you’re attention to the following.

    Puppy owners and dog loving celebrities turned out in force to support Thepet.net and the Kennel Club puppy parties on Saturday 19th September, which were held to support Puppy Farm Awareness Day 2009.
    The Brighton event, which was organised by social petworking site, Thepet.net, and supported by the Kennel Club saw hundreds of dog and puppies turn up to the event, which raised money for and boosted the profile of local charities Sussex Pet Rescue, Hope Rescue and Pro Dogs Direct

    http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2688

  16. We should be most grateful if a donation could be made by Puppy Love towards the veterinary costs of the little Shih Tzu they asked Pro Dogs to take in. The cost so far is over £500. Pro Dogs did Puppy Love a favour and then got kicked in the teeth.

  17. “We should be most grateful” ? are you speaking for Pro dogs now ? If so we would like to hear this direct from Gladys and we will compensate them and remove the dog from their care A.S.A. P. ?

    Puppy Love have paid out hundreds of pounds for one of the dogs we rescued and as you so rightly point out in one of your obnoxious posts we are not a charity or a Ltd company,we fund all our own work and do not ask for donations.

    You may have lots of time to spend making accusing, critical posts about other campaigners,we do not. we are far too busy with puppy farm work. We suggest you put more energy into doing something positive for the dogs instead of wasting your time writing hogwash …as the saying goes

    Those who can do – those who can’t – criticise …..seems to sum you up to a tee , take care now and bye bye

  18. Having spoken to the head of Prodogs we are assured none of A Dogs Life’s statement about Puppy Love kicking them in the teeth came from them. They run appeals for the pup farm dogs in their care which is why Puppy Love nominated them to benefit from Marc’s event.

    So Dogslife as these are just your thoughts we will disregard them as we do your usual abusive twaddle ,please don’t waste our time, thank you.

  19. Thank you ‘diva dog’ for your response to my post on the 16th Oct.

    You quote ‘Puppy owners and dog loving celebrities turned out in force to support Thepet.net and the Kennel Club puppy parties on Saturday 19th September’. Just to add clarity to this statement, there were in fact two separate puppy parties held on the 19th September. One was organised by Marc Abraham in Brighton, the other organised by the Kennel Club and took place Darlington. There is no link between the two events, both were separate occasions held in different parts of the country. The web link you provided reinforces this point.

    Additionally you quote, ‘The Brighton event, which was organised by social petworking site, Thepet.net, and supported by the Kennel Club’. This statement clearly states that the Brighton event was ORGANISED by Thepet.net and was SUPPORTED by the Kennel Club. The ‘support’ Marc received from the Kennel Club was purely as an advisory capacity. Having never organised a major event before, Marc utilised his contacts within the Kennel Club and drew on their experience to help advise him regarding the event. That’s all. Maybe you could have asked Marc to clarify this before wrongly jumping to pre determined conclusions.

    I find Puppy Love’s advice to ‘A Dog’s Life’ on the 17th Oct extremely hypercritical….’You may have lots of time to spend making accusing, critical posts about other campaigners, we do not. we are far too busy with puppy farm work.’ Is this not what Puppy Love have been doing to Marc Abraham behind the scenes?!

  20. Catherine ,Puppy Love has done nothing behind the scenes so do not accuse us of such if you please. Everything we have said has been said openly and publicly. We are not afraid to address the people we are talking to outright. By making unkind comments about all the people who didn’t attend the event Marc cast a cloud over all and that included us. The answer is quite simple if you don’t want a response to critical remarks ..don’t make any.

    Puppy Love also have a reputation to think of,we may not be celebs or long time campaigners, that doesn’t mean we cannot defend ourselves,it is our right…we will uphold it. Thank You

  21. We all know about puppylove’s reputation but the rest of us are trying to achieve something positive

  22. Puppylove had no idea that the K.C. registered farmed dogs until I gave them the evidence.

    email to Jan Gilmore
    So Puppylove have aligned themselves with Marc Abrahams, do they not know that the K.C. will accept any registration irrespective of whether the breeder is ethical or unlicensed. I sent Marc a copy of the complaints against the K.C. and I have all the written paperwork here, letters to and from the K.C. to disgusted owners who have lost their dogs. Some were from the K.C. Puppy list. I have not heard from Marc since my email to him on 8th March 2009.

    As he is the veterinary adviser to the K.C. he will not upset the applecart by going a gainst the K.C. and possibly losing his job.

  23. Hi Marc,

    I understand you are looking for pictures of puppy farmed dogs and/or ex-breeding bitches. The K.C. will, no doubt, make a superficial effort to highlight the puppy farm scandal but it is not in their interests to curb pf as many litters registered with them are from these horrendous places.

    Didn’t the KC hold a meeting with the RSPCA & Dogs Trust in January 2006 (three years ago) which was hailed a success. Isn’t it true that between these three venerable organisations they could not agree a definition of the term puppy farming. All three were “developing a joint and co-ordinated strategy”

    Caroline Kisco said “This meeting proved extremely beneficial as a starting point for all concerned, in our attempts to find ways of dealing with the health and welfare issues that puppy farming can cause. The discussions will be made in due course”

    Isn’t it true that discussions fell by the wayside and were never heard of again?

    I sent you all the complaints we had received against the K.C., that in itself is a condemnation of the K.C.

    RSPCA have been investigating puppy farming since 1985 – 24 years ago. The Dogs Trust are involved in so many campaigns that I wonder if Clarissa Baldwin has any time between her meetings, lunches etc to attend to her one and only rescue dog.

    Regards,

  24. Everyone can blame everyone else for the present situation regarding dog breeding and puppy trafficking. But who really is to blame? Some blame the Government, others the Councils, the RSPCA, the Kennel Club, Dog Lovers UK Ltd, the consumer. Even anti puppy farming groups/individuals are divided on where or who to blame in the present situation resulting in some trying to gain supremacy over another. Is it not time this stupidy halted and everyone got down to the root of the problem which is overbreeding of sick and diseased dogs and selling to dealers and pet shops? Councils licensing commercial kennels that have too many dogs, breeders that do not health screen, the selling off puppies to dealers and pet shops all contribute to the present situation. Lack of irrefutable identification for all dogs used for breeding and puppies when sold and linked to the breeder.All breeders identified in all adverts by their licence number.
    Make every breeder responsible prior to starting a breeding programe even if they only want to breed one litter.
    I could go on forever but inadequate space. To this end I have written an 18 page report which I hope will identify and suggest a better solution than what we have at present which is clearly not working for the dogs used for breeding, the puppies or the consumer. The only people to gain at present are those that have one motivation and that is monetary gain at the expense of animal welfare which is seriously lacking.
    I daresay I too will receive in response some back biting as no one appears to be immune if they campaign against puppy farming. How sad and stupid adults can be never fails to surprise me when really it would be better that they retired from the scene or handed the reigns over to those that can continue in a reasoned and sensible manner than to pick fault ad bicker with those that are after all just trying to do their best unfunded and unsupported by larger charities.

  25. Marc,as a member of the public who attended the Puppy Farm Awareness day, can you tell me how much money was raised on the day, and how much the selected charities received?

    Many thanks

  26. Hey John,

    Firstly thanks for your comment and for attending what turned out to be such an important and special day for the future of dogs in this country.

    In answer to your question, sadly no funds were raised. The combination of being very badly let down by a few exhibitors at the last minute (see above) as well as not being professional event organizers meant that we actually made quite a substantial loss on the event but the message it gave out and the overall vibe from all the supporters was well worth it!

    We learned alot from the whole experience so next year’s event will be bigger and better and hopefully we can make a profit to donate too. The charities that attended did collect money on their own stalls though but I’m not sure how much.

    Hope that helps, and we see you again at Puppy Farm Awareness Day 2010.

    Regards,

    Marc

  27. Marc,
    Were doners not advised that cheques be made out to Pet.Net and not directly to the rescues?
    Were not S.O.F.A.(under your direction) collecting money for Pro Dogs Direct, what happened to money collected? I think an explanation is required.

  28. Marc, it disturbs me that you say that no funds were raised on the day. I was there with my family and we gave donations to people with buckets raising money for the three charities that you had chosen; Hope Rescue, Sussex Pet Rescue and Pro Dogs Direct. You will have known before the start of the day who would and who wouldn’t be attending. The day was also sponsored by Eukanuba which is an extremely profitable organisation. Had I known that my donations were not going to the aforementioned charities, I wouldn’t have given so generously. Also, what about the costs incurred by these three charities to be at the day? Presumably they had to fund their expenses themselves from already tightly stretched resources. These charities are being penalised because you were let down. It was your day, which without these charities wouldn’t have had the impact that it did. Play fair Marc, and send a donation to all three of these charities for all the good work that they do. And if you do hold another Awareness Day next year, be honest with the public as to how exactly their donations are going to be spent. We don’t need another RSPCA.

  29. Didn’t the KC also “use” the pup farm breeding girls for their campaign at Discover Dogs. They were photographed in front of the Stop Puppy Farming information were they not and interviewed for KC tv. Now with all their millions the KC could make a nice donation in gratitude don’t you think? Shame on them too !

  30. Would Marc insist on a contract being signed tying Pro Dogs in with the K.C., or perhaps the K.C. would want to contract Pro Dogs?

    Not a very good idea Puppylove, think more carefully next time before posting such rubbish.

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