New “Where’s Mum?” campaign to help combat Puppy Farming

Mother’s Day 2012 sees the launch of my “Where’s Mum?” anti-puppy farming campaign, introduced on Channel 5’s Live with Gabby yesterday with The Only Way is Essex celeb mother and daughter Debbie and Lydia (below).

“Where’s Mum?” is a brand new campaign designed with massive celebrity support to help British public choose a healthy happy puppy.

These days it’s never been easier to get your hands on a new puppy. But how can you be sure that this tiny ball of fluff will grow into a happy and healthy dog and live to a ripe old age of sometimes sixteen years old?

Well a combination of cute and convenience culture means prospective dog owners are finding themselves helplessly lured into pictures of little balls of fluff that they can take home, feed, play with, and look after for the rest of the dog’s happy and healthy lives.

Sadly the reality is far from either cute or fluffy with well meaning dog lovers ending up with a depressed, sick, diseased puppy that doesn’t resemble its picture or breed it’s advertised as.

These puppies which commonly die young or costing the new owner thousands of pounds to fix are typically born on puppy farms – commercial breeders that put profit before welfare mass producing sick pups to sell from outlets such as pet shops, websites, free newspaper adverts, even motorway service stations and dodgy car parks.

(Left to right) Lydia, me with rescue pup Lila, and Debbie

By inviting celebrities to take part in “Where’s Mum?” it’s hoped that the message about how to get a dog responsibly and ethically will get across to the exact celebrity influenced public that continue to buy diseased farmed pups without knowing.

Puppies depend heavily on their mums in the early weeks of life, not just for milk but also for developing their socialisation skills which help set them up for life. I want everyone buying a puppy to ask one simple question: “Where’s Mum?”

If the breeder or puppy’s seller can’t or won’t show you the puppy with its mother, then you should suspect the puppy was born on a puppy farm and go elsewhere such as a responsible breeder or rescue shelter.

Only buy a puppy if:

You can see puppy interacting with mum
It’s a breeder recommended by the Kennel Club (preferably Assured Breeder)
It’s a rescue centre that’s a registered charity

Be suspicious of a farmed pup if:

Mum isn’t there (she’s most likely miles away on cruel puppy farm)
You’re told mum’s at the vet, been run over, sick, basically anywhere else
Price is either very cheap (£100-£350) or very expensive (£2000-£7000)
Pup is being sold in a pet shop or garden centre
Pup is sold from website, Friday Ad, motorway service station, pub
You’re offered free delivery

The “Where’s Mum?” campaign will run all summer with various celebrities and their mums and dogs raising awareness until Pup Aid puppy farming awareness day in London on Saturday September 8th. For more details click here.

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9 replies

  1. The requirement to see the pup ‘interacting with mum’ is absolutely essential. I was recently asked to go with a friend to see a puppy she was considering buying. I was very dubious as the environment was not what I would like to raise a litter of pups in but my main concern was that the ‘mum’ and puppies showed absolutely no interest in each other. I came away feeling positive that this was not the mother and advised my friend not to buy. I’m glad to say that she then let me advise her on a more responsible way to chose a puppy from a reputable breeder and she now has a happy, healthy new family member.

  2. Thanks for trying to make the lives of these poor unfortunate dog a little better. We have Oscar’s Law in Victoria, Australia doing the same wonderful work, but unfortunately these farms are still out there. The people who own them are only in it for the money, they are not genuine dog lovers. The poor little things they breed from are never hugged or given any love, just bred time after time.

  3. This is a simple way to get the message across its fantastic. I am English but have lived in Western Australia for 6yrs.The problem is massive here. They Still sell puppies in pet shop windows in Malls & people buy them like toys, when they get their shopping or a pair of shoes. If they understood the care it takes to look after them they wouldent buy them on a whim only to have so many dumped at 6-9mths old as they are no longer cute & hard to handel as have had no training & now need neutering. Well done guys 🙂

  4. This is an admirable campaign.
    I recently discovered that my local council have granted a licence to a garden centre to sell pups of many breeds, including French Bulldogs. Goodness knows what happens to the breeding bitches when they can no longer fulfil their breeding potential. As long as this continues there is no hope of stopping these heartless people, who see dogs as a way to make money. I feel local councils need to be educated, in order to stop this appealing practice.

  5. This is wat my mum-in-law encountered today:
    I enquired about a tiny 2lb chihuahua on a website, apparenty from Watford. An irish guy said he doesnt mind bringing the dog to me for viewing of which i agreed. I was sickened to witness two men pull up and open the car boot and pulled out this poor tiny chi, brought her in & my heart unk at the mere state of this supposing 8mth old dog, she was severely matted to the extent you couldnt see her ears, she was covered in dirt, stunk rotten and to my amazement when i took her from him her nipples were so prutruding poor wee mite had obviously been used as a bloody breeding machine. Her tiny little legs were so tucked up underneath her matted body you could tell she was petriffied & extremely scared of what was happening to her. she wouldnt and couldnt even stand. They were advertising several chihuahuas so i assumed either a puppy farm or possibly stolen. I of course turned her down making my excuses. Moment they left i contacted the RSPCA whom are investigating but also stated to me i’m not the first person to have recently reported with reference to this particular advertisment.. I have never in my life seen such a mess this tiny little scrap of nothing was in 🙂 You don’t expect to see or hear of this kind of neglect or cruelty so close to home… I hope the bastards suffer a hefty fine.

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