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Lucy’s Law is a Welcome Move to Curb Social Media Influencers and Unscrupulous Breeders

It’s another year and across the UK many families added a new furry member to their family home during the Christmas holidays. Many dog shelters find that the Christmas week and subsequent months that follow is their busiest and worst time of the year as they are flooded with calls from people wanting to re-home their new dog. The rise in the number of celebrities and social media influencers snapping shots with their cute pooches has certainly contributed to the influx of puppies and designer dogs being purchased by owners, many of which are sold online. The introduction of Lucy’s law is a welcome move by the Government which is expected to slow the sale of online puppies; which is becoming a serious problem.

Perfect-Pets Books has created a series of dog books based on the most popular dog breeds to help owners provide the best care possible for their dog. The series was developed to help owners find useful information without the burden of unnecessary jargon, to take the worry and stress out of taking care of a new pet.

One of the biggest complaints that a new owner has is they under estimate the amount of time and attention needed to care for a new puppy. Many new owners do very little research on the breed of dog they have acquired beforehand and are left baffled about what to do next. In a recent survey conducted by YouGov in 2018 they found that 5.2 million (24%) of UK pet owners undertook no research at all before taking on their pet. Some owners do try to research before buying but still underestimate the care and attention bringing a new dog into the home requires.

Lisa Cooper, a Dog’s Trust centre manager, states “We do see a lot more puppies around Christmas and certainly after Christmas. People do do research and think ‘OK, we want to get a puppy, we’re off for two weeks over Christmas, we can get a puppy and settle it in before we go back to work’ without realising that that’s like leaving a newborn baby after two weeks and going back to work. You just cannot do it.”

The “Instagram” factor

Online celebrities and social media influencers are partly to blame for the growing number of puppy purchases taking place online as showing off a pet in a photo shoot is a growing trend. Dogs displayed on social media sites such as Instagram, are ‘must have breeds’ such as French Bulldogs or Chihuahuas that are in vogue and fashionable who are inadvertently fuelling the growing ‘dog craze’. The truth is even celebs struggle with maintaining a new puppy or dog and the media is flooded with stories of high-profile celebrities who have shrugged off their responsibilities and been caught red-handed doing so.

Just as celebs struggle so do ordinary people and we cannot put the blame solely on celebrities or celebrity culture because quite frankly the problem goes much deeper. Many animal rights campaigners have been trying to make people aware of the growing trend of puppy farms by unscrupulous breeders. It has become far too easy for buyers to click a button online and buy a puppy without thinking clearly. Charlotte Longster, the Dog’s Trust senior public affairs officer says, “We are very concerned by the sheer number of online adverts for pets; 1,000 new online adverts go up every day.”

Lucy’s Law

After much campaigning by a number of animal welfare campaigners the Government has decided to back a new law called Lucy’s law which is scheduled to come into force on 6 April 2020. This new law, to be enforced in England, will require animals to be born and reared in a safe environment, with their mother, and to be sold from their place of birth. Anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months must deal directly with the breeder or animal rehoming centre. It is hoped that the law will slow the online trade of puppies and kittens, but it is also important for the public to be made aware of this growing problem. According to research from the Kennel Club in September 2018, almost one in three puppies bought online became ill or died in their first year.

Perfect-Pets books is a great companion for would be or current dog owners. The series includes 10 essential guides of the most popular dog breeds in the UK with a further ten being added in 2020. For those interested in caring for their dog in case of injury or illness First Aid for Dogs the Essential Guide is a useful resource. Behavioural issues are also covered in The Essential Guide to Dog Training. The growing number of dogs needing to be re-homed is on the rise and Rescue Dogs the Essential Guide has been published to cover general issues about adopting as opposed to buying from a breeder.

To view the full catalogue of Perfect-Pets Books visit www.perfect-pets.org

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