A DOG lover and her late four-legged-friend are set to change the lives of animals across the country after tireless campaigning to end puppy farming resulted in a change to the law.
Lisa Gardner from Studley rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lucy from a puppy farm in 2013.
Little did she know that dog would go on to lead a movement which would result in ‘Lucy’s Law’ – helping put a stop to the sale of puppies by pet shops, online dealers and third party sellers.
Five-year-old Lucy had been used for breeding when she was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm. She had been kept in a cramped cage and suffered from epilepsy, a chronic eye condition, was malnourished, and had burnt skin from being forced to sleep in her own urine.
But Lucy had three happy years after being rescued by Lisa, and after attending Pup Aid events – which are organised to raise awareness about the cruelty of puppy farms – quickly became the poster dog for Lucy’s Law.
It gained the backing of celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Brian May, and Paul O’Grady.
Lucy died in 2016 and had more than 70,000 Facebook followers staying up-to-date with the duo’s high-profile campaign, which was spearheaded with Pup Aid organiser and TV vet Marc Abraham.
Lucy has now passed her poster campaign crown to Lisa’s other rescue dog Pudding.
And supporters are celebrating after environment secretary Michael Gove announced a ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops, online dealers and other third party sellers.
Speaking to the Mirror, which backed the campaign, Lisa said: “Hearing the news that Lucy’s Law will now be implemented and that the sale of third party puppy sales will be banned is just phenomenal.
“It’s been an extremely emotional time since losing Lucy, who was my little soulmate, and who is still so desperately missed every day.
“It is of huge comfort to know Lucy’s suffering was not in vain and Lucy’s Law will be her lasting legacy.”
The ban was also welcomed by charity Dogs Trust, which regularly takes in dogs from unscrupulous puppy farmers and has a rehoming centre in Evesham.
But the charity says before it is introduced on October 1 the government needs to look at potential loopholes.
Veterinary director Paula Boyden said: “We’re delighted the government has announced this consultation as it brings us one step closer to a ban becoming a reality and reducing the chance of puppies suffering at the hands of unscrupulous breeders.
“We believe that to be effective, a ban needs to be supported by some key additional measures, such as regulating rehoming organisations, which there is still time to introduce before a ban comes into operation.”