Pet Gazette DECEMBER 2018 - Page 25

DOGS TRUST | PET GAZETTE | 25 good breeder, instead of a seller who makes a good living pedalling sick puppies who may have been illegally imported into this country”. “If an advert seems too good to be true, it probably is,” is the ultimate piece of advice to give to those pondering a dog according to Mayer. When visiting a puppy she says buyers should “expect the breeder to be as curious about you and the home you can provide, as you are about the puppy”, adding: “If anyone ever feels rushed into making a purchase, they should walk away.” A DOG IS FOR LIFE IN 2018 After running for 40 years, is the campaign still needed today? “We will carry on shouting ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ until the day that we stop seeing dogs abandoned, or handed in to our rehoming centres,” counters Mayer, who adds: “Our ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ campaign is still as relevant as it was 40 years ago, and with the popularity of online purchases – dare we say it – more important today.” She goes on to explain that her charity takes in thousands of dogs from “heartbroken” owners whose circumstances have changed and mean they can no longer look after their canine friend, so the staff who see the “other end of the spectrum” of a dog being handed in it was bought “on a whim” it is particularly hard for them. Mayer blames the “first-click world” which “worryingly now includes dogs” for the increased need for the charity’s work. Puppies bought online will not always come from good breeders, she explains and says a significant number will have been “illegally imported”. Mayer reassures those worried about the illegal pet trade that Dogs Trust is “working hard to tackle this cruel trade”. With the charity gearing up for another Christmas campaign which will feature fundraising events such as Christmas fairs, raffles and tombolas. Mayer says the message from Dogs Trust will be exactly the same again this year, she adds “it’s really important to us that people understand that dogs – although a wonderful addition to the right family – should always be considered as a lifetime commitment”. FACT FILE • Dogs Trust charity founded in 1891 • The slogan first appeared in 1978 • Rise of illegal internet sales brings new purpose to the message • Lucy’s Law, which was passed on August 2018, makes impulse purchases more difficult • The campaign still at the heart of the charity’s work • The charity takes in thousands of dogs each year due to changes in owner circumstances December 2018