Lucy's Law ban of puppy and kitten sales in England

Lucy’s Law? What is it and what does it mean?

Lisa Suswain
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

At Wagging Tails we have eagerly been following the ‘Lucy’s Law’ petition since its launch in December 2017 when it was brought to our attention by PupAid founder Vet Marc Abraham. We’ve written before about Marc’s fantastic “Where’s Mum?” campaign to educate owners to only buy puppies from a reputable breeder where you can see puppies with their Mum. ‘Lucy’s Law’ went a step further in calling for an immediate ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops and third party commercial dealers.

Lucy's Law image from InstagramLucy’s Law came about because of a King Charles Spaniel called Lucy who came from a puppy farm where she had been used for breeding for many years and had suffered terrible health issues. Thankfully she was rescued in 2013 by Lisa Garner and spent three years being loved by her owner and shown the love and care all dogs should have. Sadly Lucy passed away in 2016 and ‘Lucy’s Law’ was named after her.

Sadly the story of Lucy is not uncommon and we have seen first-hand through dogs we have boarded, that have been rescued from puppy farms, the damage done to these dogs all to make money from them as breeding bitches or the pups who are ill before they even get to their new owners. As many of you are aware we ourselves have bred in the past as Kennel Club Accredited Breeders and we still share photos on our Facebook pages of the pups we bred when we meet up with them and our own dogs who we bred. To breed a litter of puppies is a privilege and a huge responsibility, the health tests that need to be carried out before a mating is even considered, then the correct mating choice, the whelping then the lack of sleep as you watch over your clever Mum and her pups and then the assessment of new puppy homes and finally the last hug before they leave you. I can tell you, if you care about dogs like we do, it is an emotional journey!

Sadly for dogs like Lucy she didn’t have someone looking out for her welfare when she was at the puppy farm, nor the welfare of her pups but she leaves a remarkable legacy. Today the Government signalled their intention to ban the sale of puppies and kittens through pet shops and third party commercial dealers will hopefully see an end to stories like Lucy’s. Anyone buying a puppy or kitten under 6 months old will need to deal directly with the breeder or rescue centre.

This consultation is the first of many forthcoming updates of the animal welfare reform our Government is making, including a ban on the sale of of dogs and cats under 8 weeks old which has already been passed. On the 1st October ‘The Animal Welfare Regulations 2018’ come into force, which we were involved in the consultation surrounding licensing of Home Dog Boarding – something many of you will know I have been “harping on about” for years as so many individuals and larger companies have been operating without the legal licenses, unlike all of our licensed and insured carers. We will bring more on the licensing updates before 1st October but tonight we want to congratulate Lisa Garner, Marc Abraham, everyone at APDAWG and CARIAD and all the supporters of this campaign and the MP’s who got behind it so it is now at the consulation stage. Our final thought is for sweet little Lucy and all the dogs who have been victims of puppy farmers, this one is for you!

Owner of beloved Golden Retrievers, Lottie and Clara, Lisa Suswain is the Founding Director of home dog boarding franchise Wagging Tails and a Kennel Club Assured Breeder.