The fight against puppy mills continued Saturday in London at the annual Pup Aid event at Primrose Hill.
Called “puppy farms” in the United Kingdom, this event raises awareness for the horrible conditions in which dogs are repeatedly bred, often giving birth to sick puppies that die young from a host of illnesses.
The celebrity-studded event was busier than ever this year with beautiful sunshine and more vendors and attendees.
A Doggone Fun Event
The show took place at Primrose Hill, one of the Royal Parks in London. The vendor stalls increased this year, and event goers could choose from dog treats and accessories, learn about various UK charities, and enter the fun dog show held throughout the day. Everywhere you looked there were dogs, dogs and more dogs, in all shapes, sizes and breeds.
The world’s ugliest dog, the Chinese crested named Mugly, made an appearance, as well as the dogs accompanying their celebrity caretakers, such as the adorable miniature Schnauzer named Rocky brought by Tim Howar and Jodie Oliver.
I was able to spend some time with Rocky while Tim and Jodie judged a category in the fun dog show. My friend Sharon brought Bellamy and Baruch, the very large but sweet Great Danes we saw last year (Bellamy was the dog I took into the show ring at Crufts too).
There were also dogs looking for homes at the show. From a Staffie mix with a beautiful brindle coat to the cute tan mix named Honey (pictured further down), they put on their best behavior in an attempt to snag a permanent home.
Despite a few sprinkles of rain here and there, the weather was perfect for the day. The organization and timing of events were flawless thanks to the Pup Aid team, and the show was another huge success toward ending puppy mills.
Celebrities Help Spread Awareness
Putting their fame to good use, dog-loving celebrities help spread awareness against puppy mills by attending the show and increasing media attention for this worthy cause. Meg Matthews was a familiar face again this year, as well as Annabel Giles showing off her impressive and spontaneous presentation skills.
There were new faces this year too: model David Gandy, television presenter Gail Porter, Mike and the Mechanics co-frontman Tim Howar and his girlfriend Jodie Oliver, supermodel Elle Macpherson and her 2 sons, TV actress Mary Portas, Abbey Crouch and her footballer husband David, producer and Animal Planet judge Xavier Santiago and many more.
Howar’s dog Rocky was quite a hit as many of the celebs had their picture taken with the cute miniature Schnauzer.
How You Can Help
Whether you call them puppy mills or puppy farms, this breeding practice occurs all over the world. Legislation for regulating this commerce is lacking in the United States and the United Kingdom, and it will take a while for the laws to change.
You can still help no matter which side of the ocean you live. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you can sign the petition, started by Marc Abraham of Pup Aid, asking the government to ban the sale of puppies and kittens without their mothers present.
Attending events such as Pup Aid and spreading awareness of puppy farms through social media helps inform more people of this issue.
American citizens have seen some recent progress in San Diego, California where dogs, cats and rabbits are banned from commercial sales. Puppy mills throughout the country are raided almost weekly, and the animals are taken in by rescues and shelters around the country for rehabilitation and re-homing.
Ask your friends and family if they know where the “cute puppy in the window” comes from or if they know about puppy mills. Sign petitions, share information through social media, volunteer at a rescue or shelter and always do your research before buying a puppy from a breeder.
It’s up to us to give a voice to animals and stop these terrible breeding practices.
To see more pictures from the event, check out our Flickr photo stream.
- Puppy Mill Red Flags
- Pup Aid 2012
- Interview with Dr. Marc Abraham
- The Importance of Getting to Know Your Dog’s Breeder