We all know TV can work wonders for good causes and many great documentaries have highlighted animal cruelty, the stray dog problem and much more. There is another side, shown last night on the ITV show LemonAid was the throw away giving of dogs as prizes on TV.
Updates at end of article
The magic of TV means this was probably not the random “competition” it seemed. Especially as a named sparkly collar had already been made. Twitter was alight with complaints, partly fuelled by a girl of 17 claiming to be the breeder of the pups. She is in fact the elder daughter of the breeder, whose details and Facebook links I am not sharing, even though the pups were offered for sale there. This child was simply showing off, especially as Peter Andre has today bought a pup. However her rudeness is not excusable.
The breeder claims an accidental breeding, yet owns two Pugs, the litter are KC registered and for sale at bitches £1200 and males £1100. They learn fast, these accidental breeders.
This is a breed with health concerns and is one of the 15 high profile breeds that now needs a vet check to pass as Best of Breed at a show. Not the easiest of pets then, and an educated home needed surely? Of course, this could have happened? But we don’t know.
So what’s the actual problem here? Some think this is pointless energy wasted on a stupid TV show? The rest of us think it isn’t, because it’s our time and money that will be spent putting this right.
If you’re not the ones seeing the heartbreak of dogs abandoned, suffering, dumped and killed, then yes, go on saying this is just TV. For the rest if us it isn’t. The surge today on Facebook and Twitter of people wanting a Pug is testament to the stupidity of this sort of TV show. If it’s not your phone ringing, your dash to save a dying dog, your money being spent dealing with the consequences then I envy you.
The breeder is inexperienced, has sold these pups at least a week to soon for their mental development, is in no position to give the in depth help someone needs for a lifetime of any dog ownership and is not even a KC Assured Breeder. How the researcher for this found this breeder, I don’t know, maybe the decent ones turned them down as no good breeder allows pups to go as prizes. A good breeder wouldn’t entertain this for a moment, so maybe a star struck family with their first litter were dazzled by the TV?
Ask the existing Pug Breeders and rescues in a few weeks how much this has cost. We may as well give up the fight against puppy farmers and back yard breeders as TV doesn’t care.
The fact Peter Andre bought one today appalls me. I am told a few weeks ago he adopted a rescue Pug from Battersea? Wasn’t he listening?
So what now? Complain properly. Lots are moaning all over FB and Twitter. TELL the people that make TV and act on complaints. Also tell the company that made this you won’t tolerate this abuse.
Complain to Ofcom, you have to know the show name and broadcast time was 18.15 28th April Keith lemon’s LemonAid http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/tv-and-radio/a-specific-programme/
Tell the company that made this show too http://www.itv.com/beontv/keithlemonlemonaid/default.html
I have also contacted the Kennel Club via Twitter and email to their press department asking if they are releasing a statement. Technically the breeder hasn’t broken any KC rules if this “competition” isn’t quite what it seemed, as giving away puppies as prizes is against the KC Code of ethics. I am hoping that this isn’t a get out for the breeder or the show if they say it was never really a prize.
(updated to slightly reword the last bit as have confused some readers the way I explained the KC rules)
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Latest 1st May:
The Kennel Club statement says they are appalled, repeated the law but no mention of whether an investigation will happen. They do say they have written to the breeder.
The teen has removed her Twitter account and an adult has posted a Facebook apology on her account. However this apology misses mention of all the main issues and her very public abuse of people, including a disabled person.
We have spoken to the breeder and offered some suggested solutions, but after saying they would consider them, they haven’t accepted.
I applaud the decent breeders out there who turned this down, we are working on an idea for shows in the future to try and stop a repeat.
Update 2nd May:
The ITV response to complaints says that vets visited the homes of the three families competing for a puppy. I find it hard to believe that three vets would assist a show to look like a puppy was given away as a competition prize? I know people are speaking to the BVA about this.
There is also a rumour and at this point it is just a rumour, that the other two families were also given a puppy off camera. I am writing to the producers of the show for a response to this point. Please do keep up the pressure on ITV and Ofcom to make sure this never happens again. We also await the outcome of the KC having written to this breeder.