Pup Aid – a charity event with dogs and for dogs
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Pup Aid – a charity event with dogs and for dogs

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As a dog lover, you will know the importance of fundraising for great causes. Pup Aid is certainly one of those that will benefit both dogs and owners in the future.

We have had Live Aid, Comic Relief, Sport Aid and a wealth of other charity events throughout the years, but Pup Aid must be the most enjoyable event to attend and is well-sponsored by everyone from dog owners to celebrities that are passionate about our canine friends. It is all but impossible to describe this delightful event which is held every year in September. Not only that, it is a fantastic way to ‘socialise’ your dog, even though with so many dogs strutting their stuff during the day, it can become enjoyably chaotic!

Pup Aid was set up originally by vet Marc Abraham and has increased in size year after year. The initial aim of the charity was to highlight the plight of puppies who can often be raised in unbearable conditions at puppy farms, purely for profit. Such puppies are often brought up in appalling conditions which cause a multitude of illnesses, suffering and pain, which will then be passed on to the unsuspecting purchaser. Often, these puppies don’t even reach a year old, due to the debilitating illnesses and limb malformation that they experience. Joint problems, eye problems and blood conditions are some of the most frequent sad stories heard from vulnerable purchasers, who believe they have bought a beloved pet to spend time with and enjoy.

But let’s talk about the joy of Pup Aid – the event was held on September 1st, 2018 at Primrose Hill, London, and was an absolute ‘barking success’! Dogs from all walks of life turned up – big, small, facially challenged and bejowled, barking with excitement! Some were decked out in fancy clothes or hairdos, some were bundles of fur while others were shaggy coated – but this was not a fashion show, it was ‘dog meets dog’ with an air of camaraderie between dogs and owners.

It is time to mention a very special lady called Lisa Gardner who has been active in campaigning along with other fantastic supporters, to raise awareness of the unethical puppy farms that unfortunately exist. Sad to say, that not all dealers are scrupulous and dedicated to breeding and raising puppies, and Lisa became aware of this when she rescued a badly treated Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Lucy from a puppy farm in Wales. Over the last few years, Marc, Lisa and their band of supporters have campaigned constantly to have unethical puppy farms banned in the UK. Known as ‘Lucy’s Law’ it is currently being passed through Parliament to ban the practice – it has taken 9 years to get this far, which is too late for Lucy the KCS who died in 2016, and many other dogs who have passed away. Shake a paw Lucy and the team of dog lovers dedicated to the cause.

But what a day! Pets win prizes, so the day was packed with various awards for special pooches. The sun shone on the event, and owners and dogs were all strutting their stuff with pride and the spirit of the event was clear. It was also clear that some of the ‘dog attendees’ just wanted a bit of fun and rough and tumble!

Many celebrities attended the event and several acted as a team of judges to appoint the winners of the various categories up for grabs. Whilst some events required skill, others such as Golden Oldies, Waggiest Tail, Most Stylish and Bravest Dog meant that for the dogs, not much effort was required! The categories of ‘Dog Most Like their owner’ and ‘Celebrity Lookalike’ caused great hilarity in the judging.

Celebrity attendees included Ricky Gervais, Peter Egan, Gail Porter, Calum Best and a whole host of others – but the dogs were the biggest stars of the day. There was also live music, a trade show and some great food stalls to top up your energy levels and ease your thirst on this wonderful sunny day.

At a quick interview with the founder, vet Marc Abraham he said, ‘the pet industry has finally been given a kick up the bum’.

After 9 years of solid campaigning, dogs will finally be given the lives they deserve and the love and respect that they are entitled to. Lucy’s Law can be nothing but good for the pet industry in the future.

Let’s not think for one moment that anyone selling a puppy will be unethical. There are some wonderful breeders who dedicate themselves to raising healthy and loved pups as part of their own lives. Just be vigilant and check out any breeder that you are considering buying a puppy from. If you are unsure, check out the recognised breeders list with the Kennel Club who will always point you in the direction of their assured breeders. It can cut out a lot of heartache.

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