Shih Tzu folk fly the flag
Campaigners speak of shock at public’s lack of knowledge
Shih Tzus breeders and owners who have been at the heart of a campaign to highlight the problems of puppy farming were last weekend at Discover Dogs to bring their message to more people.
As we reported recently, peaceful demonstrations have already been held in Leeds and Manchester, and Lady Margaret Flack exclusively told OUR DOGS: ‘We had an early start, to our day, arriving at 8:30am when we made our way to the Shih Tzu booth, settled the dogs and a quick cuppa before the people started to arrive and ask us about the breed. The more we spoke to members of the public attending Discover Dogs the more we were amazed at how many people weren’t aware how to find a good breeder, and many might have gone to a puppy farmer unknowingly.
‘We spent most of our day informing these people how to find a responsible breeder who did all the health testing for the breeds. This gave us the chance to promote the anti puppy farming petition and the protest organised for the 30th November outside the Dogs4Us store in Leeds.’
‘A press call was issued for 2pm and we were joined by Lord Christopher Howgill along with Mary Ray who took time out between her shows to sign the petition and offer us her support. Lord Howgill and Our Dogs reporters, including the hunky! (or is it Funky?) TV vet Marc Abrahams have said they will attend the protest.
‘One lady and her friends who came to the breed stand when asked if she would like to sign the petition openy stated that we breeders, show exhibitors and the members of the Kennel Club were too lazy to go to the protest in November and that as usual it would be a protest by rescues and pet owners. She also informed us that the pet owners and rescues had outnumbered the show breeders and exhibitors at the protests held earlier in the year. She was telling me how Maggie Flack had organised the protests. Imagine her surprise when she I informed her that I was Marggie Flack and I was a show exhibitor and breeder of Shih Tzus!
‘We got a lot of people asking about the Accredited Breeder Scheme which the Kennel Club has informed us that recently 50 members have been barred as they were reported to not be following the ABS rules. We had great support from visitors to DD in stating that we would like all dogs micro chipped, tattooed or DNA registered for identification purposes.
‘It was a long day and we were pleased to get to meet Frank Kane who was filming a programme for Horse and Country TV aimed at pet lovers showing pedigree dogs, and how they live perfectly normal lives outside the show ring as would any pet dog you might meet. Peter Purves also came along the stands talking to people manning the stands, Peter as many reading this will know was a presenter on Blue Peter many years ago. It was a really exciting and long day, we were overwhelmed by the support for the petition which is being carried on the Our Dogs stand to every event they attend.
‘We have thousands of signatures including the signatures of the police attending Discover Dogs, but more are still needed and we hope that as many show exhibitors and especially breeders will turn out and back us at the next protest in Leeds on Sunday 30th November. My journey to Leeds will be a six hour long journey, which as we all know is not a lot for us dedicated show exhibitors, so I hope we will see you all there.
‘The 30th November protest will be attended by many rescues, members of the public and there will be responsible breeders there willing to talk to anyone interested in finding a good breeder. Most people attending Discover Dogs wished us well with the planned protest and many said they would join us there.’
Watch for any further developments which will be covered by Our Dogs, in print and online.