A campaign to stop a pet shop selling puppies that was allegedly sourcing dogs from puppy farms has been successful.
The long running campaign against the Linton Pet Shop in Wokingham has included petitions and protests. Campaigners have been trying to convince the local council to remove the shop's licence to sell puppies for a number of years.
In January 2016 OUR DOGS highlighted the campaign as people were concerned about a number of French Bulldogs had been imported to the shop from Malta.
A petition was launched by a lady called Vikki Novelle who insisted at the time that the pet shop bought dogs from puppy farms where pups suffer physically and emotionally.
At the time she told OUR DOGS, 'With the local petition I want Linton not to be issued with a licence to sell puppies. Full stop. This has been an issue for years and it is time that Wokingham Council realised that they don't have to issue a licence if they have any queries or concerns.'
We contacted her for a response to the fact that the shop has, at last, had its licence to sell puppies removed.
She said, 'I am absolutely over the moon that Linton have lost their licence.
'I would like to say that while my campaign and petition drew attention to the fact that Linton's were selling puppies from recognised puppy farms and hopefully highlighted the plight of the mothers who are forced to breed litter after litter, the real credit goes to the protesters who went out every single weekend, in the sun, rain and snow. I have nothing but admiration for the protesters.
'It was due to the persistence of these protesters who took endless stories of sick puppies, inappropriately sold puppies, proof that they came from puppy farms and regulation breaches to Wokingham Council that the licence was revoked. The only disappointing thing is the time it took for Wokingham Council to act.
'This is a triumph for us all and I hope that this will encourage Wokingham Council and other councils to change their licences so no pet shops are permitted to sell puppies in the future.
'As you can see, it's not really my success to claim!!! Thank you for OUR DOGS support in this.'
The campaigners have faced problems along the way as they tried to keep their campaign in the limelight. A High Court injunction, for instance, restricted the hours that they were allowed to protest outside the shop.
Yet they carried on compiling the evidence to take to the council. They said that they provided documentary evidence to the council that a number of puppies had been bred by the notorious Irish breeder Eric Hale who was featured in the BBC Panorama programme Britain's Puppy Dealers Exposed. It was also revealed that the shop had sourced dogs from puppy farms in Wales. Their most recent petition to get the licence removed received 20,000 signatures.
Councillor Norman Jorgansen said, 'Following an audit of their licence conditions, the council has been in discussion with Linton Pets in relation to the sale of puppies. The council is not aware of any link between Eric Hale, or any other breeders in Ireland, and Linton Pets.
'All puppies in the last 12 months have been supplied by licensed breeders and no irregularities were found in the paperwork by the licensing authorities.
'The current licence allows Linton Pets to sell puppies from licensed breeders until October 4th 2017.'
The Kennel Club point out on their website, 'Do not buy a puppy or a dog from a pet shop as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell their puppies via a pet shop, despite what you may be told.'