Last month I had the honour of attending a film premiere. It wasn’t a standard red carpet affair; it was held in the Houses of Parliament and the film has the backing of a number of MPs.
This all sounds serious – and it is.
The film was Dog by Dog, a documentary about puppy mills in America and the policies that remain in place to hinder improvements to the dogs’ welfare. Behind the documentary is Marc Abraham from Pup Aid.
It’s a well made film, and you could show to the public and engage them in supporting better welfare for the puppies sold and the dogs left behind.
Educate and inform
However, this is the important part: We see the issue of puppy farming regularly in practice (I was back in practice recently for less than a week when the first poorly pups appeared). We see the raw end product – the sickly, dying puppies; the distraught owners thrown into a harsh world of intensive treatment and care to save their new family member. How do we engage people without frightening them? Without thinking they can’t help?
We can educate and inform our public. If Vet Futures wants the vet industry at the forefront of animal welfare, we need to get out there. We need an organised campaign.
Vets and VNs, the public needs you to guide them. Please watch the trailers for the documentary (one of which is below, others are available at at http://dogbydogdocumentary.com) and spread the word. Similar is happening in the UK and we must fight to stop it.
We have the start of an amazing campaign. The petition to end puppies being sold without their mum present got the most signatures of any e-petition so far (111,572). These are your clients, your friends, your neighbours. They want a happy puppy from a reliable source. Please help educate them.
I have advised before that pre-pet evenings are a good way to engage with people who are considering a pet and work with your local rescue community. Perhaps adding the trailer for the documentary could add to the message?