We need to break the cycle of demand for pedigree dogs | Emma Kay

Something has been plaguing and fouling our streets alongside the pandemic.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:29 pm
Generic dog-walker for MSPCA page in IoM Courier

Dog puppies have become a sought-after pearl for greedy breeders and a target for criminals.

We have a puppy snatching pandemic on our hands and it is not going to get any better. A flourishing furry boost has exploded into the pet community as lonely Brits crave companions to deal with their ever-increasing isolation and vulnerability. At first glance this seems like a good thing as more animals are finding homes. Now, having a dog makes you a target. There has been an estimated 250 per cent rise in dog thefts since March of last year.

Owners have had to change their habits. They can no longer trust leaving a dog tethered outside while they get the shopping. No longer post a picture of their pet on social media or leave a dog at home as they are easy pickings for thieves. In terrifying cases, owners have been attacked out in the street. Pop princess Lady Gaga had her two French bulldogs stolen from her after thieves decided that shooting her dog walker was acceptable for the profitability. Everyone is posting at the relief of her dogs being returned but scant mention of the undoubtedly traumatised dog walker. People have become so desperate for a dog that they will happily purchase them online neglecting to ask any diligent background questions.

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The animal is no longer perceived as a thinking and feeling creature that belongs to a family, but as a hot commodity akin to the latest toy in the line up to Christmas. Being a dog owner, as well as being a welcome companion to many, has become to others a chance to proudly proclaim and strut that you have something that others do not, boasting and bragging that you have a breed which is impossible to procure. Dogs have become a fashionable must-have and a symbol of status enabling numerous trips outside during the first lockdown.

Popular breeds such as pugs, poodle crossbreeds, spaniels and bulldogs can be listed for more than £4,000 pounds. This is not small change and given the economic crisis we currently face, it is no surprise that crime is on the rise as people are looking for other ways to pay their bills.

So what is to be done? Simple. You can step firmly away from the dog fever. There are plenty of other animals that need your love and affection. Some might not be as cuddly but they will give you no less affection than a dog would. Let’s ease the demand from our pedigree chums and make room in our hearts for our other highly neglected pet pals that need a home.

Braille on food packaging makes sense

Let’s support and applaud the efforts of Carley Gregory, who is actively campaigning to have Braille labels on every single supermarket item.

We have more than 2m registered blind people in the UK and many who are partially sighted.

Medical items have mandatory Braille instructions to keep people safe. After all, it makes sense to have such instructions available to all. But surely food items should have the same considerations, as food allergens are something that are taken with a degree of seriousness.

Why is this same consideration not given to food? Technology can improve accessibility and improve well-being. It’s still being held at arm’s length, when it would be so easy to change.

There is a petition online to have all out Braille labelling for every item in our supermarkets.

So far only 21,000 people have signed.

Seeing as we have lockdown time on our hands, let’s give people the power of Braille.

Could cloning be the way to save endangered species?

Many of us share the need to preserve our planet’s endangered wildlife.

There is high anticipation for animal conservation this week as scientists have cloned an endangered US animal for the first time.

The beady-eyed black-footed ferret called Elizabeth Ann was created using the frozen cells of a long-passed ferret ancestor. All black footed ferrets today are descended from just seven of the species, making their survival exceedingly precarious.

They are one of North America’s most endangered species and were nearly declared extinct in 1979 until some were luckily discovered in Wyoming enabling the breeding program to start in earnest.

Our world is constantly changing with rocketing new heights of science. It does not seem so long ago that we were contesting that cloning animals would produce Frankenstein’s monster-like freaks. But it cannot be denied that conservation efforts like these are scraping and saving species from eternal eradication.