Following a lively protest in June, the Salford store of Dogs4Us on Agecroft Road was again targeted today, with a large protest in Piccadilly Gardens, followed by a smaller demonstration outside the store itself.
In Piccadilly Gardens, former Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies actress, Shobna Giulati, joined campaigners who handed out leaflets to raise awareness of puppy farming and the pet shops that fuel the cruel trade.
"This is International Puppy Farm Awareness Day so we're doing an event to educate people about the dangers of buying a puppy farm dog" said Aran Mathai of BoycottDogs4Us "There's the health conditions of the puppies, the fact that the breeding dogs are kept in windowless sheds without lighting or heating; there's animal welfare concerns, over breeding concerns...there's so many concerns with puppy farming.
"Dogs4Us have been exposed so many times in the media for buying from cruel puppy farms, and for selling mixed breed dogs as pedigrees" he added "They're conning the public and contributing to some of the worst animal welfare conditions in this country."
Activist Steven McLean read a statement on behalf of Julia Carr from Canine Action UK, which called for more exposure of the reality behind the business and for a ban on selling puppies through pet shops...
"Dogs4Us, and other pet shops like them that sell puppies, are vessels for irresponsible, low welfare commercial dog breeding, commonly described as puppy farming" he read "Putting an end to the legality of selling puppies through pet shops will go a long way towards eradicating this unacceptable activity. The responsibility for a wholesale ban rests with the Government...
"The bitter irony of puppy farming is that it only exists because of love of the dog, vilely sustained by greed, deception and ignorance" he added "...It's completely unrealistic to expect the puppy buyers to separate the wheat from the chaff at the moment of purchase, nor should this burden rest with them."
One of the campaigners at the protest was Helen Wright, who used to work on Agecroft Road, near the Dogs4Us store... "I had no idea that it was as bad as it was, and then I heard about Benji dying and it was devastating so I thought I'd come and show support."
Benji was a dog bought from the store but died of a heart attack at two years of age, despite being loved and well looked after... "I wish I'd known about puppy farming sooner" his guardians told the BoycottDogs4Us campaign "People need to be made more aware..."
Following the Piccadilly Gardens rally, the protest moved to outside the store on Agecroft Road, with local people joining in chants of `Puppy killers'... `Shame, shame, shame on you', `Close down Dogs4Us' and `Blood on your hands', as many passing motorists tooted their horns in support...