PRESENTER Paul O’Grady’s has called out new dog-focused documentary Will My Puppies Make Me Rich? for ‘encouraging puppy farming’.
The 65-year-old TV star's passion for pups is evident on his animal-friendly show, ITV's For The Love of Dogs.
But BBC Three's controversial new doc follows several ‘social media savvy 20-somethings’ as they enter the lucrative puppy breeding business.
Paul, who is known to adore dogs, told The Mirror: “This kind of c**p only encourages puppy farming and I only hope that the BBC come to their senses and take it off air immediately.
“It’s a bit of a worry when the bright sparks at BBC Three believe this is suitable viewing.
“You don’t keep a dog to make money off it. I’ve seen what excessive breeding does and it’s pitiful. Shame on you.”
Animal welfare groups have also slammed the series as ‘irresponsible’, while the RSPCA shared that sentiment in a statement to The Mirror.
It read: “We're aware of this programme and are concerned that it is extremely irresponsible to encourage and glamorise breeding as a 'get rich quick' scheme which, in turn, could lead to serious dog welfare issues and fuel the illegal puppy trade.
“Along with a number of other animal welfare and veterinary organisations who shared our concerns, we've written a joint letter to the programme creators and BBC Three urging them to rethink.”
Media vet Marc Abraham – who was the champion of Lucy’s Law, outlawing the sale of kittens and puppies by anyone other than a reputable breeder – has also been vocal in his critique of the show.
He wrote in a statement that he was “deeply concerned” about the programme’s “ill-conceived” and “exploitative” subject matter.
“Any show following individuals breeding dogs with little or no knowledge and experience – with their sole intention of making a profit – implies this is an appropriate, even aspirational money-making venture to consider,” he explained.
“[This is] a hugely irresponsible message to send to viewers by a publicly funded, or indeed any organisation.
“It’s extremely disappointing, especially when the Pandemic has seen a spike in irresponsible dog breeding practices both here and abroad, that BBC Three is commissioning a documentary that effectively promotes and follows a dog breeding business experiment…
“Posing a risk not only to the welfare of the dogs, puppies and people directly involved, but potentially manufacturing cruelty, which can only have a detrimental effect on the lives of thousands of other dogs and humans.”
A spokesperson for the BBC refuted claims that the show glamourised dog breeding, writing in a statement: “This observational documentary does not glamorise dog breeding.
“It responsibly examines the growing rise of young people entering the business and highlights the importance of good animal welfare, training and licensing.
“The production team are working closely with animal experts throughout to inform the audience of what constitutes good and bad practice.”
Paul, Marc and the RSPCA’s concerns are echoed by thousands of social media users, too.
Over 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Will My Puppies Make Me Rich? is cancelled.
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