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Puppy farms: You can help Sunday Life scoop top award for exposing sick illegal dog trade


Published 13/05/2015

How Sunday Life lifted the lid on illegal puppy farms.
How Sunday Life lifted the lid on illegal puppy farms.
Cruel: Wilma Little was convicted of running a "dog factory".

Sunday Life readers now have a chance to vote to help raise awareness of our campaign to end puppy farming in Northern Ireland.

Voting for the Making a Difference — People’s Choice accolade is now underway and our powerful puppy farm campaign is in the running for the top media accolade at Friday’s Regional Press Awards.

The award highlights the power of local newspapers to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve. And our year-long undercover investigation impressed judges so much that we are the ONLY Northern Ireland newspaper to make the exclusive list.

Run in conjunction with the USPCA, our exposé led to a Tyrone dog factory being shut down and its owner, cruel puppy farmer Wilma Little, being brought to court. More than 40 dogs were also rescued from the premises and re-homed.

Our investigation also revealed how the cruel trade was still operating at alarming levels in Northern Ireland.

Urging the public to get behind Sunday Life, USPCA chief executive Stephen Philpott said: “Not only did this powerful campaign shut down a leading puppy farm, it also secured a conviction against a woman who had been causing misery and suffering to animals and dog lovers.

“As a result of the campaign, there has also been a lot of information passed to the USPCA on other puppy farms operating throughout Ireland.

“There is no doubt that as a result of this campaign, the public are more aware, and they have realised now to stay away from these puppy farms.”

The animal charity chief added: “What I am confident in is that we have brought that much awareness to it now that the authorities will be out doing what they should have been doing — their job.”

Sunday Life editor Martin Breen said: “I hope that readers will get voting for this campaign for the difference it has made.

“The votes will help send out a message against puppy farming in Northern Ireland.

“We were inundated with calls from readers who had been left heartbroken after unwittingly buying their dogs from puppy farms and within days watching these animals get very ill or die.”

- The public can vote for Sunday Life’s ‘End Puppy Farming’ campaign here

- Voting is open until 5pm on Wednesday with the winning campaign being announced at a gala ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel.

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