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I adopted Lucy 2 and a half years ago, she had been used on a puppy farm for over 5 years, simply as a breeding machine, with no regard for her health or emotional well being. When I first went to meet Lucy it was truly heartbreaking, she was a tiny 3.5kg (around half of what she should have been) skin and bones with bald patches to her fur and stained feet from being kept in a urine/faeces covered floor. Lucy’s skin smelt of burning flesh from the ammonia in her urine burning her skin. In addition, she had fused hips and a severely arched back, all due to the appalling conditions she would have been subjected to her whole life.
As well as the physical scars Lucy had, mentally it took her time to adapt to living in a home environment with household noises and simple things like walking on a lead were alien to her. Lucy would bolt her food down as though every meal was her last, obviously worrying when/if she would next be fed.
She didn’t like being in a room when the door was shut and craved your constant company. On the rare occasion she was left, even to this day, she cries to herself until you return, almost as if she worries you won’t come back for her.
Fast forward 2 years and Lucy has transformed into the most amazing, determined dog you could ever meet. It goes to show rescue dogs are the most resilient, courageous, loving dogs given the chance. Lucy’s bravery at all she has overcome just makes me burst with pride. Lucy adores other dogs and always greets them with a little kiss on their nose, she wags her tail with pure happiness now, rather than hiding it with fear.
Lucy has her own Facebook page www.facebook.com/lucytherescuecavalier which I initially started to help raise awareness of her horrific start to life and the puppy farming (puppy mill) industry, but I never imagined she would get the following she has. To date she has over 23,000 followers from all over the world and ‘Lucy’ posts pictures everyday with what she’s been up to. Lucy has a cheeky personality, which I hope comes across on her page.
Sometimes, people switch off to animal cruelty, such as puppy farming, finding it too upsetting to read about. By trying to get a balance on her page, featuring the good with the bad it still voices that message, but gets people to engage too. We have had people contact us, saying they have rescued a dog after following Lucy’s page, which is just amazing! Lucy suffers with some health issues and will let her friends on Facebook know if she’s been doing poorly and the support and love for her at difficult times is just overwhelming.
Lucy has gone on to win a ‘Heroic Hound’ award for her bravery and everything she has overcome, she was also crowned the RSPCA’s ‘Ruffs 2015’ winner earlier this year. In addition, she has appeared on TV, in newspapers and magazines, everything we do is to let people know about this abhorrent trade. If we can make just one person think more carefully about where they’re buying a puppy from, or if even better they adopt, then we are making a difference.
Lucy has raised thousands of pounds for rescue centers and organizations that are helping to end puppy farming. Equally importantly, she is also creating awareness for former breeding dogs and rescue dogs alike, we want people to know just how you can change a dogs life by considering adoption. Lucy has done both a fundraising calendar and illustrated childrens book, she has also hosted two fundraising parties. We are currently looking into her 2016 calendar and I hope it will be equally as successful as last years, so again, we can help more dogs like Lucy on the road to recovery. Lucy is fast becoming an ambassador for puppy farm dogs and I genuinely believe she knows she is helping others.
Lucy only knows the ‘sit’ command but somehow managed to pose for an entire calendar. Lucy and I attend events to let people know about the puppy farming trade and people just fall in love with her, there is just something very special about Lucy and how she takes everything in her stride, she just loves the freedom she now enjoys. She missed out on 5 years of her life, due to being held a prisoner purely for profit but Lucy is one of the lucky ones, so many are still suffering and we will do all we can to help get their voices heard.
Lucy has over come so much and lives each day with such a zest for life. Lucy’s friends on Facebook often comment how a simple post or picture brightens their day. This really encapsulates what Lucy has achieved, from being a dog with probably no name, being just a number, to brightening the lives of others through a simple post or picture.
We are a small voice in a very big business, that is puppy farming, but we will continue to help all those voiceless dogs trapped in an eternal life of misery. The more people that support our mission the better, the louder the voice the more powerful our message will become.
– Lisa Garner