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Wednesday 6 December 2023

Coronation Street joins forces with RSPCA on puppy farm story


Coronation Street has joined forces with the RSPCA to highlight the issue of illicit puppy breeding in a hard hitting storyline involving Evelyn Plummer.

In tonight’s episode (Weds Dec 6th) viewers saw Evelyn witness a man mistreating his dog before turning on her when she confronted him. 

After reporting him to the police on Friday night Evelyn comes across the man again and decides that she has to tackle the situation - putting herself in danger.

In the coming weeks Evelyn and Cassie are determined to get to the bottom of what the dog’s owner is up to. They will discover he is breeding and selling puppies out of a puppy farm at his home. Will they be able to bring him to justice?

Coronation Street have been working closely with the RSPCA to ensure the accuracy of the storyline and also the welfare of the dogs being used for filming. Their inspector and performing animal welfare expert Herchy Boal was on set at all times.

Coronation Producer Iain MacLeod said: “It was hugely important to us to work with the RSPCA on this storyline, both in terms of the accuracy of the on-screen narrative and also the welfare of the animals on set during filming. It is a really important story to tell, but it was also vital to make sure it was fun for the actors’ canine co-stars - and as all our behind-the-scenes footage shows, it certainly was!”

Herchy Boal said: “Sadly, our frontline officers too often see the negative impact that illicit puppy breeding can have on animal welfare. Too often, unscrupulous breeders disregard the welfare of pups all to make a quick grubby buck - and dogs pay the price.

“That's why it's so important that Coronation Street has focussed on this important storyline - demonstrating the lengths underground breeders can go to make money, and the impact on the dogs and owners involved.

“It’s all the more vital to raise awareness of this ahead of Christmas - when many people might be considering adding a pet to the family.

“The team at Coronation Street were fantastic - showing great patience, listening to our advice and always putting the welfare of the puppies first - even pausing filming for long periods whenever the pups needed a nap!

“As this storyline airs, we'd always urge anyone who has done the research and is thinking of adding a pet to the family to choose adoption. There's so many animals in our centres looking for a chance of forever home happiness. But for those wanting to buy a puppy, the Puppy Contract is a great tool to help spot rogue dealers and contains a checklist to make sure a breeder is doing the right things.

“Christmas is a really tough time for animals and with the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, too many animals face a bleak winter. As the RSPCA works tirelessly to bring animals to safety, we need our supporters to Join the Christmas Rescue, so we can raise funds and come together for the animals who need us.”

Dr Ros Clubb added: “It's been fantastic for the RSPCA to be involved in this important Corrie storyline.

“Our performing animals team not only helps with the realism of animal storylines, but crucially advises on how to best protect  the welfare of animals used on set - and we were delighted to work closely with ITV to ensure this.

“We are proud to have a dedicated team leading on this work, supporting producers and helping to keep animals safe.

“It was so important to deliver this storyline in a welfare-friendly way, which we hope will highlight to a mass audience the risks to animal welfare of elicit, underground puppy breeding - and the actions owners can take to ensure that if adding a pet to the family, they do so in a responsible way."

RSPCA top tips for buying a happy, healthy dog
Legislation recently introduced in England means that people can only legally get a puppy from the place they were born or a reputable rehoming centre.

When someone decides to go ahead and get a puppy they need to be really careful and make sure that you don't get caught out by an illegal third party dealer 
Always consider giving a rescue pet a new home instead of buying:; 
Do lots of research and ensure you can commit to a dog before getting one;
Ask the breeder lots of questions, visit the puppy multiple times and ask to see paperwork (licensing, health checks, vaccination records etc);
See the pup’s mum and watch her interacting with the litter;
Never pay cash and if anything concerns you then do not hand over any money or buy a puppy, walk away and contact the RSPCA, local council or police.

Glenda Young
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