Why you need to know about Lucy's law

Lucy’s life changed in February 2013 when she was taken in by animal lover and Pet Aid Volunteer Lisa Garner.


Lucy was the dog who would change the law and end the suffering of many other dogs.

A brief history of Lucy

When Lisa took Lucy for her veterinary check they found that she didn’t just look in bad shape, she was in bad shape. Her skin smelled like burning flesh and she had patches of hair missing due to the urine she was forced to lie in. Her body was broken from years of neglect and Lucy who was about five years old, was old before her time. Malnourished and forced to live in cramped conditions her back paws were up by her front legs, she couldn’t straighten her back. She had epilepsy and chronic dry eye. Cavalier King Charles Lucy weighed around 3.75Kg, less than half the normal weight for a Cavalier King Charles.

Sadly Lucy passed away

Lisa gave Lucy the love and patience that she needed and soon Lucy was a regular sight at Pup Aid events promoting the end to appalling conditions on puppy farms. Sadly Lucy died in 2016 after the toll of being subjected to terrible conditions on a Welsh puppy farm for the first five years of her life. The fact is that dogs like Lucy are often kept in appalling conditions by breeders to produce multiple litters of puppies, which are taken from their mothers at just a few weeks’ old and advertised online or sold by third party dealers.

Campaigning for change

Lucy’s legacy to stop what happened to her has begun. In June 2019, after almost 10 years of tireless campaigning led by vet Marc Abraham which included over 300 visits to Westminster, the Government passed ‘Lucy’s Law’ into English legislation, banning the commercial (for profit/non-rescue) 3rd party trade in puppies and kittens. This ensures transparency and makes all breeders accountable for scrutiny by prospective puppy/kitten buyers. Lucy’s Law ensures that anyone looking for a puppy or kitten must deal directly with the breeder or rescue centre.

The beginning of justice against the cruelty of animals

Lucy’s Law came into force in England on 6th April 2020 with ‘The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 brought about by The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.‘

From (lucys-law-spells-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-puppy-farming, Gov.UK).


The battle isn't over

The law also works to protect those dogs and puppies being unscrupulously brought into the UK from overseas to be sold on. These dogs too, have frequently suffered in terrible conditions. By stopping the importation of the dogs, removes the income stream and hopefully stops the indiscriminate breeding in cruel conditions.


The law to protect dogs from these puppy farms located in Scotland and Wales are being considered in their independent parliaments.

What this means to individuals looking for puppies and kittens is that they should buy from reputable breeders in England and Northern Ireland only until such time as the Welsh and Scottish parliaments put through their own versions of Lucy’s Law. The victory of changing the law is truly valuable, but unfortunately, the law has not yet changed in Wales where there are a lot of the puppy farms and where Lucy suffered her terrible early life.