Linda’s puppy love earns her pres­tige award

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - KATIE GUPWELL katieann.gupwell@waleson­line.co.uk

A PET lover has won a na­tional award for de­vot­ing her life to the fight against puppy farms.

Linda Good­man from Brid­gend founded an­tipuppy farm cam­paign Cariad.

She has spear­headed changes in the law and made per­sonal sac­ri­fices to il­lus­trate the plight of farmed dogs.

The An­i­mal Hero Awards, held in Lon­don, cel­e­brated the best ex­am­ples of brav­ery, ded­i­ca­tion and re­silience in the an­i­mal world.

Linda, 56, adopted a golden re­triever called Amy in 2009, who had been res­cued from a li­censed Welsh farm.

She had been used for breed­ing for seven years and was said to be anx­ious, cov­ered in scars and had un­der­gone surgery to re­move nine mam­mary tu­mours.

Hav­ing seen what puppy farm­ing had done to her pet, Linda joined a protest against puppy farm­ing.

She launched Cariad (Care And Re­spect In­cludes All Dogs) in 2011, with the name taken from the Welsh word for love.

The cam­paign aims to end puppy farm­ing in Wales, which pro­duces more pup­pies than any other part of the UK.

She has since cre­ated a coali­tion of 29 Welsh an­i­mal char­i­ties and lob­bied the Welsh govern­ment and coun­cils for a suc­cess­ful re­duc­tion of staff ra­tios at these farms from 30 to 20:1.

Linda said: “The more we learn about how the sys­tem fails these dogs, the more shock­ing it be­comes.

“It’s like dig­ging up a bone and real­is­ing there’s a whole skele­ton in there if you look hard enough.”

Linda takes the Cariad mes­sage to events around Wales to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about the trade and the con­di­tion of the an­i­mals bred there, all legally at present.

In 2012 she even spent seven days in­car­cer­ated in an out­build­ing to show the sen­sory de­pri­va­tion of pup­pies in farms, with her ex­pe­ri­ence broad­cast live on­line.

But that isn’t her only sac­ri­fice. Her hands-on and vo­cal ap­proach to im­prov­ing an­i­mal wel­fare means she has faced death threats and taken great per­sonal risk to se­cure ev­i­dence about poor wel­fare for the au­thor­i­ties and to an­i­mal char­i­ties.

Linda, along­side the other win­ners, were hon­oured at a glit­ter­ing cer­e­mony hosted by Amanda Holden.

The event saw The Mir­ror join forces with pet food, treats and toys brand, Web­box and an­i­mal wel­fare char­ity, the RSPCA, to se­lect the most in­spir­ing an­i­mals, along with the in­di­vid­u­als and teams who demon­strated out­stand­ing com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing their lives.

Ms Holden said: “All of our win­ners are truly amaz­ing, and when you hear their sto­ries it fills you with hope.

“Whether they are in­spi­ra­tional an­i­mals, self­less char­ity work­ers or life­long cam­paign­ers, they all share one thing – they make you re­alise the won­der­ful bond that ex­ists be­tween peo­ple and an­i­mals, and how we can all make a dif­fer­ence if we try.”

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