Linda’s puppy love earns her prestige award
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.”