We spent five minutes with Cat The Vet, to find out about the dogs in her life, and why she is supporting the government Petfished campaign.
Who wouldn’t be cheered up by a wagging tail, asks Cat.
Q) Tell us about your first dog.
“Our first dog was a beautiful black Labrador called Molly. She was bred by a family friend about a mile down the road and I still remember the excitement of that short car journey home with her on my knee. She was just the best: calm, kind, patient, and occasionally naughty, especially in her younger years.”
Q) Tell us about your current dog.
“I don’t have dogs of my own at the moment. I would love to, but I simply don’t have the time. My parents do though and I consider them mine by extension. They are Labradors again: Milly and Bisto. Milly is another black Lab; she is 14 now and still enjoys a good life.
“Bisto is a chocolate Lab and he was second-hand via a friend of a friend. He and Milly are soulmates and he is absolutely wonderful with our children. They love him dearly.”
Q) Who has been the greatest canine love of your life?
“Molly was my first and I’m not sure she will ever be bettered. She was a constant companion during my teenage years and gave me so many glorious, funny memories.”
Q) In your opinion, what are the biggest issues facing dog owners today?
“It is extremely difficult to buy a well-bred puppy, but many people who decide they want a dog do not realise this. Eight hundred thousand pups are sold in the UK every year, the market is huge, and the prices charged make it extremely attractive to puppy farmers and backyard breeders. They are able to churn out massive numbers of dogs without any care. In addition to keeping the parent dogs in horrible conditions, we know that pups bred this way are more likely to have both physical and mental health issues throughout their lives. This means that families who just want a lovable, easy companion are often taking on a real project, which they aren’t prepared for. It is so important that we raise awareness of this issue with campaigns like Defra’s #petfished and its SPOT guidance.”
Q) What do you love most about dogs?
“Their constant optimism! I don’t think anyone could fail to be cheered up by a wagging tail happy to see them.”
Q) Tell us a funny story about your dog(s)
“I was scrolling through Facebook a few months ago, and a VERY familiar chocolate Labrador popped up on the local page: ‘Anyone know who owns this dog?’ It was Bisto, looking extremely pleased with himself! I rang my dad and he hadn’t noticed he had gone. He had snuck out of the gate, headed to the fi eld down the road, and was having a whale of a time playing
football with some kids. So, this sort of thing happens to the best of us! He was taken to the local vet’s and I collected him later. The staff got a box of chocolates the next day, as did the finders, and the gate got a stronger latch!”
The Petfished campaign
Cat has joined other vets, charities, and animal-loving celebrities in supporting a government campaign to warn prospective pet owners against unknowingly buying puppies, kittens, cats, and dogs from unscrupulous sellers, amid a rise in demand for pets since the coronavirus lockdown.
The Petfished campaign calls for consumers to remain vigilant, always researching the seller before visiting, reporting suspicious adverts, and crucially being prepared to walk away and report suspected cases of animal abuse to the RSCPA or the police. Anyone looking to buy a pet can get tips and advice on the Petfished campaign website by searching ‘Get your pet safely’.