Fight for new law to stop healthy dogs being killed – in memory of beloved puppy

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Campaigners are fighting for a law which would stop healthy pets being killed.

At the moment dogs and cats can be put to sleep by someone not registered on their microchip.

That means anyone could have a pet put down rather than handing them to a rescue back-up.

Sue Williams and Dawn Ashley have been battling to stop this, backed by your animal-loving Daily Star.

They started a petition for Tuk’s Law, which would make it mandatory for vets to scan microchips before euthanising healthy pets.

It is named in memory of Tuk, a rescue dog from Romania, who was rehomed in the UK as a ­puppy.

When he was 16 months old he was put down. If his microchip had been scanned the vet would have learned Tuk had rescue back-up, meaning he had a safe place to go, and his life would have been saved.

Despite being introduced in Parliament last year, it is yet to pass. But Sue, 51, and Dawn 58, have vowed not to give up.

Sue, from Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, says: “When unnecessary euthanasia robs a healthy animal of its life prematurely and full ­rescue back-up is in place but isn’t honoured, those who saved that animal are left devastated, shocked and distraught and the loss never leaves them.

“Lives ­cannot continue to be put at risk because vets are not obliged to check for, or are not aware of ­rescue back-up, so we must and will continue to fight until Tuk’s Law is legislated.”

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Dawn, from Benfleet, Essex, says: “It takes multiple people and organisations working ­together to rescue an animal and each time one is unnecessarily ­euthanised that loss of life is mourned by all of us.

“Thousands of animals rely on their rescue back-up to keep them safe. Vets must start acknowledging and scanning for rescue back-up and confirm keeper details.”

Dawn adds: “For dogs and cats to continue to be failed in the place they should be the safest cannot continue.”

Wildlife protection campaigner, Dominic Dyer, 50, has also joined the fight for Tuk’s Law. Dominic, from Milton Keynes, says: “My rescue dog Lassie came from the side of a motorway in Romania.

“Thousands of dogs like him are at risk of being put to sleep by vets in Britain ­today without any checks being made on microchips for owner details or back-up rescuers.”

Other notable supporters of Tuk’s Law include Boris Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds and The Kennel Club.

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Many pet owners have suffered because such a law does not yet exist.

When three of Susan Shrubsole’s four cats ­disappeared, two were handed to Cats Protection, which traced her through their microchips. But she believes the third, Bibs, was put down by a vet who didn’t scan his microchip.

Susan, 64, from Torrington, Devon, says: “I believe he should have been tracked to me through his microchip, if Cats Protection can do it, why not vets?”

German Shepherd Ruby was adopted by a couple but after she attacked a smaller dog the new owners decided to have her put down and rang German Shepherd Dog Rescue to let them know.

They went to save her and alerted local vets, but the owner drove more than an hour away to a vet that had never seen Ruby before, who put her to sleep without checking her chip first.

Suzy Becci, who runs a small dog rescue charity, rehomed pup Nessa to what she thought was a good home which could deal with the dog’s behavioural problems. But four months later, she was sent a link to Nessa for sale on Gumtree.

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She tried to contact the adopter, even driving 40 miles to his house.

But she then discovered he had since got in touch with a vet, to put the pup to sleep. And, without even seeing her, the vet had agreed.

Luckily Suzy got there in time to stop this happening. She says: “Her chip would not have been checked to track her to me and my darling Nessa would be dead.

“Time and time again this is happening, people are adopting dogs without understanding their needs and then putting them to sleep.

“So many souls are dying when they could be saved.”

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James Daly, MP for Bury North, hopes to push Tuk’s Law through Parliament when it resumes this month, after introducing the bill in September. He tells the Daily Star: “I am ­extremely hopeful. I don’t see any reason as to why the Government would not support that.”

James says: “It’s an important issue that matters to many thousands of people in this country.

“It’s not that anybody is to blame, or there’s been any nefarious practices but we never want to be in a position where healthy ­animals are being put down if there is potentially a rescue back-up or some other way that the ­animal can be looked after or cared for and have a happy life.”

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James adds there are some very positive signs from the Government.

Environment Secretary George Eustice says: “Pets are part of our families and microchipping is often the only hope of reuniting them with owners when they are lost or stolen.

"We are ­currently looking closely at ­microchipping to see how it could improve our animal welfare standards, which are already among the best in the world.”

  • Dogs
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