Borders MSP wants to stop people buying dogs online or from puppy farms
MABEL, a German Shorthaired Pointer owned by Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, has been crowned dog of the year by Holyrood.
The dogs were put through their paces outside the Scottish Parliament today and judges from the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club also put the MSPs through their paces, quizzing them on key canine welfare issues.
Ms Grahame came out on top with her one-year-old dog Mabel, but the politician was humble in victory.
“There are no winners here today because I think dogs are all wonderful,” the former vice president said.
“I think the problem is highlighting animal welfare, dog welfare and the fact that I’m bringing a bill to parliament to make sure that when people get a puppy, just like Mabel, (they) do their homework first and they make sure they have the right household, they can afford it and have the right lifestyle.
“I want to stop people from buying online or from puppy farms. (Mabel) is a puppy that was in a great litter, was raised properly, she’s in a happy family, every dog should have that in their life.
Owen Sharp, chief executive of the Dogs Trust, said it had been a “brilliant opportunity to celebrate dogs and make a big deal of the big dogs in the lives of Parliamentarians and Holyrood staff”.
“It was an incredibly tough decision, there were fantastic dogs and fantastic MSPs, but Mabel won for a number of reasons,” he said.
“First of all, (she) was very clearly a big part of the team in Christine’s office – it’s not just the MSP dogs but the dogs that are part of the team but, also, Christine does a really brilliant job of highlighting so many, many aspects of dog ownership in Scotland, so we thought this was a really fitting winner of Holyrood Dog of the Year.
This is the fourth dog show of the year at Holyrood. Emma Harper, Maurice Golden and Jeremy Balfour have been named winners in the past.