Today’s Westminster Dog of the Year show, organised by the Kennel Club and Dog’s Trust, saw Lottie, owned Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, serve as the pin-up dog for ‘Emilie’s Law.’ Emilie’s Law, officially titled “the Animal Welfare (Responsibility for Dog Attacks) Bill”, is due to get its second reading in November. Firth launched into action when a constituent reported that the owner of the dog who had mauled her beloved Bichon Frise Emilie to death was not going to be held to account. Firth’s bill will criminalise fatal dog-on-dog attacks. In the five years between 2016 and 2021 there has been a 700% increase in dog-on-dog attacks, rising to 11,559 from just 1,700. Lottie is a six-year-old Cavapoochon nominated with Firth for the title of ‘Westminster Dog of the Year’. Today’s event, themed around responsible dog ownership, allowed for Lottie and Firth to highlight the necessity of the bill and garner further support for it. The bill, which has received strong backing from a number of MPs, is sponsored by MP Mark Francois. Suzanne Webb and her dog Sidney Pickles also made their support known.
Anna Firth MP said: ‘I am delighted that Lottie not only was nominated for the category of Westminster Dog of the Year, but that, given the theme of responsible dog ownership, we were able to highlight the work we are doing on Emilie’s Law.’ ‘It is shocking that until now dog owners responsible for fatal dog on dog attacks were able to continue unaccountable for their actions, and I look forward to Emilie’s Law receiving its second reading soon. Dog-on-dog attacks have risen 700%, and dog owners must be responsible for their dogs in order to continue to share the joy being a pet owner brings.’ ‘Lottie really is our number one campaigner for Emilie’s Law!’