JUSTICE FOR REGGIE
Justice for Reggie is a volunteer campaign fighting to Regulate Online Animal Sales. This campaign became hugely successful in such a short time, giving us ammunition to stand up for the changes that we all know are needed.
Justice for Reggie was established in December 2020 after Richard Ackers bought a puppy for his family. Richard searched extensively on one of the online selling sites to purchase his new family member. He thought he had done all the necessary checks when choosing a seller. Richard contacted the seller and asked what he thought were all the right questions, but it transpired later that he was imported from Ireland.
When Richard arranged to meet the seller, the first red flag was the area where the puppies were located as the advert stated 6 miles from where Richard was asked to meet. When he met the seller and the puppies, Richard asked where the mum was but he was told they had just moved and the mum would be upset with the separation, so brought the puppies alone. After meeting the puppies, and with the seller’s story sounding so convincing, Richard couldn’t leave little Reggie as by then it was love at first sight.
Sadly little Reggie lost his fight to canine parvovirus after 3 days. The family were absolutely devastated with the loss of their new puppy. Richard’s partner took to Facebook to vent the frustration and anger they were all feeling, and from then the ‘Justice for Reggie’ campaign was created.
Out of nowhere members of the public reached out to help and volunteer wherever they possibly could. From there the campaign grew and we quickly realised we needed to do more.
We now speak with MP’s, online selling sites, the police as well as councils, rescues and the RSPCA on a regular basis. We are pushing to get Online Animal Sales regulated that will make buying any animal online safer for the buyer and the animal.
After a few months of meetings with MP’s, and gaining their support, we spoke about how we can create change, (the knowledge they have is astounding). We then started our petition – Regulate Online Animal Sales.
All our volunteers worked extremely hard to push the petition to reach the 100,000 signatures needed to get the petition debated in parliament. After 6 months of hard graft promoting the campaign, the petition gained over 109k signatures. Richard and the team were overjoyed with the result and planned on handing in the petition to parliament, which was debated in December 2021.
Richard wanted to raise money for some of the Rescues who supported us right from the start. This lead to the brilliant idea of walking 232 miles from his home in Wigan to Downing Street. If any of you followed Richard’s walk you will already know it didn’t end too well.
Sadly Richard had painful blisters that stopped him finishing the last 3 days of his walk. With medical advice Richard had to get a train to finish his journey. Reggie HQ were glad to know Richard was safe and that he followed medical advice.
We all had an amazing time in London. We met MP’s face to face who we had spoken with over many Zoom calls, and we finally met the Reggie team in the flesh for the first time following many months of talking over the computer. We all enjoyed speaking with the public who came along to show their support and congratulate us for all our hard work and dedication. It rained nonstop all day but that didn’t dampen our spirits.
We marched to Downing Street to hand in our petition. We were all like school kids waiting in line to go through security to get to stand outside the famous number 10. We naturally overstayed our welcome, taking umteen photos with the MP’s and the whole Reggie team. We made sure we celebrated our massive achievement and handing in the petition on that day, leaving us with everlasting memories we will always treasure.
Shortly after handing in our petition, we heard how our hard work (Regulate Online Animal Sales) was being used by another person. With quick thinking we contacted some MP’s for advice and they informed us to push our petition to be debated as soon as possible, which it was after 6 days of handing it in.