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PAAW's up from 10 Downing street ...

Anyone else get a letter from 10 Downing Street this week?

In August last year Vinnie wrote an open letter to Dilyn the Downing Street Dog and whilst he didn’t get a direct response, suddenly great things started happening – we wonder if he had a ‘PAW’ in any of it.

Andrew Rosindell MP introduced Jasmine’s Law to Parliament. Robert Jenrick MP made positive changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement, making it easier to rent with pets, a move we consider to be a nod of support for Jasmine’s Law. The positive impact of pets to people continues to feature heavily in news and on social media.

In preparation for joining as a panelist on the recent webinar to formally introduce Andrew Rosindell MP’s ‘Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill’ we decided to reach out once more, this time to the Boss.

And so, we wrote

Dear Prime Minister

Thanks for all your efforts to keep us safe during these unprecedented times. Those of us with pets have benefited massively from their love and companionship. As Dilyn’s human Dad, and Larry’s guardian and boss, I wondered if you would take the time to answer a few non-political questions for our NewsHounds. We hope you say yes.

  1. We know that Larry has long been known as Chief Mouser in Westminster. Aside from the important title of Downing Street Dog, if Dilyn had a role in your cabinet what would his title/job description be?

  2. When you head out walking together what’s the best advise Dilyn’s ever given you or vice versa?

  3. On a more serious note, Dilyn is a puppy farm rescue, we admire you and your family for falling in love with the little guy and shining a light on rescue. What advice would you give to anyone looking to bring a puppy into their family.

  4. What’s Dilyn’s favourite food/treats. Does he share them with Larry, we assume they are secretly friends!

  5. The human animal bond has never been more significant, alleviating both loneliness and the stresses of everyday life. Being constantly in the limelight can you sum up in few words the power of the non-judgmental and unconditional love we get from our pets.

Gabby (& Vinnie Dog)

We crossed our fingers and paws for a response, as the days passed and we busied ourselves with all things PAAW House, we forgot all about our note to the PM. Imagine our surprise when our inbox pinged on March 23rd with a message from Number 10.

Downing Street wrote back

Dear Ms Kuehn and Vinnie

I would like to thank you for your email of 23rd February to the Prime Minister regarding pets. I hope you will understand that the Prime Minister remains fully engaged in leading the Governments response to COVID-19 and so has asked me to reply on his behalf.

I agree that pets have been a saviour for many during the pandemic and their emotional support has been invaluable. Larry and Dilyn have certainly been cheerful companions for those of us needed in the office throughout lockdown and I’m sure this is even more true of family pets. I am delighted that lockdown has prompted a surge in dog ownership and we must all do our part to ensure those newly homed live long and happy lives – I am sure that PAAW House and the charities you work with will be of great assistance on this front.

Though the Prime Ministers diary commitments prohibit him from answering your questions himself, I think Dilyn would make an excellent Minister for Bones and, if he performs well, a promotion to Secretary of State for Walks might be in order.

Thank you once again for writing.

Our thoughts

We are not surprised the Prime Minister didn’t have time to personally answer our questions, we are delighted however that he took the time to have someone respond on his behalf. It’s so important to see our leaders recognise the significance of pets in peoples lives, and the power of the human animal bond.

We love seeing photos Dilyn out and about with PM Boris, we think he would make an excellent Secretary of State for Walks! He’s also a lucky pup to have a great human Mum who cares deeply about animal and pet welfare as well as our environment.

It would be great to have Dilyn and his friends join us at PAAWstival later this year. A pet friendly, family festival on the ‘Isle of Dogs’, or enter himself into our PAAWstival Charity Dog Show. We think he might do well in Remarkable Rescue, Happiest Hound or Lockdown Legend!

We’re off to write a welcome note to Fergus and Muick now, another lucky pair who have found a pretty awesome home just like Dilyn. I wonder if they’ll write back!

Vinnie & Gabby

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