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Until this summer, my family had two gorgeous, slightly geriatric rescue dogs that we had had for around four years. Like most old dogs, they could be smelly and often plonked themselves in the middle of the room, in the way. Frankly, I think they thought similarly about me. Above all, they were an important part of our family. They were massively loved and the love that they gave in return was clear for everyone to see. When we lost one shortly after the other, over the summer, it was a big loss to the family and everyone was extremely sad.
Spider and Willow had spent their first nine and a half years as breeding dogs. They had a tough start in life but, as far as we could tell, other than the enormous physical toll that serial litters take on bitches in particular, they were not mistreated. Of course, a number of other animals, particularly rescue dogs, have an even more difficult and tragic start and, often, sadly, end in life.
It is right that the Bill, introduced by my hon. Friend