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Social Media RSPCA PETA

Lyst 'Canine Collection' stunt criticised by animal welfare groups as social media shows the bark behind its bite


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

May 10, 2016 | 4 min read

Lyst has incurred the wrath of animal lovers online after launching a campaign pretending to hand deliver puppies in a bold pivot from attire sales.

Lyst 'Canine Collection' stunt criticised by animal welfare groups as social media shows the bark behind its bite

From Monday 9 May, the fashion company started supposedly selling select breeds of dog on Twitter under a new brand, 'the Canine Collection'.

The hoax claimed that the animals could help customers “compliment" their summer outfit "with a four legged friend". The dogs were listed in sizes, much like clothing. As a nation of animal lovers, the unclear commoditisation of man's best friend was quick to mobilise a steady stream of complaints.

The social media campaign seemingly came to a halt after several tweets.

Some social media users thought the stunt was launched in conjunction with the RSPCA or an alternative social media campaign.

An RSPCA statement in the Mirror read: “Whether this is real or just a publicity stunt by Lyst, it sends out an extremely worrying message to people who are looking to get a new canine companion… We have tried to make contact with Lyst to discuss with them the implications a stunt like this might have.”

Dogs Trust also distanced itself from the stunt, it released a statement: “Whilst Dogs Trust was not involved in Lyst’s PR puppy stunt, the interest in this campaign draws attention to the concerning trend for impulse puppy purchases, which sadly Dogs Trust sees on a regular basis.

“Certain breeds of small dogs are increasingly regarded as fashion accessories and bought without due consideration and thought. This trend and demand can fuel unscrupulous breeding and is why Dogs Trust has been working for the past three years on an investigative campaign to stop the puppy smuggling trade. “We are also contacting Lyst to discuss this directly.”

Peta also took exception to the publicity stunt.

Lyst has yet to clarify the legitimacy and logic behind the campaign which only just launched yesterday.

Social Media RSPCA PETA

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Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. The charity rehabilitates and...

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