Coronation Street partners with RSPCA on dog cruelty storyline

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Coronation Street is tackling the serious issue of illicit puppy breeding in a compelling new storyline featuring character Evelyn Plummer.

The popular ITV soap has collaborated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to highlight the grim realities of this illegal trade.

In a recent episode (6 December), viewers saw Evelyn confronting a man mistreating his dog, leading to a dangerous encounter.

Evelyn, played by Maureen Lipman, will continue to investigate the man’s activities in the upcoming weeks. Alongside Cassie, she uncovers that he is operating a puppy farm from his home, breeding and selling puppies in deplorable conditions. The storyline aims to bring the perpetrator to justice and shed light on the dark side of puppy breeding.

The RSPCA has played an integral role in ensuring the storyline’s accuracy and the welfare of the dogs used during filming. RSPCA inspector and animal welfare expert, Herchy Boal, was present on set to oversee the animals’ care.

Coronation Street’s producer Iain MacLeod said: “It was hugely important to us to work with the RSPCA on this storyline, both in terms of the accuracy of the on-screen narrative and also the welfare of the animals on set during filming.

Dog during filming

“It is a really important story to tell, but it was also vital to make sure it was fun for the actors’ canine co-stars – and as all our behind-the-scenes footage shows, it certainly was!”

Herchy Boal added: “Sadly, our frontline officers too often see the negative impact that illicit puppy breeding can have on animal welfare. Too often, unscrupulous breeders disregard the welfare of pups all to make a quick grubby buck – and dogs pay the price.

“That’s why it’s so important that Coronation Street has focussed on this important storyline – demonstrating the lengths underground breeders can go to make money, and the impact on the dogs and owners involved.

“It’s all the more vital to raise awareness of this ahead of Christmas – when many people might be considering adding a pet to the family.”

Coronation Street airs on ITV1 and ITVX.