Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Four-Legged Pals for Sale

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Four-Legged Pals for Sale

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ray Marshall

The song went: `How much is that puppy in the window?' Well, the trouble is that the dogs were not in a window, they were in being sold on the streets with no protection from the elements.

Going back well before the Second World War, Newcastle had a well-known dog market ( after all, the world's first ever dog show was held in Newcastle ( but it was rather controversial.

There were plenty of complaints, not least from the RSPCA, which said that dogs sold there on a Saturday invariably ended up in its dog pound on a Monday.

It actually took place in the North Alley of the old vegetable market, but the problem was taken up in the Houses of Commons when Grace Colman, Labour MP for Tynemouth. Up to 1941 pets had been sold on the city streets but after representations to the council, shelter was provided for the animals in the wholesale vegetable market on a Saturday afternoon.

"That is better than nothing," Grace Colman said. "At least they are sheltered from the rain, but the market is very bad, and an RSPCA inspector says that during the winter months it is one of the coldest places he's ever been in.

"The hawking of puppies and kittens in the streets and outside public houses is even worse.

"These animals are being sold until late at night, carried in boxes or in coat pockets, are not fed, and if they are not sold are taken back to heaven knows what conditions in the owner's home."

Grace Colman was hoping the Pet Animal Bill, on which she was speaking, would help to put a stop to this.

But it was not always a sad ending to the story of puppies for sale at Newcastle Dog Market.

Iris Lee, of Lemington, who was then Iris MacDonald of Scotswood, remembers that in the 30s she was returning from holiday at her aunt's in Keighley with her mam and dad when they were passing the dog market.

"After leaving our bus we were walking along Clayton Street, when Dad said to me: "Would you like a little puppy? …

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