Keith Lemon’s new ITV show has attracted the ire of animal-lovers after giving away a puppy as a prize.
In the episode of Lemonaid which went out on Saturday, the parents of three children competed to win a pug by dressing up as dogs and fishing bones out of an inflatable pool.
The Kennel Club said they were ‘disappointed and shocked’ by the segment, and plan to complain to regulators Ofcom.
Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: ‘We are extremely disappointed to see ITV giving a puppy away as a prize. This is strictly against the Kennel Club Code of Ethics and sends out completely the wrong message about puppy ownership to both breeders and puppy buyers Puppies are not commodities but are a lifelong commitment.’
The Kennel Club’s Code of Ethics prohibits breeders from giving puppies as prizes – a practice that is illegal in Scotland.
Some viewers directed their upset to Keith Lemon creator Leigh Francis on Twitter. When one told him he’d opened a can of worms with the stunt, he replied: 'Good, I love worms.’
But as the online pressure mounted, he became less flippant and explained that all the contestants had been interviewed by breeders before taking part.
A spokesperson for the programme’s makers Talkback said: 'An independent, qualified vet visited each home in advance of the show to conduct a thorough check before the rehoming process, to ensure that each family understood the commitment and responsibility involved.'