link.png Lyst's Canine Collection hoax draws attention to 'handbag' dog trend← Back

Image source - Lyst
An online fashion retailer sparked the fury of animal lovers this week: Lyst sparked an outrage when it announced on Tuesday that it had started selling puppies on its e-commerce site, to later then reveal the Canine Collection was in fact a hoax.
Animal welfare associations such as the RSPCA reacted with anger to the news that Lyst was claiming to sell 33 different breeds, which customers could choose using filters to narrow their search by type, six colour options, or by size (from XS to XL). This led to major outrage on social media as people criticized the online retailer for being irresponsible.   
However, Lyst later explained that this was a ruse and that the aim of this announcement was actually to raise awareness about the trend of the so-called ‘handbag’ dogs, many of which are being abandoned by their owners. According to the Blue Cross, the past five years have seen an increase by 120 per cent of small dogs and puppies, which were bought as accessories rather than pets, needing to be re-homed. Toy dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, are particularly susceptible to being abandoned.
In a statement Christian Woofenden, Chief Marketing Officer for, said: “A dog is for life, not just for Instagram. We’re positively overwhelmed by the number of people talking about this important issue, and hope that it goes some way towards helping Blue Cross with their vital work in this space.” Run by a team holding luxury jobs in London and New York, the Lyst site brings together over 2000 stores in one platform.
Whilst everyone is relieved that the Canine Collection isn’t real, it’s deemed to be a fairly controversial way to address the issue of ‘handbag’ dogs. What’s the verdict: did Lyst go about it the right way?