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Find Out the Truth Behind Lyst’s Online ‘Canine Collection’


They were yanking our leashes … ahem, chains. Lyst endured a flurry of angry tweets after the shopping site announced that it would sell puppies online. But it was all a big joke, for a serious cause.

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Beginning on May 10, shoppers were able to browse 33 breeds in various sizes and colors. Once purchased, their pooch would be hand-delivered in a luxury Lyst kennel. “We’re incredibly excited to be selling dogs online, in a secure and stylish environment,” Katherine Ormerod, editorial director at, said in the original hoax statement. “The Canine Collection lets you shop breeds that are as fashionable as they are lovable. This, combined with our trained canine consultants, means our customers can now accessorize in a totally unique way.”

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Needless to say, the statement rubbed most people the wrong way. But it turns out the company is irritated too — with startling new statistics released by Blue Cross about the 120 percent increase over the last five years of small “handbag” dogs being turned in to shelters when owners lose interest.

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“Of course you can’t buy puppies and dogs here, we sell clothes, not canines,” a message on the website said when it was revealed that it was a hoax. “But…’Fashionable’ toy dog breeds in particular [are] being given up in record numbers.”

A new statement on the attention-grabbing stunt clarified the site’s purpose. “A dog is for life, not just for Instagram,” Christian Woolfenden, chief marketing officer for, said in a new statement. “We’re positively overwhelmed by the number of people talking about this important issue [now], and hope that it goes some way towards helping Blue Cross with their vital work in this space.”

What do you think about Lyst’s hoax?

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