Fans of ITV soap Emmerdale have given a mixed reaction to a storyline in which three of its characters discovered distressed puppies being kept in poor living conditions on a farm.
During Tuesday’s episode, Zak and Sam Dingle and Lydia Hart visited the home of a woman whose dog had been found as a stray in the village.
Zak had become attached to the dog, known as Monty, who had clearly been mistreated by his owner.
The trio hatched a plan to rescue the animal while the woman was out.
Upon finding Monty tied up on his own in a yard, Sam and Lydia heard whimpering from a shed.
A Dalmatian puppy bounded out into the yard and Sam noted there were “hundreds” more in the shed.
In a later scene it was revealed that the police had been contacted and the woman faced six months in prison.
However, Zak was left upset after being unable to convince the rescue shelter to let him adopt Monty.
One viewer took to social media to praise the programme for tackling the animal rights issue.
They wrote: “So delighted that Emmerdale are doing a puppy farm story and highlighting this inhumane and vile practice. I hope it will soon be outlawed in the UK.”
Other viewers were less approving, with one tweeting: “Hate the Emmerdale story line about the dogs being treated awfully, e.g. a puppy farm. It is making me not want to watch the show!”
Some viewers reacted by sharing pictures of their dogs on social media.
One fan’s post included a snap of their own pet Dalmatian and the caption: “Emmerdale, just seen some of my friends on your show.
“Please tell me they are all safe or I will have a sleepless night.”
Others worried that Zak may have a breakdown after not being allowed to take care of Monty, while others picked up on an apparent reference to the film 101 Dalmatians in the script.
Emmerdale continues on ITV on Wednesday at 7pm.