Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Would your dog like to go to a premier?

Calling all dog owners! London will witness one of first ever fine dining and cocktail drinking experiences exclusively for dogs as new research is set to reveal British dogs are becoming more human as the level of extravagance and pampering the capital’s dog owners bestow on their pets rises.

To celebrate the DVD release of Family Guy Season 11 – and one of the show’s main characters, Brian the refined, human-like and jazz-loving dog – Islington pub The Mucky Pub will be taken over for one evening where dogs will be treated just like people.

They’ll be served sophisticated gourmet food and specially concocted dog-friendly cocktails whilst being waited on hand and paw by butlers and waitresses. A special band will be playing smooth jazz sounds, alongside other entertainment, for dogs and their owners to lounge to.

Some selected menu inclusions:

Hair of the Dog
Dog Island Ice Tea
Salty Dog
Satan’s Whiskers

Appetiser / Entrée
Bow Wow Wow Chicken Liver Parfait
Barking for Beef-Roast Beef. Curls served on a silver platter
Rovers Risotto (rice, meatballs and a baked cheesy crust)
Paw Licking Chicken

Pawtisserie-Bonewhichs and Yorkie Tarts

To register for this event please email familyguy@premierpr.com

And if you go please can you email me photos!


Monday, 17 October 2011

New Year? New Home? Great opportunity

Our January edition (out in December) will be an adoption special. For the first time in our history we'll be opening up many of our pages to free adverts for dogs looking for homes. Here's an example of the sort of thing we'll be including...


I’ve been waiting for 18 months, but I've never given up hope. People keep picking the dogs on either side of me here, but you'll come for me soon - I know you will. I’m very lucky to be safe, but I’ve so much love to give - seems such a waste to be stuck in the waiting room of life. I was sleeping in a car - I didn’t know any better and I had 10 pups. I lost my ‘home’ the next time I came into season. I loved my people and lived with children and cats - I even slept on my master’s bed when I got the chance. I’d prefer to be the only dog, although I used to live with many others.
Name of dog: Milly
Type of dog and size if not obvious: Staffie
Approx age: (in years) 4
Sex: Female
Neutered? Yes
Housetrained: Yes
With other dogs? Probably prefer to be the only dog
With cats? Was brought up around them
Good with young children: Possibly
Good with older children: Yes
Location (County): Surrey
Or phone:  020 8274 0471
Foster or forever home? Either

If you know of a dog that needs a new home here's what you need to send to me:
  1. A good photo (ideally 300dpi and remember a picture is worth a thousand words, so take one that is in focus! And send as an attachment - not embedded in a document)
  2. Name of dog:
  3. Type of dog and size if not obvious:
  4. Approx age: (in years)
  5. Sex:
  6. Neutered?
  7. Housetrained?
  8. With other dogs?
  9. With cats?
  10. Good with young children?
  11. Good with older children?
  12. Location (County):
  13. Contact details: (Web and phone)
  14. Foster or forever home? 
Plus 100 words written in first person (ie as if the dog is looking for a new owner) - something that makes people think of this dog as an individual. Don't over sell - just make the dog seem real.

Please include a web and phone contact as not all of our readers are Internet savy.

Email your words and pictues to beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk
and put ADOPT ME in the subject line so I don't lose them.

We will include as many dogs looking for homes as possible, those coming with the correct word count and good photos will be chosen first above those with incomplete information, so please try to follow the instructions!

And yes - this is FREE!

Please do spread this opportunity far and wide. If you volunteer in a rescue kennels and you know a dog that you think deserves this opportunity please do offer to complete this on behalf of the kennels, that's how we heard about Milly and how this idea came about!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wilberforce lords it at Westminster Dog of the Year

Back for the 19th year, Westminster Dog of the Year has once again caught the competitive spirit of MPs across the country. In the face of strong competition from a Conservative group of entrants, Neil Parish and his Labrador Wilberforce were announced the proud winners of the hotly anticipated title.

Says Neil Parish MP:

“I’m delighted that Wilberforce has won and shown what a brilliant dog he is. I’m sure his constituents in Tiverton and Honiton will be as delighted as I am that their local dog has won such an accolade. Events such as this highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership and hopefully more and more people will make the right decisions when choosing a dog and more importantly ensure they take on board what it means to be a good owner.”

Organised jointly by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, the award saw a host of MPs, nearly a clean sweep of Conservatives, and their dogs canvassing in the judging ring to be crowned the top dog. Whether describing their dog’s most heroic or good deed to comparing their four-legged companion to an A-list star, the judging was nail-biting stuff. The judging panel - Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Vanessa McAlpine, Discover Dogs and Crufts Events Manager and 2010 Westminster Dog of the Year winner Helen Grant MP were faced with 17 dogs, ranging in size from Elvis the Chihuahua (Simon Kirby MP, Cons – Brighton Kemptown) to Sophie the German Shepherd (Karl McCartney MP, Cons – Lincoln).

Summing up the reason for Wilberforce’s victory, Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust says,

“Our Westminster Dog of the Year competition is all about celebrating the unique bond between person and dog, and Wilberforce is this year’s victor because the judges could clearly see the mutual love and respect between him and Neil.”

 Vanessa McAlpine of the Kennel Club says:

“Each and every year we hold the event as a way to get to meet some of the new four-legged additions to Parliament and we are pleased to see many new faces this year, along with some familiar ones. The variety of dogs that came down to today’s Westminster Dog of the Year shows how dogs of all shapes and sizes can fit into anyone’s lives and today’s event demonstrates how committed these MPs are to responsible dog ownership.”

Last year’s winner was Charlie, a Border Terrier belonging to Helen Grant MP.

The 2011 final three are:

Neil Parish & Wilberforce
(Conservative – Tiverton & Honiton)
Labrador – 4 years

Jake Berry & Lola
(Conservative – Rossendale and Darwen)
Standard Poodle – 2 years

Matthew Offord & Max
(Conservative – Hendon)
Jack Russell – 10 months


I have been asked to give this a plug....

 The Pedigree Adoption Drive, which is back for the fourth year running, has extended this year’s grant application deadline for an additional week and is calling on all members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) to apply for grants before 7th November.

Launching on the 17th October, the annual campaign seeks to raise funds and awareness for the thousands of abandoned and strayed dogs across the UK.   So far the campaign has raised over £1million  for rescue homes - which has helped to fund the vital refurbishment of dilapidated kennel blocks, supply desperately needed veterinary facilities and provide essential surgical equipment.

Steve Leonard - TV presenter, vet and face of this year’s Pedigree Adoption Drive said:

“With the number of dogs abandoned at an 11 year high*, we need to work together to raise awareness of this issue, offer support to the rescue homes caring for the abandoned dogs and educate the nation as a whole about the importance of responsible dog ownership.”

Grant applications can be made in writing or by downloading a form from www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com
<http://www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com/>   and posting it to The Petplan Charitable Trust.

Those who are not yet members of the ADCH can apply now for consideration, giving them enough time to get their applications in by Monday 7th November 2011.

To find out further information about this year’s campaign and to learn how you can help, visit www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com 

The Jordan Shelley story takes an unexpected turn

Over the last few weeks I have spoken increasingly regularly to Jordan Shelley (he of the One Show training debacle).
I know, it's a very odd twist in the story.
I was after all his most vocal critic.
But I have to say you've got to admire this young guy's spirit even if we didn't like what he did on TV.
I've found out all about his dogs and his past and I find increasingly I have wanted to help him.
He obviously loves dogs. 
Jordan has three dogs, a Yorkie with brain damage he rescued from Spain, an ex bait dog called Jaffa Cake and a Staffie who previously lived with two agoraphobics.
He fosters lots of dogs, too.
He didn't finish school, has been largely instinctual in how he's trained so far and yes, he has watched Cesar Millan's TV shows. But that makes him a reflection of millions of other people who have watched without question.
Jordan wants to be around dogs all his life, he's not just a media creation.
We have all been young and blissfully unaware of what we didn't know at the time.
Most of us get to learn our life lessons in private.
But Jordan's had his moment in front of millions.
I'm amazed he didn't just want to curl up and hide.
But he's a tough cookie.
Against all advice he phoned me up.
He confronted one of his critics and asked for their help.
I'd stopped writing about his journey as initially it seemed the best way, for him to quietly learn without the media following his every step. He'd tee'd up a week shadowing a really great positive trainer who had renounced dominance methods after learning betters ones, had signed up for what has been called the Harvard of dog training courses.
Then I emailed my own personal training guru's Ian and Kelly Dunbar in California to ask would they mentor Jordan as I'm no dog training expert.
What would they do if they were 21 again and just starting out?
And that's where it went a bit crazy, good crazy.
They had followed the One Show story with interest as had many American dog behaviour folk.
That's the fantastic thing about people who really believe in positive training - they don't just teach it, they live it.
They encouraged Jordan to go to the APBT conference in San Diego and went further and welcomed young Jordan into their own home.
He bought his own ticket, paid his way before you all say that it's just so unfair.
Anyone can go to these conferences. I went to one in the 1990s in Florida and I have to say it was mind-blowingly brilliant.
Ian and Kelly are quite simply the most fantastic influences any young trainer could hope for - not just technique and science-wise, but the altruism side of life, too.
I am sure Jordan will come back realising how much he still has to learn, I am sure.
But it's a great step in the right direction and quite an unexpected result.
The Fix the Dog segment was dreadful and it is fantastic how everyone pulled together to sort it out. But we should also celebrate a further victory of potentially having a high profile defector to the positive side!
Let's click and treat him for getting on that plane with a moment's notice and mixing with people who had only weeks before called him a 'clown' and much worse.
A Dalmatian can't change its spots, but I for one hope that a young impressionable dog trainer can change their gurus!
Good luck to Jordan and well done to anyone who now gives him the benefit of the doubt.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A three year ban for cooking your dogs

I don't pretend to be an expert on the law, but if it's not an ass it's a donkey.
Today in Bromley Magistrates Court former PC  Ian Craven was banned from owning dogs for three years after he left his two dogs to bake alive in his car on the hottest day of the summer.
An RSPCA statement said the dogs would have experienced substantial suffering and Craven had been sentenced "accordingly".
I'm sorry, but the sentence doesn't seem in any way appropriate to me.
A lifetime ban, yes.
Community service handing out Don't Cook Your Dog Leaflets, why not!
Six months working in a rescue centre saving as many dogs as he can.
I quote from the BBC report.
On 26 June he left the four-year-old Belgian Malinois called Chay and a six-month-old German Shepherd called Tilly in his vehicle on one of the hottest days of the year.
Prosecutor Andrew Wiles said temperatures that day went from 16.1C (61F) at 7am to 22.2C (72F) by 11am, in the shade.
Craven arrived at about 7am with the dogs in a black plastic cage in the back and parked in front of the main building, in an area with no shade. The court was told he had intended to kennel the dogs while spending the day at the Olympic Village in east London. However, Craven forgot and when he realised several hours later he rang the centre to alert them.
Mr Wiles said: "He was pursued by his colleague, who said he appeared to be in a panic, he was pacing up and down, and heard to say 'I've killed my dogs'."
The court also heard in a previous incident in 2004, Craven had left a spaniel in a hot car at Keston that also died.
Mr Wiles said Craven underwent an internal investigation and pleaded guilty to offences detailed in the code of conduct for police officers and was reprimanded.
RSPCA chief inspector Dermot Murphy said: "Ian Craven, for the second time, left dogs in his vehicle on a hot day and forgot about them.
"This is an unacceptable action and one that is aggravated by the fact that he was a professional dog handler and trainer at the time."
Sentencing him at Westminster Magistrates' Court, District Judge Daphne Wickham said: "I accept it has brought your illustrious career as a sergeant to an end, it may have damaged your wife's career and your reputation with all those around you, and that in itself is a punishment."
In three year's time will he have learned not to forget that dogs die in hot cars? Will his memory have improved?
How many years did it take him to unlearn the previous tragic lesson supposedly learned when he killed his spaniel?
What message does this send to the British public?
That a dog's life is very, very cheap.
That imposing a horrible painful death on your best friend will attract even less punishment than littering.
I know, he tried to kill himself, he's lost his job. He is probably more hated than that woman who put the cat in the bin, but I think he would have expected to be appropriately punished by the court. Going soft on him does him no real favours. The public need to see the crime appropriately punished if they are to move on.
He should not be allowed to have any more dogs, minimum.
He has shown he has not learned anything from the first death.
Why assume that two more deaths will change anything?
District Judge Daphne Wickham, deep sigh, let's hope you don't also let serial killers out again after three years presuming they've learned their lesson. But you didn't even lock this guy up, didn't even fine him - you just stopped him owning any new dogs for three years.
It's nothing.

Chay and Tilly were still alive when they were rescued from that car.
Their brains were bleeding and their internal organs had shut down, but they were still conscious and suffering.
It is a TERRIBLE way to die and Daphne should have been given a lesson on just how horrible before she did her sentencing.
Please support Don't Cook Your Dog, the campaign inspired by this case, and let's try to make sure Chay and Tilly's deaths aren't completely unmarked. Together we can save other dogs from a similar fate. We can look over the shoulder of people who continue to 'forget' they've left their dog in the car. Sadly, it looks like we can't rely on the legal system to take the lead here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ready for a change of scenery?

I've just got off the phone talking to a true character. One of life's true eccentrics.
I have always thought he looks a little like Dumbledore crossed with Merlin. A man with such an interesting and long life.
A published poet. A magician. A glittering career in advertising, a man who has run orchestras, had a brush with the Beatles... I could go on and on. I have had so many long lunches where I've been entertained and fascinated by the life this man had already lived before he arrived in the dog world.
He lives in a beautiful part of Wales in a pretty cottage.
If 10 cars drive along his road it is a busy day.
It is 3/4 of a mile to the village - but there are no longer any shops.
It's a further three and a half miles to the nearest shop and 11 miles to the coast and the university town of Lampeter.
He has a car, but sadly he can no longer drive as he is having problems with his eyesight.
There is a Dachshund and a feisty Jack Russell for company but their conversation is limited.
Sadly this gentleman has recently lost his devoted wife.
She looked after him so very well that now he is feeling completely lost.
I feel sure there is someone out there who would make a fantastic au pair/companion for this fascinating man. Someone perhaps who would enjoy driving him to the occasional dog show to see old friends. That may help him proof read his weekly column  or the two books he's is writing.
That could rustle him up something for dinner that didn't come out of the microwave.
If you are interested in this position can you email and tell me about yourself and why this opportunity appeals?
Both dogs are male - so a female dog may be best if everyone is to get along - if you have a dog. There are kennels outside - but they haven't been used for a very long time. If you had a horse, that's a possible, too.
You might be a student. You might be a dog person keen to learn more - this man is a legend in the terrier world. You might just be someone who would like to move to the country and have a fresh start.
I am sure the perfect person is out there for whom this would be mutually beneficial.
There is good Internet access so this could suit someone wanting to be somewhere they could work remotely.
Email me at beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk if you'd like to know more.
You'd need to be able to drive although you'd not need a car as the gentleman has one, to be preferably computer literate, be able to cook and operate a dishwasher and washing machine as there are no instructions and the gentleman in question is still trying to puzzle them out!

Competition time!

Can you guess who Cesar's mum and dad are? The two breeds are rather well known so this should be quite easy! First correct answer gets a Interpet book of your choice.

Congratulations to Dawn 'Dawny' Hart who was first to email! The answer was Staffie and Bullmastiff - so now you know! Still time to enter the caption competition...

Best caption wins a Vivid collar from Company of Animals - a super bright LED collar with a reflective and glow in the dark strip, perfect for these increasingly dark nights and mornings. Runners up win a tub of Coachies.

Come on - give this your best shot and get us laughing. We'll be judging this on Friday next week so you've got a bit of time to think about it.  You can enter by email (comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) or on Dogs Today's facebook page - click the link at the side to take you there.

This is Sausage, a Great Dane and the pic was sent in by Steffi Smith.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

We ask News Shopper to change its campaign

Several readers have drawn my attention to the free newspaper News Shopper - available in London and North Kent. They have started a "Shop-A-Dog" campaign.
Now in its second week it publishes grotesque photos of people who have suffered dog bites and a snarling blood-spattered manipulated image of a dog.
They are calling for every Staffie to be muzzled, asking for ownership of a dog who looks like a Pit Bull to carry the same sentence as someone wielding a knife. They are asking readers to shop their neighbours if they have dogs that look like a banned breed. They want the law changed so dogs of a Pit Bull type can be put to sleep immediately.
They are asking their readers to take photos of 'banned' dogs in their area and they will forward them to the police. To reward these informants they will send these people a News Shopper mug.
They claim all this is to reduce 'horrific maulings in your area'.

I have just sent the authors of the campaign the following email, let's see what they say. If you are in their catchment area please indicate your support for a change in emphasis!:

Dear Dan and Kelly
Numerous of our readers have drawn attention to your campaign and I have to say it is causing huge upset as you will have probably realised.
If you really do want to unify and enthuse your readership and actually make things better for the community can I suggest a twist? That you campaign to stop people breeding Staffie puppies - that you join us in calling for a breeding amnesty?
Were you to expose the number of good-natured dogs being killed every day in your catchment I am sure your readership would be horrified - dogs that shouldn't have been bred because there simply aren't enough good owners.
Battersea is bursting with these poor dogs.
Here's some terrible stats from All Dogs Rescue...

  • Three out of every 10 Staffie pups won't live to see its first birthday.
  • 45% of the rest won't reach their third birthday.
  • In the UK one dog every minute is put to sleep and over 90% are Staffies or Staffie cross puppies.
  • If you breed Staffies still knowing this, you have blood on your hands.
We simply now have many more dogs in Britain than ever before - 10.5 million dogs according to the University of Bristol.
80% of the population actively like dogs compared to 45% liking cats.
One in four households now have a dog.
We love dogs, but we now breed too many.
Please consider changing your campaign to the above and we will help you and get behind you.
By being ANTI dog rather than anti the issues that cause dog problems you alienate a huge chunk of your readers.
Please do get in touch and let me know what you think.
We'd love you to encourage neutering and free training advice and other positive things to make dogs and owners live harmoniously in your catchment area.
Please do let me know what you think and if possible give me a comment we can use in our coverage of your campaign.

Best wishes
Beverley Cuddy
Editor and Publisher
Here's a link to a facebook page that has been started by a local Staffie owner. It's called Stop News Shopper's Witch Hunt. Do stop by and like the page and show your support.

Please do get behind this, News Shopper is owned by Newsquest and we would hate this campaign to spread to other papers. A third installment is planned and we have sadly not had any response to our email so far.

Battersea Dogs and Cats home and Dogs Trust have already complained, I would like to include other statements from charities too if there are any. I've heard Foal Farm have also complained.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is very disappointed to read of the launch of the News Shopper’s Shop A Dog campaign.

Whilst our heartfelt sympathies go to every person who is a victim of a dog attack and we share your concerns about vicious and aggressive dogs, we wholeheartedly disagree that this is due to the breed of dog. We believe this is down to how the dog has been trained and socialised by an owner. Any dog can be aggressive when they are in the wrong hands but, in the right environment and with the right owner, dogs such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers can make wonderful, loyal and loving pets.

Battersea, and other animal charities, face the huge problem of being left to deal with the consequences of those who take on bull breed dogs such as Staffies for the wrong reasons and then dump them or neglect them. Last year, Battersea took in 2,472 Staffordshire Bull Terriers, many of which have fallen into the hands of unscrupulous owners who train them to be aggressive or to fight. These dogs are often left injured, neglected and unsocialised through no fault of their own and we have to work extremely hard to help them to trust people again and to become the fantastic family pets they would have been had their owners cared for them properly.

Battersea has long been lobbying the Government to amend the flawed Dangerous Dog Act to place the onus on the owner rather than the dog itself. Breed specific legislation has not addressed the real cause of ‘status’ dogs. We believe that existing dog laws should be modernised to maintain relevance and effectiveness for changing dog control needs. We want the Government to announce new legislation that will support and promote responsible ownership, safeguard public safety and protection of canine welfare.

However, as pointed out in your article, we do agree that legislation should be extended to cover all places, including private property, to afford the same protection to people such as police officers and postmen as those in public places, should an attack happen.

By encouraging Staffordshire Bull Terriers to be seen as dangerous, your campaign is fuelling the abuse and abandonment of a much-maligned breed which does not deserve its negative reputation.

To find out more about how Staffordshire bull terriers can make rewarding and happy pets please visit www.battersea.org.uk

Dee McIntosh
Director of Communications
Battersea Dogs and; Cats Home

Dogs Trust has been alerted to News Shopper’s latest campaign – Shop A Dog by worried supporters. Having looked at the campaign details the charity is extremely concerned by the anti-dog messaging and some of the ill-advised solutions suggested to reduce the number of dog attacks.
In contrast, we are in complete agreement with the newspaper that the existing Dangerous Dogs Act needs urgent revising and the Government must act now to prevent further people and dogs from being injured. Dogs Trust also supports the suggestion that the law is extended to include dog attacks on private land; this is something Dogs Trust has been lobbying successive Governments for. However Dogs Trust is totally opposed to breed specific legislation which has shown to be entirely ineffective. The ‘Shop a Dog’ proposal to force all Staffordshire Bull Terriers owners’ to muzzle their dogs in public will unfairly penalise the majority of good natured family pets and will further damage the breed’s unjust reputation as a dangerous dog.
Dogs Trust accepts that some individual dogs may need to be muzzled and neutered but believes most of the underlying cause of aggression lies with the manner in which the owners train their dogs and that better education of owners would substantially reduce aggression. Ultimately the solution to deliberately aggressive dogs lies in resolving the underlying social issues, not just in amending dog law.
Dogs Trust believes that the current trend of having a bull breed as a status symbol or as a weapon has led to the increase in the number of Staffies crossbreeds being abandoned. We also know of cases where Staffie Crosses are being illegally bred for fighting. Because of these reasons the breed has unfairly gained the reputation of being aggressive and dangerous. In reality they can be excellent family pets as they have a wonderful temperament and are great with people. Irresponsible dog owners are buying bull breeds for the wrong reasons and don’t take the time to properly socialise them. Like all breeds of dog – in the wrong hands and without the right socialisation and training, there can be problems. Because Staffie Crosses are powerful, muscular dogs they can be potentially dangerous if not cared for properly. A tiny dog can be just as aggressive if poorly trained but is built differently so may not have the capacity to hurt to such a degree.
Dogs Trust is very concerned that this type of dog is being abandoned at such a young age. Our rehoming figures show that the majority of Staffies Crosses in our Rehoming Centres are under one year old. This means people are treating them as disposable items that can be ‘upgraded’ after just a few months – some young people will have owned their mobile phone for longer than their dog. The newspaper campaign should look at including educative solutions rather than attempting to criminalize a particular breed of dog.
We would like to invite the journalists working on the Shop A Dog campaign to either visit one of Dogs Trust’s Rehoming Centres to meet some of our Staffie Cross residents to better understand the breed, or to attend one of our City Dog workshops which give advice and practical support to dog owners in deprived urban locations, encouraging them to train their dogs in a reward based way

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Don't Cook Your Dog is up for Campaign of the Year!

Standing on the touchline watching my son play rugby, I saw an email from the British Society of Magazine Editor's pop up on my phone. They had finally announced their shortlists for their annual awards.
I clicked the link and it must have taken 15 minutes to download.
Talk about excruciating!
Eventually the page loaded - but the text was too small to read.
I fiddled with it and finally I could see the Best Campaign shortlist.
The other mums must have wondered why I was squealing.
Don't Cook Your Dog has been short-listed for Campaign of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors - the only magazine awards organised by magazine editors for magazine editors. The industry Oscars. A really posh do at the Hilton.
My first call was to Judith Broug - MissyRedBoots herself - campaign designer and joint organiser.
Now there were two people squealing incomprehensibly!
Here's a link to the short-list so you can see what we're up against, some really big names and slick campaigns.
How fantastic that our little pop-up campaign has been recognised by journalists - its success is due to so many people's passion.
After we stopped making noises only dogs could hear we spotted how much the awards do tickets are! It was free to put in the entry, but if we want to attend to hear who wins - gasp - it's just a fortune!
I guess if you're from a massive publisher its petty cash, but it's a huge ticket item for us.
I keep looking at how many stickers we could buy with that money and telling myself that being short-listed is the good bit and we don't really need the party and posh frocks.
Pretty much every influential magazine editor in the land will get to hear about the campaign on the night when the shortlist will be read out - so in many ways we've achieved that objective already.
This campaign has always made every penny count and it's not got a budget or a business plan. It's just been a case of someone having to do it and good people stepping up to the mark and making it happen.
It is a campaign which has unified dog lovers as never before and had organisations, charities, individuals and even rival publications all standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
Nearly 250,000 stickers have already been distributed and the next 150,000 are about to be ordered so we're ready for next year.
The Police are really getting behind the campaign and are ordering supplies and dog wardens are poised ready to distribute stickers, too.
The Indian summer made us realise that there's still so much to do. People were still taking risks.
The high-profile police dog case that inspired this campaign is about to go to court. When it does we hope the press will remind people about the Don't Cook Your Dog and that being short-listed will raise the campaign's profile again.
Don't Cook Your Dog harnesses all the pointless negative energy and turns it into something positive. We'll never bring those poor dogs back that have died in cars, but together we can stop other dogs dying.
The list of people to thank for making Don't Cook your Dog happen is epic.
Judith Broug of course for the brilliant design and the dynamic website and generally nudging me to get on with stuff. All my amazing staff for stuffing envelopes and humping boxes and just coping with the extra workload with good humour and enthusiasm.
Exceptional and timely support from Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Kennel Club, BVA, PetPlan, Wood Green, National Animal Welfare Trust, Mutley and Mog, Dougal's Den, Border Collie Trust GB, Boredom Busters, Springer Loaded, Stephen Fry, Jilly Cooper...and more, sorry if I missed you out!
And then there's everyone who has put up posters, stuck their stickers up, called it in when they've found a dog in distress.
The Association of Chief Police Officers, all the constabularies that have requested materials, the vet nurses, the vets, the pet shop owners, the dog wardens, Defra, Tesco, the PR company who worked for free, folks who RTweeted, who made a TV commercial.... Dog World, Pet Care Trust.... I could go on and on and on...people really have been just wonderful.
IF they did allow speeches, and IF we won and IF we were lucky enough to scrape together the money for a ticket - we'd be up there for several hours saying thank you and probably crying!
Here's the website again, do order your stickers and posters - the lifesaver packs are really great if you want to make a difference in your area.
And if you are a business or a charity and want to help fund some of the 2012 stickers please get in touch as hopefully all these magazine editors will help spread the word even further. Email me beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk
And if anyone wants to give us a free ticket to go to the awards bash we'd be really grateful! (printers, distributors, lottery winners... I don't mind begging and signing lifetime deals!!)
I'm sure they can post it to us if we win!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Do you breed? Willing to take part in some research?

I've been asked to find 125 breeders who register their dogs with the KC and 125 who don't for a serious policy research project.
Nothing too difficult or time consuming, you just need to answer the researcher's questions.
Just need a name and an email address to take part.

If you are interested can you email me with:
'KC reg' or 'NOT KC reg' in the subject line.
My email address is beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

I'm sure they'll tell you more about the project if you email in. Sorry to be mysterious, but it's a good cause and for the good of dogs. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Let's make sure the Indian summer doesn't result in carnage

The tragic case - which inspired the Don't Cook Your Dog campaign - involving the policeman who left his two dogs in a hot car is being heard on October 12th.
With the hottest October imaginable the Don't Cook Your Dog campaign has never been more important. Please go to the website for how to order your lifesaver packs and stickers.
Let's hope those two poor dogs terrible deaths will be the last at the hands of policemen and that together we can all protect dogs everywhere.Even with the coldest summer for two decades the RSPCA still had thousands of cases of dogs in distress in hot cars THIS year. 
We are delighted that our campaign has been supported by the police force at the highest level.
Click here to get involved.