Thursday, 29 March 2012

A few things! Two competitions and a sneaky peek at May's edition!

It's competition time! Can you guess which breeds are mum and dad? Send your best guesses to - first correct answer wins a doggie book of your choice from Interpet Publishing. No clues yet, but if no one gets it soon will give hints!

And while you're in competitive mood do enter our famous caption competition! Here's the photo, please email your best efforts to
The winner gets Pet Head Dirty Talk Shampoo and a Pet Head Poof! Deodorising spray
Runners up win Pet Head Poof! Deodorising spray We'll be picking the winners on April 10th, so you've got plenty of time to ponder!

Here's a sneaky look at the May edition just being finished as we speak and there is such a lot in there! Isn't our cover star elegant, this was just how Alfie decided to sit... Italian Greyhounds, real dogs or works of art? Have to say they are both from having the chance of meeting quite a few at our photoshoot.

Inside on 132 pages...

  • Karen Parker's fantastic photos from Crufts.
  • Jemima Harrison's take on the health tests at the show. 
  • Anna Osborne from Iron Mountain talks from the sharp end of rescue puts us straight that being a rescue dog isn't an excuse for general bad behaviour...
  • 53 gorgeous dogs looking for homes and three that already have.
  • Claire Horton-Bussey on how Aids patients are helped to stay well by the love of a pet.
  • Karen Cornish on what bugs you'll find overseas and why and how to avoid them...
  • Win a holiday to the Isle of Wight
  • Karen Wild on overcoming car trouble
  • Victoria Stilwell on stopping pulling
  • Sarah Whitehead gives a sex masterclass!
  • Claire Horton-Bussey on how young offenders are helping retrain rescue dogs. A win win situation!
  • Peter Neville and a Basset that eats allsorts!
  • Natalya Anderson interviews children's food guru Amanda Karmel and TV presenter Michaela Strachan is our PAT on the back.
  • Win a digital portrait of your dog and loads of other prizes
  • And meet the gorgeous new recruits at Hounds for Heroes and catch up with the first six and see how they are growing up!
  • Italian Greyhounds as pets - real dogs or works of art? We think both.
  • The London Pet Show revealed...
  • Latest news from our pet insurance crusade
There's just so much more in it! Do subscribe and save some money! Also available on ipad and online

Comes out April 12th! Subscribers should get them before that.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Historic day for pet insurance

Breaking news!
The Financial Ombudsman has made a provisional ruling on the first cover for life pet insurance case. Here's the link if you want to read it all...
But briefly:

The GOOD news - the Ombudsman agrees that Halifax behaved unfairly and that it was reasonable for customers to expect to have continuous cover.
That they suggest that Halifax continue to pay out on pre-existing conditions as if the cover was still in place. But that customers should obtain cover elsewhere for non pre-existing conditions.

The BAD news
That's a complex scenario and there may be arguments about what is and isn't a pre-existing condition. For example organ failure in a dog with epilepsy - related to the medication to control the epilepsy or should be covered by new insurance?
And why only for three years... Max the Border Collie is only two years old and has epilepsy... where does that leave him? Cover for Life should mean life - not just three years!
The £200 suggested for distress! An insult.
Some people have had their dogs put to sleep due to insurance being terminated. And they paid Chris Day £6,000 for his emotional upset. Why only £200 now they've realised there are lots of people distressed?

No one has to accept the Ombudsman's offer, but the provisional ruling had me cheering - cover for life is being defended as the excellent policy it is. In human health insurance you can't buy something that covers you for on-going chronic problems, but for pets we have cover for life and it really is a life saver. We must fight for it and for the providers that do deliver what they promise.

A historic day today in the story of pet insurance.

If you have been affected by Lloyds, Halifax or Petguard removing their cover for life policies and would be interested in joining together with a group of others similarly disadvantaged email

Pet Alliance Watchdogs is preparing a 'no win no fee' class action against these insurers to make sure that pet owners are fairly compensated. Please do join this great group where you can compare offers and see what is the best action for you and your pets.

More information here:

Daily Telegraph has covered the story - click here

Friday, 9 March 2012

Crufts first day and a pretty promising start!

The top winners were a Lhasa called Elizabeth and a Pom from Sweden called Dave who did the cutest vistory run I've ever seen! The TV coverage was better than recent years, too. Much more balanced.

But we also saw a bit of history. The KC now have an independent vet check on 15 problem breeds. The vet's identity is shrouded in mystery, it is possible he or she may need a bullet proof vest and the witness protection programme as they bounced the Best of Breed winners of Bulldogs and Pekingese. Well done, that vet obviously has the biggest set of balls at the NEC! We are yet to hear what will happen to the judges who awarded the accolades to these two dogs. Maybe a Specsavers voucher might be appropriate?

However, the Pug (one of the 15 troublesome breeds) was placed 2nd in the toy group and must have passed the vet check, but to the TV pundit the dog looked far from happy in the big ring. Hot lights and flat faces don't seem to go together. Wonder if the same vet did all the checks? Would an ethical  vet ever say a dog without a nose was healthy?

Here's what others are saying about this issue:

Jemima Harrison's blog has photos of the Bulldog...

and the BVA announcement:


The Kennel Club has announced that the following the breed judging on the first day of Crufts (Thursday) the Best of Breed (BOB) winners in two of the high profile breeds – the bulldog and the Pekingese – failed their veterinary checks and the breeds were not represented in the utility and toy group judging.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomed the Kennel Club’s initiative to put the veterinary checks in place for the BOB winner in the 15 high profile breeds at all championship dog shows starting at Crufts this year.

The 15 breeds have been identified as having particular health problems often due to poor conformation as a result of having been bred with exaggerated characteristics. The veterinary checks ensure the BOB winners are not suffering as a result of their conformation, such as eye problems, skin disease, lameness or breathing difficulties, which should have been identified by the judge.

Commenting, Carl Padgett, President of the BVA, said:

“Breeding dogs with exaggerated features must be tackled robustly. The veterinary checks are sending out a strong message that dogs with health problems will not win in the show ring, and only visibly healthy dogs will be rewarded.

“Dog showing can be a force for good for dog breeding and education but the veterinary checks on the first two groups at Crufts have highlighted the health problems that all too often affect man’s best friend.

“We hope this strong action by the Kennel Club will be a wake-up call to those breeders and judges that still need to embrace the message that health should always be at the top of the agenda.”

The KC statement: 

Bulldog and Pekingese fail Crufts vet checks

No dog representing the Pekingese and Bulldog breeds will compete in Thursday evening’s Best in Group competitions at Crufts after they failed the new veterinary checks that have been introduced to the show.

The Best of Breed award was not given to Pekingese, Palacegarden Bianca, or Bulldog, Mellowmood One In A Million, following their veterinary checks, which were carried out by an independent veterinary surgeon. This means that the dogs will not be allowed to continue into the Toy or Utility Best in Group competitions respectively.

The Kennel Club has introduced veterinary checks for the Best of Breed winners at all Kennel Club licensed General and Group Championship Dog Shows from Crufts 2012 onwards, in 15 designated high profile breeds. This measure was introduced to ensure that Best of Breed awards are not given to any dogs that show visible signs of problems due to conditions that affect their health or welfare.

The fifteen high profile breeds are as follows: Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar Pei, St Bernard, French Bulldog, Pug and Chinese Crested.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are determined to ensure that the show ring is a positive force for change and that we help to move breeds forward by only rewarding the healthiest examples of a breed.

“The veterinary checks were introduced to ensure that dogs with exaggerated features do not win prizes. The independent veterinary surgeon decided that the Pekingese and Bulldog should not pass their checks and therefore they did not receive their Best of Breed awards and will not be representing their breeds in the remainder of the competition.”

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Crufts tomorrow, but spare a thought for those in puppy farms...

Press release just in...


As Crufts Dog Show gets underway at the National Exhibition Centre tomorrow (8-11 March 2012), puppy farm campaigners are calling on the Kennel Club to stop registering puppies that have been produced in appalling conditions in puppy farms.

Puppy farms are breeding establishments, many of them in Wales, where dogs are kept and raised like livestock, often in inhumane and unethical conditions, “explains Veronica Lambert of Puppy Love Campaigns.

Of the 70 licensed breeders in Ceredigion, which alongside Carmarthenshire is known as the puppy-farming capital of the UK, 62 register at least some of their puppies with the Kennel Club. Some are licensed for 100 breeding bitches and more.

“Some keep dozens of breeding bitches in row upon concrete row of barely-converted pig-pens,” says Linda Goodman of C.A.R.I.A.D. “They often have no access to natural light or outside exercise areas. Some have only one or two people looking after hundreds of animals and even when the premises are licensed by the local authority, checks are often totally inadequate. The bitches are bred from until they are worn out and then killed, never having known any home life or what it is like to be loved.”

The puppies are often sold through the small ads, pet shops or internet sites to an unsuspecting public persuaded by Kennel Club papers that the animal has been produced ethically.

“The Kennel Club promised to tackle this issue as long ago as 1986 but it has singularly failed to act,” says Veronica Lambert of Puppy Love Campaigns “yet here we are a quarter of a century later and the KC has done nothing to ease the situation for puppy farm dogs, but is now happy to appear to be campaigning against it.”

At the moment, anyone can register a dog with the Kennel Club as long as both its parents are themselves Kennel Club registered. Such pets are in high demand, fetching more money than non KC-registered dogs.

A survey conducted by Puppy Love Campaigns and C.A.R.I.A.D. of internet site ePupz reveals that, on average, Kennel Club registered dogs cost £200 more than non-registered dogs – a good return for the £15 it costs unscrupulous breeders to register puppies with the Kennel Club.

The Kennel Club recently released a film warning of the horrors of puppy farms – a move that the puppy farm campaigners insist is “hypocrisy of the highest order”.

C.A.R.I.A.D. Founder, Linda Goodman says:

“Registrations are a huge revenue stream for The Kennel Club and they have continued to profit from the misery of puppy farming. The KC will claim that only 2% of the breeders that register dogs with them are what are known as “volume” breeders – those that breed five or more litters a year. But that figure is very deceiving because the dogs they produce represent much more than two per cent of the dogs the Kennel Club register.

“Their own research that: "As many as one in four people could potentially be buying their puppies from puppy farms" beggars belief when they've been so instrumental in making this possible. Their campaign against puppy farming just makes them look like utter hypocrites.”

Veronica Lambert at Puppy Love Campaigns:

“For years the KC have registered puppy farm stock. They are the only organisation that makes a profit from the misery of farmed dogs and campaign against it at the same time.”

The Kennel Club directs the public to buy from members of its Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS). Joining the ABS is as simple as applying for pedigree registration and, currently, requires no advance inspection or checks.  In fact only up to 15% of ABS members have been inspected – and even then they are given advance warning of checks, despite the Kennel Club claiming that the checks are “random”.

C.A.R.I.A.D.’s Linda Goodman:

“The KC’s Assured Breeders Scheme is little more than another registry. Again the public is being duped into believing that it actually means something. The ABS scheme will only be of value if the KC invests in mandatory inspection of all breeders within the scheme. At present only a tiny proportion of ABS breeders have ever been inspected by the KC and we have evidence of some ABS breeders conducting business in ways that the KC says it does not endorse.”

Puppy Love Campaigns has footage of one ABS breeder illegally selling puppies at a motorway service station.*
Puppy Love Campaigns and C.A.R.I.A.D. want the KC to act now to make sure that no one who engages in puppy farming can benefit from Kennel Club registration.

Puppy Love Campaigns:

"We call on the Kennel Club to stop registering puppy farmed dogs immediately and to put measures in place to ensure that Kennel Club registration guarantees that a puppy has been raised in good, humane and ethical conditions.  Otherwise there is no point in KC registration." 

• “The dogs will be more valuable if they are Kennel Club registered. And therefore if [puppy farmers] are using Kennel Club registration to add to the value of their dogs, then we are scandalized. We are in fact we are just changing our registration procedure so that the excessive breeder, the person who does it purely as a commercial process purely for profit, will have to fully register a dog and that means it will be better controlled by us.” Major-General Martin Sinnatt, The Kennel Club,1986.

• ePupz survey conducted January 2012 comparing the price of KC-registered v non KC-registered puppies comprised four breeds (Pugs, Cocker Spaniels, Yorkshire Terriers and German Shepherds) and a total of 375 litters. The average price difference between KC registered and non KC registered puppies was £204.27.

Puppy Love Campaigns was set up in 2007 to raise public awareness of the plight of puppy farm dogs.  Their aim is to expose what is happening in large commercial licensed dog breeding kennels across the UK.  PLC assists the media with film when they are highlighting puppy farming.  We also have input with Welsh government regarding new legislation. We protest about pet shops selling farmed pups and generally try our best to educate.”

C.A.R.I.A.D is campaigning to end puppy farming in Wales (where the majority of puppy farms are based).  It is a coalition of 28 charities, organisations, shelters, rescues and campaigns.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Still room for 34 more dogs looking for a home...

We've already got 18 of the 52 dogs looking for a home in our May edition out early April.  So there's lots more space! And we're looking for happy every after stories to feature in upcoming editions too.

Remember it is completely FREE to have your dogs featured in the magazine. See below for the three simple steps you have to follow.

Would you also like a load of magazines containing your featured hard to rehome dogs for FREE? Leave some copies in your vets, Doctor's surgery, dentist never know where you might find Mr or Mrs Right for one of your dogs featured! 
We just need £10 to cover the courier and you can have a stack while stocks last! (UK mainland only - other destinations on application) phone 01276 858880 during office hours or email to arrange. And tell Jodie about any dogs that have found a perfect home so we can feature them.
We urgently need you to send your hard to rehome dogs now! Here's how to do it....
There are three very simple steps

1. We need a good photograph (about a 1MB when attached, in focus ideally!)

2. The answers to these really simple questions.   

3. A 100 word statement from the dog that makes people look twice. (See below if you need inspiration!)

Here are the questions:
Name of dog:
Type of dog and size if not obvious:
Approx age: (in years)
With other dogs?
With cats?
Good with children?
Location (County):
Contact details:
Foster or forever home?

Email all three of these elements to a new email address (retype this as copy and paste for some reason often will not work!) 

and put 'Adopt me' in the subject. 
Here's what a typical page of the the Adopt me feature looks like.

And here are some excellent 100 word statements to give you inspiration!

Hey I’m Shady! Will you throw my ball for me?
I’ve been in Rescue for over a year now which my carers say they are very surprised about. I love the company of people and get quite stressed if left on my own for long periods of time.
I’d love an owner with a lot of time on their hands; I’ll thank you with my devotion and wagging tail!
My new year’s resolution is to find a loving new home where I can play lots of games of fetch – could you help me make it come true?

I am the busiest dog in the world! I like to train, and play games, and love my obedience classes here in Leeds. I have lived with children with severe learning difficulties in a very busy house, and with another dog. I am much prettier than my photo, but I won’t keep still long enough for anyone to take one – I’m too busy seeing if the photographer has treats! I would love to live with an active family who like to get out and about as much as I do. You can watch videos of me training at the Iron Mountain website.

I’ve been at Battersea over a year – the Home never puts on a limit on how long it takes to rehome a cat or dog – and I’m a real favourite in the offices where I spend a day or two a week chilling out, being good-natured and friendly, well-mannered and very affectionate. For someone who looks like they ate all the pies, I’m actually a delicate and discerning eater – I once said no to a Bonio! Like my namesake Cleopatra, I am very beautiful, with carefully applied eyeliner, and would like to be building my own little homely kingdom soon.

And please spread this message far and wide!