Monday, 27 February 2012

Don't forget to watch....



Finally airing on BBC4 tonight at 9pm.
It would seem the facebook group that resolved to stop anyone seeing this didn't succeed unless they have another cunning plan up their sleeves.

Read all about it:

Pick of the day in today's  Guardian:

"Three years ago, Jemima Harrison exposed pedigree breeding practices that left many dogs with severe health problems. Since then, she's become a campaigner for canine welfare and now she revisits the issue to see if anything has really changed. Although there have been some improvements, she uncovers a depressing lack of progress. Flat-faced breeds such as pugs and bulldogs may look good enough to win prizes in dog shows, but sadly they're struggling to breathe. Hannah Verdier"

and the Metro:
Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On, BBC4, 9pm
Jemima Harrison’s 2008 documentary on the health problems of pedigree dogs prompted the BBC to cut its ties with Crufts. This revisit suggests not much has changed since: she can still offer plenty of heartbreaking examples of pedigrees – mainly pugs, bulldogs and King Charles spaniels – with agonising associated medical conditions, explained in grim detail by their attendant vets. Despite all this, the Kennel Club’s alteration to its guidelines has been nothing if not conservative.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/tv/891336-proud-and-prejudiced-empire-and-pedigree-dogs-exposed-tv-picks#ixzz1nZzlQj1s


Daily Mail:
From the article in yesterday's Mail on Sunday: "The new programme is to focus on the poor health of pugs and bulldogs, flat-faced dogs known as brachycephalic breeds. These dogs often suffer from blocked airways.
Click here for the full article.

Telegraph:

Sunday Express
Talking to the Sunday Express Jemima says: “The changes that have been introduced since Pedigree Dogs Exposed are amazing.”
However, looking at the big picture, she has more bones to pick with the breeding industry. Andy Robbins of the RSPCA agrees and says: “The shocking reality is that many pedigree dogs remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems.”
Full article click here

Radio Times
Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On
Radio Times
In 2008, Jemima Harrison’s shocking documentary condemning canine inbreeding resulted in the Beeb refusing to broadcast Crufts. In this follow-up film, she reveals what’s changed and, alarmingly, how little hasn’t for poor little pugs like George and Cissy, whose rosette-worthy faces come with a host of highly debilitating health problems. Again, Harrison makes a compelling, sickening case for change.
Jemima Harrison follows up her 2008 investigation into British dog breeding by discovering what has changed since then. She finds that, though some positive changes have been introduced since the original film was first shown, several pedigree breeds still face uncertain futures, including bulldogs, German shepherds and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. She also canvasses the opinions of a range of dog breeders and canine experts about the areas of British dog care that need to be improved. Claire Webb

And if you miss it - it'll be on the BBC iplayer and also repeated on BBC HD at 11pm on Thursday March 1st.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Daylight robbery?

We need all Lloyds and Halifax customers to know how totally disgraceful their behaviour is.
Illustration by Kevin Brockbank for Dogs Today

When Lloyds and Halifax launched into pet insurance, it obviously seemed a very inviting journey. They could sell pet insurance direct to their enormous client base - half their customers had a pet. Ker-ching!
But when the water was choppier than they'd hoped, they just jumped ship. This pet insurance malarkey was obviously a lot trickier than it looked. It wasn't anywhere near as profitable as they'd hoped. Someone had obviously done their sums wrong.
Unfortunately, any customers who had made a claim were left totally stranded and no other insurer would touch their pets with a barge pole.

Cynics among you will probably be shaking your heads, saying, "This is what happens when you buy cheap pet insurance. They should have bought cover for life..."
But they had bought cover for life!

Halifax had produced a very attractive offering. Their direct mail enticed pet owners with, "Lifelong cover for both illness and injury... Designed to offer lifetime protection for your pet, our policy features high annual vet's fees cover topped-up every year... unlike many insurers, Halifax offers lifetime cover for chronic problems. Comprehensive cover designed to last your pet's lifetime."

Even seasoned buyers of pet insurance were impressed. Here was high-value cover for life from a high-street brand these customers already trusted to look after their mortgage and savings.
Here's a Lloyds pet insurance brochure front cover, hard to misinterpret what's being offered here isn't it!



Yet both banks are still hiding behind the defence of there being no mention of cover for life in the policy small print. 
The Lloyds and Halifax press office told me:
"What is known as a 'lifetime' policy is a general wording that has been used to describe certain policies. Halifax and Lloyds TSB policies were never referred to as 'lifetime' policies in the terms and conditions."

Now, the law of the land says quite clearly that financial institutions should always be "clear, fair and not misleading". Does this sound like that to you? Can they really say one thing in their advertising and quite the opposite in the small print?

Yet they've already compensated at least two customers and many more are lined up to take their complaints all the way - but it's just so wrong.

Pet owners shouldn't have to fight for justice, these banks have found pet insurance not as profitable as they'd hoped and they've got their fingers badly burned.

But why should pets pay for the bank taking risk without doing their homework?

They sold the dream of cover for life and peace of mind and left hundreds possibly thousands with the nightmare of uninsurable dogs and massive regular bills to pay.

Please spread the word.

Tell Lloyds and Halifax it is not good enough.

Change your photo to our avatar, download some of the posters and distribute them, tweet @AskHalifaxBank and @AskLloydsTSB and tell them to put this right before for a single dog or cat has to be prematurely put to sleep.
We must all stand together. 

50% of Lloyds and Halifax's traditional customer base will own pets. Let's tell them and see if they want to stay with a bank that treats pets so badly and misleads their customers in this way. Please do share this message!

Here's how to download the standard complaint letter: http://www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/hoh/letter.pdf
The avatar: http://www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/hoh/avatar.png

                                                                         Poster and logo by @missyredboots
This poster (above) shows the victims we have identified so far - there are hundreds possibly thousands more. Click here to download your own that you can print at home and distribute.
http://www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/hoh/flyer3.pdf

When I wrote this there were 700 people who had 'liked' the campaign's facebook page already. Please click 'like' if you haven't already, we need to get this number as high as possible as quickly as possible. The link below will take you there.
 https://www.facebook.com/HoundOutHalifaxandLloyds
Please cross post on forums and let them know about this campaign. 10 million dogs and 10 million cats in Britain if all owners stand together we'll get justice and protect the concept of pet insurance for the future. 
The best tweets we have seen so far include: 
@AskLloydsTSB @AskHalifaxBank After pet insurance, how can anyone trust you again? hhtp://tinyurl.com/7vbnnr2
@AskHalifaxBank It's very easy these days to change your bank account and ALL direct debits. Dump our pets, we dump you!
‎@AskLloydsTSB It's very easy these days to change your bank account and ALL direct debits. Dump our pets, we dump you!
HOW DARE @AskHalifaxBank use a dog in their TV advert - by dumping their 'cover for life' pet insurance they left thousands of pets to die
Do share with us your own favourites! And do check the timelines of @AskLloydsTSB @AskHalifaxBank to see how much grief they are getting from so many pet lovers. 
Let's show solidarity and all pull together! Can you take the page to 1,000? Let's get the media sitting up and paying attention. This is our lead story next month, we've 5 pages on this story and those affected by it.
Here's the April front cover out March 9th in the shops ... Please do subscribe and support us so we can keep defending our best friends whenever and however they need us. Click here to find out how to subscribe.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

May adoption feature now open!

There's room for 52 more dogs looking for a home in our May edition out April. 
 
Please send your hard to rehome dogs now. 
 
Would you like a box of magazines containing your featured hard to rehome dogs? It pays to advertise and if you leave some copies into your vets, Drs surgery, dentist you never know you might find Mr or Mrs Right for one of the dogs featured! We just need £10 to cover the courier and you can have a box while stocks last! (UK mainland only - other destinations on application) phone 01276 858880 during office hours or email jodie@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk to arrange.

There are three very simple steps to get a hard to home dog featured. 

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.

Here are the questions:
Name of dog:
Type of dog and size if not obvious:
Approx age: (in years)
Sex:
Neutered?
Housetrained?
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

jules@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk (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!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The waiting is almost over....

Pedigree Dogs Exposed - three years on - is confirmed for Monday 27 February on BBC Four at 9.00-10.00pm

I quote from the BBC website:
In 2008 Pedigree Dogs Exposed lifted the lid on the true extent of the health and welfare problems faced by pedigree dogs in the UK.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Tell Lloyds and Halifax what you think of them

I want you to write letters, post on forums, Tweet. Engage with bank staff. Tell your local media. Let's make as much noise as possible as quickly as possible. 
The BVA, Wood Green, Blue Cross, National Animal Welfare Trust, The Mayhew, Dogs Trust and Tailwaggers Club Trust have now all expressed their regret at Lloyds and Halifax's behaviour. We're hoping other animal welfare groups will also encourage their supporters to contact Halifax and Lloyds and complain. Let's get them to listen and realise that half of their customers own dogs or cats!
We've now got a leaflet, too - click here to print at home. Here's a sneaky peak at it!

They need to sort it out now before their brands are forever stained with the blood of dogs like Bertie. He is a rescue dog, his previous owners had used him as a football. Michelle took him on and saved his life.
 
This is Bertie and these are Michelle's words:
"We did the right things for Bertie, got him insured with lifelong cover from day one."
Bertie developed Eosinophilic Disease - which is incurable - but can be treated with medication. He is not even five until July.
"I was informed four weeks before my policy was due to be renewed that the Halifax were ceasing insurance. This has left us in an awful situation. Bertie is insured for £6,000 per year and most years we came close to using most of this sum (although I wish for my boys sake we didn't). No insurance company will take on a dog with previous conditions and I need to find an extra £6,000 a year from somewhere. If I had that kind of money I would not of needed insurance. Halifax has signed many a pet's death sentence. 
"I trusted this company, I thought Bertie would be safe."


Come on everyone, there are hundreds possibly thousands of people like Michelle in this position thanks to Lloyds and Halifax exiting the insurance market after selling a policy that promised "cover for life". Responsible owners  trusted these banks because of the millions they spend on advertising that makes them look a safe pair of hands.
Let's stand together - if we do we will be heard. Wood Green Animal Shelters have Retweeted our messages and the BVA have issued a very robust press statement. Others will join as we grow.
Individuals who have been affected by this obviously need to fight for compensation, (email me at beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk and I'll point you at the people giving free advice and ask for more details so we can use your case as an example of the injustices).
EVERYONE else CAN make a massive difference so please read on. 
Download a letter to send to your bank manager 
Download a logo to use as your Twitter or facebook avatar 
Download an A4 leaflet to print at home and give out
Lloyds and Halifax need to know that pet lovers stick together. 
If they are allowed to get away with this others will follow.

Dogs and cats are going to die because of the way they have handled their exit from the pet insurance market. Compensation will come too late for many to pay for the on-going cancer treatments, heart meds, epilepsy etc. We need to put pressure on the Banks now - they lent their brand image and exposed their customers to an unstable insurance product and it is they who need to step in to sort this out. Between them those two banks spend nearly £100 million a year to advertise their brands - so they do care what we think and as half of households have a cat or a dog and most of the other half don't want to see people's pets dying because of a corporate cock-up - we are no little minority group. We need to tell these banks we're very upset. The link given on the Tweet gives you the letter I have written. Please improve on it and write your own or harvest the points and write a shorter one! It doesn't hurt to say you are thinking of moving your account. 
Here's a brilliant campaign logo designed by the talented Judith Broug - @MissyRedboots on Twitter. Please use it as your avatar to show support!


On Twitter here are two tweets I'd like you to RT as widely as possible as they use the banks very expensive marketing messages to promote our campaign.

Halifax spent £47 million selling us Xtras - their insurance clients need Xtra to keep their pets alive bit.ly/wp4dfw Please RT

and
Lloyds spent £53 million selling us the journey ahead - but pet insurance customers face a one-way trip to the vet bit.ly/wp4dfw Please RT
There's two hashtags  #HoundOutHalifax #LeaveLloyds which might help this topic trend on Twitter.
There's a facebook page please join and spread the word - help us save dogs like Bertie and cats, too! Click here
And don't forget the letter, the flyer and the avatar!

Please get behind the campaign, it could be you next if we don't win this one.
 
Blue Cross have just commented:
Mandy Jones, head of rehoming at The Blue Cross, said: “This is a really worrying development for animal welfare as pet owners face being left high and dry unable to pay for their animals’ treatment.
“We have seen more and more people unable to afford vets’ fees during the recession and even seen a rise in animals being abandoned as the cost of caring for them soars. The risk is that if insurers continue to pull out of the market or change their terms, more sick animals will go untreated.

“We always urge pet owners to take out insurance but it is always worth going to an established provider and it is essential that owners check the terms of the policy and that they are sufficiently covered.”
 

and Wood Green, too: 
Head of Animal Welfare at Wood Green, The Animals Charity, Shelley Brooker said: “Ownership of a pet brings huge rewards, but also brings responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to provide healthcare for your pet, another is to protect yourself and your family from unexpected, expensive veterinary bills.

Animals are just as susceptible to illness and injuries as their owners and two out of three pets need veterinary attention every year. With veterinary fees unfortunately continuing to rise at a faster rate than inflation, it is essential people take up pet insurance.

As a leading animal welfare charity who recommends people take up pet insurance on a daily basis, Wood Green is extremely disappointed to hear that responsible pet owners are being let down by two well-known insurance companies – Lloyds and Halifax.

Wood Green would urge those who have paid for lifetime cover for their pets to write to their bank and express their disappointment and concern for their pets.

The Charity hopes that future responsible pet owners will not be put off taking up insurance as there are many companies out there who specialise in pet insurance, such as Petplan.”
 David Warner, Chief Executive of the National Animal Welfare Trust, said:


“The action taken by Lloyds & Halifax is bad news for responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.

The National Animal Welfare Trust is very concerned that the decision to cancel pet insurance will add to the increasing number of animals that are being abandoned because there owners can no longer afford to care for them.

As one of the leading animal rescue and re-homing charities NAWT promotes responsible pet ownership and actively encourages our re-homers to buy pet insurance. We hope that this campaign being mounted by Dogs Today will further encourage responsible pet owners to take out pet insurance from one of the companies who specialise in pet insurance, such as Petplan.”
Caroline Yates, CEO of the Mayhew Animal statement has said:
"The Mayhew Animal Home is extremely surprised and disappointed with the recent decision of Lloyds and Halifax bank to withdraw from the pet insurance market without any redress to their clients who will now suffer for having done the right thing – been a responsible pet owner and taken out insurance.
As part of its adoption process The Mayhew encourages all adopters to take out pet insurance as we see all too often and everyday animals being given up to us because owners cannot not afford private veterinary bills with insurance.  Moreover, our Community Veterinary Clinic is inundated with cries for help for owners desperate to find veterinary care they can afford.
"Sadly, this will no doubt lead to yet more animals being left untreated or dumped with rescue centres that are already stretched to capacity, some animals with on-going medical conditions which will limit their chances of finding a second home in these difficult times.
"Please write to your local branch and ask them if they have a conscience. "


Emma Milne BVSc MRCVS, Tailwaggers club trust trustee and veterinary surgeon said:
"As a charity we know only too well the devastation felt when people can't afford veterinary treatment. The fact that Lloyds and Halifax have withdrawn their insurance policies is a travesty which will only penalise responsible pet owners and jeopardise the health of thousands of animals. These companies may say the written contracts only last 12 months but the reality is that these owners entered the contract for the life of their pet in good faith and those policies should be honoured. It's a scandalous breach of trust if they are not."
Dogs Trust’s response to the withdrawal of Halifax and Lloyds from the pet insurance market
The decision by Halifax and Lloyds to pull out of the pet insurance market will have dealt a huge blow to many pet owners. The promise of compensation could come too late for those whose pets are too old to reinsure and for whom the cost of veterinary fees for existing conditions are too onerous. This is not a simple case of discontinuing a product on a shop shelf, for some pet owners this will signify the withdrawal of a lifeline, leaving them to make a life or death decision for their pet or else face the prospect of crippling debt from the cost of veterinary fees.

Dogs Trust has long promoted the benefits of pet insurance and is calling on Halifax and Lloyds to act on the concerns of pet owners who feel that they have been left stranded. This is very worrying for owners who are trying to do the best by their pets, but find that they could be subject to change outside of their control.

Dogs Trust is urging dog owners not to be deterred from insuring their pet and will be raising its concerns on this matter with the Financial Services Authority.

 

 
 
 
 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Just when you thought you couldn't dislike bankers any more...

... they break a promise and let down thousands of pet owners and make it likely that lots of dogs and cats will get put to sleep.

You have probably already heard that Lloyds and Halifax have decided to get out of the pet insurance market. But they set a dangerous precedent if they are allowed to walk away and leave their customers who had bought 'cover for life' expensive insurance with no cover. You can do something about this injustice, please just take a moment to write a letter, or go into the bank and make a personal complaint and if possible join the facebook campaign page and tell others to do the same.

Here's the link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/184087888362814/
or search: Pet insurance - cover for life should mean exactly that Lloyds and Halifax


If you bank with either organisation or even if you were thinking of using them in the future can you find the time to drop them a line?
Here's my version - please do feel free to change or adapt it, this is just a suggestion!

The BVA are very upset about it. Click here to read their full press release. Any other pet institutions got a comment to add please? This hits responsible pet owners where it hurts and will kill many pets before their time. Have you been affected by this? If so tell me your story and send me a photo of your dog or cat: beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk. There are number of people offering free advice about what to do next and I am happy to point you in the right direction.

Here's my blueprint letter, please do let Lloyds and Halifax know that pet lovers stick together.
Do write to your local branch and CC the MD too:

Mr David Nicholson
Managing Director
Halifax
PO Box 548
Leeds
LS1 1WU


Sir Winfried Franz Wilhe 
Chairman Lloyds
25 Gresham Street
London
EC2V 7HN 


Dear Bank Manager

I am writing to let you know how I feel about the way you are treating your pet insurance customers. 
I accept your company's decision to leave the pet insurance market, but you should just close your doors to new business and honour the commitments you had already entered into.
You have obviously found this sector less profitable than you hoped - and someone in your organisation must have made some errors of judgement encouraging you to try your hand in this sector. But to then cut-and-run and leave others to suffer the consequences of a corporate error is despicable.
Thousands of your customers paid extra for the peace-of-mind afforded by 'cover for life' insurance.  When they acquired their pet they took the responsible decision to take out a more expensive policy just in case their pet developed a serious and long term health problem they couldn't afford to treat.
They paid substantially extra to make sure recurring conditions would not excluded on renewal each year.
By ceasing to provide this policy you have left them stranded. 
No one will cover their pets with pre-existing conditions.
These are dogs with cancer, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, epilepsy etc. 
Conditions that would cost thousands of pounds each year to treat, money that in this economic climate pet owners will struggle to find. 
Sadly many will fail and their pets will have to be put to sleep - because you broke your promise.
They had chosen to insure with a bank they had confidence in, but it seems that faith was misplaced.
My trust in you has been damaged with this and if you don't behave responsibly and put this right I will consider moving my business elsewhere.
I should point out that there are 10 million dogs and around the same number of cats in Britain according to the University of Bristol - the most scientific study of pet ownership in Britain. 
They say that 31% of households have a dog, 26% have a cat. Research from Pedigree Petfoods showed more than 80% of people in the UK actively like dogs, so even non owners will have a view on a bank that has caused pets to be killed unnecessarily.
While not all of these have taken out your pet insurance, we are a nation of pet lovers and I am sure this will not be the only letter like this you will receive.
Please - urgently - stop the suffering you are causing to these pet owners and the damage you are inflicting on your own reputation.
Your sincerely
















Last chance for the April edition

There's probably room for about 10 more hard hard to rehome dogs to go in the April edition out early March. 

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.

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

Email all three of these elements to a new email address

jules@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk (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!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

How to really socialise a pup....

There's a new blog to follow if you're interested in how to bring up a pup to be bomb proof. Wood Green have a new pup that will be brought up to be an education dog.
Do bookmark this link and keep checking up on the pup's progress!
Wood Green's blog

Is your vet your best friend?

Research from Petplan shows that nearly a quarter of pet owners would call their vet a ‘good friend’ and see them as an integral part of the community.

42% of owners refer to their vet by their first name 
47% have his/her mobile saved on their speed dial. 
9% of pet owners have admitted to having a crush on their vet. (And all 9% can't be Noel Fitzpatrick's clients!)

98% of Petplan customers said that they trust their vet; with many saying that they are more trustworthy than police officers - coming second only to doctors. 
16% of pet owners are more comfortable talking to a vet rather than a police officer.

Would you like to nominate your best friend for an award?
 
Petplan's Head of Marketing, Isabella Von Mesterhazy tells us:  “Every year we search the UK for Petplan’s Vet of the Year to make sure that these members of society who make a real difference receive the recognition they deserve.”

If you think your vet, veterinary nurse, vet support staff or veterinary practice deserves special acknowledgement for their efforts, why not nominate them for the Petplan 2012 Veterinary Awards. Making a nomination couldn’t be easier. Visit http://www.petplan.co.uk/vetawards/ and tell them who you think deserves a “Veterinary Oscar” before 10th February 2012. The winners will be announced on 31st March 2012.

In a week were some other brands of pet insurance have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, (Lloyds and Halifax are leaving the pet insurance market leaving their "Cover for Life" customers stranded), here's something that might have been otherwise have been missed...  a specialist insurance company that has offered consistent cover for 35 years while quietly keeping the majority of its customers happy! 

And being very old I can remember when they took over DBI insurance's customers - they didn't just accept the more profitable clients - they honoured everyone's insurance...


Jake Humphrey presents the Consumer Moneyfacts award for the UK’s Best Pet Insurance Provider to Carl Stephens and Susanne Murray from Petplan. 
Petplan was named the UK’s Best Pet Insurance Provider at the Consumer Moneyfacts awards. Voted for by over 17,000 consumers, the awards recognise the best financial products available to consumers in the UK.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Competition time!

Cross question is quite a puzzle this time - for the first time in my memory we have a three way cross!


Bea is a beauty - but what mix is she? I think we need a clue or two...

One part from Scotland, New Zealand and Canada.

Email your best guesses to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk - first correct guess wins a book of your choice from Interpet.

Best caption wins a Viziglo collar from Company of animals and Natural Coachies treats for the runners up. You can email comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk before Monday at 1pm or you can enter online at Dogs Today's facebook page.
Good luck!


Don't be a fool! Don't miss the rescue feature in April's edition

We still need more dogs who are looking for new homes - 25 slots still left to fill in the April edition out early March. 
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.

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

Email all three of these elements to a new email address

jules@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk (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!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Dog eat Dog in Hollywood

The cat fights are normally reserved for the Oscars, but it's the Golden Collar that seems to have got the claws out this year. Uggie from the black and white movie the Artist has been getting all the pats on the back from the media so far - but director of rival Oscar blockbuster movie Hugo, Martin Scorsese thinks his leading dog is the better actor.
He has a point, Uggie played Jack who is pretty much indistinguishable from Uggie in real life. He's a cute dog that does tricks - not exactly stretching his art.
Female Dobermann Blackie in Hugo gives a powerful and controlled performance as a menacing orphan-chasing sidekick to Sacha Baron Cohen's lame station master.
In an open letter to the Los Angeles Times, Scorsese wrote: "I have been cautioned against speaking out on this issue lest I create the appearance of churlishness. Well, I'm going to have to risk it. One recent morning, I turned on the television, and imagine my surprise when I heard the nominations for the first Golden Collar Awards for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film.
"After all, we had Blackie the Dobermann in our movie. How could she not be nominated? I listened in vain for Blackie's name to be called, and then to all the hullabaloo over a certain Jack Russell terrier named Uggie. Uggie is so adorable that he received two nominations for two separate pictures. Well done. OK, let's lay all our cards on the table. Jack Russell terriers are small and cute. Dobermans are enormous and - handsome.
"More tellingly, Uggie plays a nice little mascot who does tricks and saves his master's life in one of the films, while Blackie gives an uncompromising performance as a ferocious guard dog who terrorises children. I'm sure you can see what I'm driving at."
Hewent on: "I detect another, more deep-seated prejudice at work. Jack Russell terriers were bred in the 19th century for the purposes of fox hunting by an Englishman, the Reverend John Russell. Dobermans were bred by a German tax collector who was afraid of being bludgeoned to death by the citizenry. But does that mean we must condemn the entire breed?"
He concluded: "In short, I protest the omission of Blackie the Dobermann from the first Golden Collar nominations. Moreover, I encourage all Times readers to make their preference known to the editors of Dog News Daily by write-in ballot and give Blackie the nomination she so richly deserves."
Dog News Daily has caved in and allowed Blackie onto the short list.
My issue lies with the use of plastic surgery to enhance Blackie's appearance. Those ears are the result of surgery - not training.
So which is the better actor?
Uggie or Blackie?



I've seen both films and I much preferred Hugo as a movie - but for me Uggie is the canine George Clooney - always playing pretty much the same part in every film, but undeniably gorgeous and likable - or should that be lickable?
Blackie is the Meryl Streep. A proper old school actor ready to take on difficult and unpopular roles. But Blackie needs to be careful she doesn't get typecast - perhaps taking on the doggie equivalent of Mamma Mia next to show her versatility?
Who gets the Golden Collar?
I say there should be a best male and female award - like there are for two legged actors.
And not a collar, that's all about ownership - the talent of the teacher not the pupil.
Perhaps it should be the Golden Sausage - after all that's what BAFTA said was the canine actors' real motivation when they excluded canine nominations this year.