Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    March 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The Kennel Club has released details of the new Legacy Investment Fund which was agreed by its Members at an SGM in December 2013.

    The Members agreed that a fund of up to £3 million be established for the purpose of ‘funding approved projects submitted by the dog community including but not restricted to health and canine activity related projects and which support the Kennel Club’s aims and objectives’.

    These projects will typically be those that require an injection of funds to get them started, or projects with a credible business case but for which the necessary funds are not within reach of the individual, club or organisation.

    Applications for investment funds will be available by way of application to members of the Kennel Club, Kennel Club Registered Clubs, projects supported by Kennel Club Sub-Committees and Working Parties and the Kennel Club business.

    In addition, applications for funds may be made by individuals, clubs and organisations not formally connected to the Kennel Club but that have a ‘sponsor’ in the form of a Kennel Club Registered Club, or a Member of a Kennel Club committee for example. Organisations connected with the welfare of dogs, or organisations with a role within the community promoting the benefits of dog ownership may also apply for funds on the same basis.

    Funds will be available in the following ways:
    • A grant, or grants, where no repayment of the capital is expected or required.
    • Matched funding, where the applicant(s) raise funds and the Legacy Fund matches the money raised on a one-for-one basis.
    • A loan, where interest at the market rate for interest is payable for the period of the loan or where interest is not payable.

    All applications for funding will be reviewed by a working party led by Kennel Club General Committee member Steve Croxford, and comprising fellow General Committee members, Wilson Young, David Guy and Ian Gabriel, and Kennel Club Finance Executive, Doug Holford. The working party will then make recommendations to the General Committee for its final decision on whether to proceed with the investment.

    Applications for investment funds must be made by completing an application form which can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/legacy-investment-fund/ and submitting this to Richard Fairlamb at the Kennel Club via richard.fairlamb@thekennelclub.org.uk or by post to Richard Fairlamb, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB.

    Applications must state clearly what the benefits resulting from the project will be upon completion. These may cover but are not restricted to, dog health, dog welfare, benefits to the community (either the dog owning public or the wider community more generally that come into contact with dogs), benefits to the dog activity concerned, e.g. agility, field trials, breed/conformation shows, working trials etc.

    Applications must state who is involved with the running of the project and a statement as to how it will be managed, the resources available, the start and end date and the names of the ‘guarantors’ to the Kennel Club (the person or persons who will sign the agreement with the Kennel Club and their status within the project management structure).

    Project applications must have a clear start and end date and be for a fixed amount – projects which are open ended in either time or funding will not be considered.

    Once funding has been agreed by the General Committee, the ‘project owner(s)’ (e.g. the individual, club chairperson, or committee chairperson) will enter into a signed agreement with the Kennel Club agreeing to the terms of the funding and providing a commitment to delivering the project benefits. Grant or repayment terms will be included in the contractual agreement.

    For further details on the Kennel Club Legacy Investment Fund, please visit the KC website.

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    March 16th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The thought of having your pet stolen probably ranks high on the list of any dog owner’s worst nightmares. And, while it’s true that pet theft is on the rise, and also true that pet theft could affect anyone, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your dogs.

    1)        Get your dog microchipped

    If you are in the 40% of dog owners who have not already taken this precaution, we cannot stress this point enough. Microchipping will be compulsory from April 2016 in England and from March 2015 in Wales anyway, so what’s stopping you?

    If it’s the cost, check this out- you can get your dog chipped for free at Dogs Trust, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and Blue Cross centres across the UK. They’re usually done alongside puppy vaccinations (many vet surgeries offer a package deal price), but a chip can be inserted at any point in a dog’s lifetime.

    In the three years which we have been reporting canine news, we have yet to come across a ‘dog reunited’ story which did NOT feature a microchip. If you want to greatly increase your chances of finding your dog if it is lost or stolen, a microchip is your best bet.

    Aside from this aspect, a microchip can also be an identification tool if there is a dispute. A microchip has never been proof of ownership and is unlikely to be considered so in the future, but at least you’ll be able to know for certain if the found dog who looks like yours really is.

    Finally, tell the world that your dog is microchipped – this can deter potential thieves and it gives anyone who finds him a reminder to scan the chip for your details. By law all dogs must wear a collar and ID tag when in a public place. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full postcode on the tag; and the message “I am microchipped”. (Do not put your dog’s name on their tag. This can help thieves lure your dog away from you and gives them something to work with if they are trying to demonstrate that they know the dog.)

    2)        Keep your microchip details up to date

    This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t update the microchip information when they move or change phones.

    110,000 stray dogs are picked up by police, local authorities and animal welfare charities each year. Over half of these stray dogs cannot be returned because their owner could not be identified. If approximately 60% of all dogs in the UK are chipped, that means that over 10% of dogs whose owners they were unable to trace would have been in possession of a chip with incorrect or out of date information. Don’t let your dog be one of them.

    3)        Make your home and garden secure

    It’s estimated that 52% of stolen dogs were taken from their owner’s gardens, while a further 19% were taken from their homes during break ins.

    Do not leave your dog unattended in your garden if it’s not 100% secure, and make sure that any gates, dog runs, kennels etc are firmly locked when your dogs are using them. Ensure your fencing is adequate and check it regularly for wear and tear. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Dogs who have escaped and/or wandered off are easy for thieves to snatch. Most thefts are opportunistic, so don’t give the criminals a chance.

    With regards to burglaries, you need to adopt a common sense approach and take whatever precautions are necessary for your type of accommodation. Install motion sensor lights around any kennel buildings if your dogs stay in them at night. If your dog sleeps in a different part of the house to yourselves, consider a baby monitor so that you can hear if there are any disturbances.

    Try not to advertise too much that you have dogs living at your property, especially if they are pedigrees, which studies have shown are the key targets for gangs out to make money from selling dogs on or using them for breeding. Those “A spoilt rotten Pug lives here” signs are cute, but possibly not worth the risk

    Brook the Labrador was taken from his owner’s garden in April 2011 – he is still missing. Fern the Cocker Spaniel went missing from her owner’s driveway in April 2013  - she is also still absent. It only takes a second.
    Marnie the Yorkie (still missing) was taken in shocking circumstances by thieves who attacked her owners on their private property. Tia & Maisie the Cocker Spaniels were taken from private estate in Winchester in the middle of the night; their owners believe that the theft was re-planned, due to a number of incidences in the days preceding their disappearance. Tia has been returned after a police raid, but Maisie is still missing.

    4)        Be wary on walks – and refine your recall!

    16% of stolen dogs were taken while they were out on their walks. Either they would have strayed out of their owners sight and been stolen then, or the owners may have been distracted, either on purpose or by something like their phone. There have also been rare incidences of violent thieves snatching a dog in plain sight of the owner, so be aware of your surroundings and where your dog is. Do not let him get out of your sight, and practice your recall so you can instantly bring him back to you if you suspect it may be in danger.

    Try to vary your routes and routines, as criminals may follow your behaviour to identify a pattern before making their move.

    Finally, try not to brag about your dog to strangers, or to divulge too many personal details, as they may be scouting out if your dog is worth stealing or not. This is again especially true if you have a purebred dog.

    Angel, Theo, Archie and Teddy, all of whom are still missing, were stolen while out on their daily walks. In the case of Angel, a German Shorthaired Pointer, she was taken while her owner had her back turned to put her other dogs into her vehicle.

    5)        Have your dog neutered

    Dogs are often stolen for breeding purposes, so neutering your dog is one way to make them less of a target. This is especially applicable to purebreds and short coated male dogs (where the difference is often visually apparent).

    6)        NEVER leave your dog tied up outside of a shop

    Ever. While only 7% of stolen dogs were taken from outside shops, this is probably because this practice is already becoming less widespread than it used to be, presenting less opportunities to would-be thieves.

    We know it can be tough if your town is not particularly dog friendly, or if you don’t want to leave your dog in the car (see below), but consider whether you’d leave your mobile lying around on a coffee shop table while you nipped to the loo, or if you’d leave your laptop charging in the middle of a shopping centre unattended. You also never see mothers leave their child outside while they run into a supermarket to buy milk – it’s just not worth the risk!

    7)        Make sure your car is secure

    It is thought that 5% of stolen dogs were taken from their owner’s cars. While it is usually safe to leave your dog in a locked car for a short period of time (in cool weather), do consider whether he is visible to people walking past and whether he would be considered a target if so.

    Recently, Frank the Pug was reunited with his  owner nearly three weeks after being snatched from his van in a supermarket car park.

    It may be safer to leave your dog at home while you go on your outing than to leave him waiting in the car. If you do have to leave him in the car (again, we stress, in the cool weather), make sure he is out of direct line of sight, and that all the doors and windows are secure. Try to park where you can see your car, so you can return to your vehicle if you suspect someone is trying to break in.

    8)     Read the news – and pay attention to your environment

    You can, of course, keep up to date with the daily doggie news via our Twitter feed, but keep an eye on your local news sources as well. Pet thefts often happen in batches, so be aware if there have been headlines about stolen dogs in your area.  And keep your eyes and ears open to any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood. If you suspect anything, tell your local authority or other relevant body.

    The Pet Theft Awareness Campaign has also compiled the statistics below – peruse them and take any relevant precautions. Don’t make yourself a target!

    day3 day7

    Hopefully none of our readers will ever experience pet theft, but we hope our advice has now made that even less likely. If you have any hints or tips which we may have missed out, do please share them below. 

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    March 14th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    We’ve been tweeting daily doggie headlines since May 2010. When you spend that much time searching for and sharing headlines, of course you’re going to notice trends and common themes occurring; the recent rise in the number of dog thefts is one which we have been following with interest.

    Here’s just a small selection of 2013’s top articles on the subject:

    Jan 2013: “Dogs stolen to order for ransom money”
    Feb 2013: “Gundogs are the new scrap metal”
    Nov 2013: “Pet Theft Census shows three cats and dogs are stolen in UK every single day”
    Nov 2013: “Half of Dog Owners Fear Garden Theft”
    Dec 2013: “Organised dog theft needs government action”
    Dec 2013: “Dog thefts rise by a fifth in 2013”

    (And it’s not just happening in the UK either: these two articles from the BBC and Time.com show that it’s a growing concern in the US and Canada as well.)

    The rise in pet thefts is a worrying trend, which could affect any pet owner at any time. Hence the launch of the now-annual event, Pet Theft Awareness Week (PTAW), which we here at Dogs In The News are proud to support.

    So, what’s it all about? Well, for one, it’s about raising awareness for the general issue of pet theft. PTAW aims “to educate people on the preventative measures that they can take to avoid their pets from being stolen and to provide them with information to action should they be unfortunate enough to lose their animal.”

    We will be covering all the information available over the course of the week, such as where dogs are most likely to be stolen from, which breeds are the most common targets, steps you can take to safeguard your pets, and, of course, what you can do to increase the chances that your pet finds their way home if it is taken.

    It’s also a chance for the owners of stolen and still missing animals to share their stories and appeal for information. Last year, we featured 10 stolen canines, and, unfortunately, all but one of them are still absent. This year, we hope to focus on a few who have been returned to their owners, as well as more who are missing and very much missed.

    Finally, PTAW aims “to campaign for tougher penalties to deter pet theft which includes custodial sentences and for police and courts to have tougher and stronger powers to prioritise the theft of pets over the theft of objects.” At the moment, a stolen pet is categorised as ‘chattel’ in the eyes of the law, and punishments are meted out as though the individual had stolen a piece of property. Of course, many of us view our pets as members of our families, and want to see stronger deterrents and sentences handed out accordingly.

    Multiple PTAW partners are campaigning for the government to take a stand on this issue, and we’ll feature some of their efforts throughout the week as well.

    We’ve set up a dedicated Pinterest board especially for PTAW – do please stop by and see some of the informative posters which the group have produced, as well as photos of dogs to look out for.  If you have any specific questions about pet theft which you’d like answered, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do.

    Coming up tomorrow: Pet Theft – Don’t Be a Target

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    March 6th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    After a record breaking year and international acclaim, the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition returns for 2014.

    Launching at Crufts, the Kennel Club is urging budding and experienced photographers to submit their canine images to the annual competition, which attracts international coverage and is viewed by tens of thousands of people from around the world. The competition, which is exclusively presented by Samsung, is now open and free to enter.

    Breaking all records, more than 5,000 people entered the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition last year, making it the biggest canine photography competition in the world. Guest judges in the past have included famed photographers Tim Flach and Martin Usborne; international award winning artist and 2012 Grange Prize Winner, Jo Longhurst; Professional photographer, Andy Biggar; the award winning agency behind o2′s BE MORE DOG; and famous dog lover, Dame Jenni Murray.

    The overall winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy NX camera and will have VIP access to photograph the Crufts Best in Show winner in 2015.

    Heidi Hudson, Kennel Club Picture Librarian, said: “The Dog Photographer of the Year competition is the biggest canine photography competition in the world and we are looking for stunning images that capture a wonderful moment and that reflect our contemporary experience of living with dogs.

    “The competition is free to enter and we urge both professional photographers and amateurs, who have a keen eye and a passion for photography, to enter. We have had numerous amateur photographers win the categories and even the overall competition, some going on to make a career out of animal photography.”

    Last year’s overall winning image, selected from the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category, was taken by Roger Sjølstad from Norway and featured a young girl and a Great Dane running through water.

    Roger will run daily photography workshops at Crufts 2014 from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th March, at 11-12pm and 2-3pm on the Samsung stand, to help people take great dog photographs. He said: “My best advice when taking a photograph is to take your time, to wait patiently for that perfect moment to arrive and when it comes, to be ready. You also need a great camera that will do your image justice.

    “Photographing animals is a joy. You want to capture something of their character and their essence in your image and to experiment with different angles. My career enables me to combine my two great passions, dogs and photography, and a competition such as this one could be a launchpad for those with similar aspirations.”

    Russell Taylor, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Samsung UK and Ireland said: “People are taking more photos than ever before and with more than 91% of adults regularly using social networks, they naturally want to be able to share their pictures instantly – whether that be photos of their friends, family or beloved pets. We make cameras that enable people to take amazing photos and then share them straight away. We’re thrilled to lend our support to Dog Photographer of the Year 2014, which brings together a wonderful mix of talent and collection of images for dog lovers across the UK.”

    Photographers are invited to send in their images under categories:

    • Portrait
    • Dogs at Play
    • Dogs at Work
    • Man’s Best Friend
    • Puppies
    • ‘I Love Dogs Because …’ (for entrants 16 and under)
    • Assistance Dogs and Charity Dogs

    To enter and for terms and conditions visit  www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk.

    Deadline to enter is 5pm (UK time) on 10th November 2014.

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    March 3rd, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    From the creation of online tools to the development of DNA tests, the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has proven beneficial to many dog owners and breeders in helping to improve the health and welfare of dogs.

    The Centre, which celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2014, was created to combine the resources and expertise of the Kennel Club and the AHT with the aim of benefitting thousands of dogs – both individuals and whole breeds.

    By developing essential tools, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies and designing breeding programmes which improve overall health of breeds, the Kennel Club Genetics Centre has helped dog breeders improve the health of their dogs by avoiding inherited diseases in their breeds.

    Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club, said: “We are committed to helping dog breeders address inherited diseases , and by working with the AHT we have, together, created a centre of excellence, which in just five years has already helped to significantly improve the health and welfare of a number of pedigree breeds.

    “The Kennel Club invests a significant part of its income towards improving dog health and welfare. Historically we have information on our registration system about millions of pedigree dogs which we use to further knowledge of dog diseases and how to prevent them. By working in partnership with the AHT, we have been able to provide a number of practical resources and expertise to aid dog breeders in their ambition to reduce or eradicate inherited diseases.

    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust invested £1.2 million into the Centre when it opened in 2009. Since then, and led by Dr Cathryn Mellersh and Dr Sarah Blott of the AHT, the Centre has:

    - collected and stored DNA samples from 11,000 dogs from 170 different breeds

    - undertaken genome-wide association studies using DNA samples from 1,461 dogs of 25 different breeds

    - identified 10 unique mutations responsible for inherited disorders known to affect 29 different breeds and developed   DNA tests which have been used to test more than 38,000 dogs through the AHT’s DNA testing facility

    Dr Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the AHT, said: “The creation of the Kennel Club Genetics Centre has enabled us to take huge steps forward in our mutation detection work. This is assisting dog breeders in their breeding decisions and, most importantly, minimising the risk of breeding affected puppies.

    “The work we are doing within the Centre is making a significant difference for thousands of dogs.”

    In addition to the mutation detection work, the Centre has helped the Kennel Club to develop and launch the revolutionary web tool, Mate Select, enabling dog breeders to find the most suitable mate for their dog.

    One of the first tools launched through this platform was the algorithm for calculating inbreeding coefficients of all Kennel Club registered dogs and for prospective matings. This service now attracts more than 23,000 searches per month.

    At Crufts 2014, scientists from the Kennel Club Genetics Centre will be demonstrating the next phase of Mate Select, which will include giving dog breeders and owners access to estimated breeding values for hip dysplasia in 15 breeds and elbow dysplasia in five breeds.

    These breeds account for more than 80,000 Kennel Club registrations per year, so these EBVs will initially be available for 33 per cent of all Kennel Club registered dogs.

    The Centre has also begun analysis of the population structure and rate of inbreeding for all 211 Kennel Club recognised breeds in an effort to better understand how this may contribute to an increased rate of inbreeding.

    Analysis has shown that approximately 40 per cent of the 132 breeds analysed to date have effective population sizes below 50 – the minimum size recommended in order to manage inbreeding.

    Dr Sarah Blott, Head of Quantitative Genetics at the AHT, said: “Management of complex diseases, those which are caused by more than just one defective gene, pose the greatest threat to the health of dogs. Of the 489 currently known genetic diseases in dogs, 72 per cent are believed to be complex.

    “The research the quantitative scientists are undertaking in the Kennel Club Genetics Centre is helping dog breeders to develop breeding strategies that will maintain long-term health by managing rates of inbreeding and reducing the prevalence of existing diseases.”

    To continue this vital work, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has committed £1.6 million to the Kennel Club Genetics and Cancer Centres at the AHT over the next five years (2014 – 2018), helping to further accelerate research into inherited diseases affecting dogs.

    The Kennel Club Genetics Centre will continue to investigate and identify mutations, develop DNA tests and enhance services available to breeders to address diseases that are clinically severe or affect large numbers of dogs.

    The funding will also enable the AHT’s cancer research team, working with the Kennel Club Cancer Centre, to acquire an innovative technology known as the ‘GeneAtlas System’. This equipment enables the investigation of tumour biopsies, collected for diagnostic purposes, in a manner that has not been previously possible.

    Initially the technology will assist in identifying gene markers that are characteristic of the metastasis (spread) of uveal melanomas, the most common primary eye tumour in dogs. It is hoped, through this research, that a test will be developed to identify whether a tumour in an individual dog will spread or not, and therefore prevent the unnecessary removal of eyes from dogs with uveal melanomas. Longer term, the intention is for the GeneAtlas System to be used in the investigation of many cancers, including lymphoma, oral melanoma and mast cell tumours.

    Professor Steve Dean added: “The Kennel Club remains passionate about improving the health and welfare of dogs. The addition of a capability to study the genetic factors associated with cancer development is a new avenue for our co-operation with the AHT and one we are very excited about, given the dominance of cancers as a cause of death and suffering in dogs. We know there is still much to do on all health related fronts, so I’m extremely pleased  that we will be funding a further five years of research, within the Kennel Club Genetics Centre and also the more recently-founded Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT.”

    Dr Mark Vaudin, Chief Executive of the AHT, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the Kennel Club on these important welfare issues. Our level of skill and expertise within the canine genetics and cancer fields is widely recognised and it is exciting to know that we will be applying our knowledge to further equip dog breeders and owners with essential information to improve the health of their breeds.”

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    March 2nd, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, is no stranger to publicity stunts. But one exhibitor is hoping to turn heads for a good cause this year when she enters the ring in a spotted Minnie Mouse onesie, complete with ears and tail.

    Denise Hurst, who shows Chihuahuas, is hoping to raise £1000 pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support. “I’ve had personal experience of the help Macmillan can give,” she said. “My husband Ray has just finished 12 courses of chemotherapy for bowel cancer and probably faces further treatment in the future. Macmillan provide both practical and emotional help to face that fight and help make sure no one faces cancer alone.”

    Denise is also raising money in memory of fellow exhibitor Sylvia Brady, who was involved with Chihuahuas before she died of cancer last year. She was scheduled to judge the Smooth Coats at Crufts 2014.

    Mrs Hurst was inspired by a group of ladies who raised over £12,600 for Cancer Research at this year’s Ladies Kennel Association show by wearing their onesies in the ring. She says she has the full support of the Kennel Club – although she has been told she’ll have to change outfits for the Group if she wins best of breed!

    Mr and Mrs Hurst will be showing a Chihuahua each – Lynpix Layla at Dejacqueray and Alltoyways Silk’n’Saffron at D. This will be Ray’s first show since his diagnosis; he will be sticking to more traditional attire.

    Mrs Hurst as Minnie Mouse can be seen on the Saturday of Crufts in ring 27, class 1736. So far, Denise has raised almost £480, and she is hoping to get over the halfway mark before Crufts.

    People can donate through the link below or at the show, as Mrs Hurst will have Macmillan collecting tins with her. We here at Dogs In The News would like to wish her the best of luck.

    Donate through JustGiving

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    February 25th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Vets at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) are warning animal owners in flood-stricken areas to be aware of the new dangers posed by receding flood waters.

    The water, which has flooded homes and land across the UK, is finally beginning to subside but vets are warning that the danger to pets and livestock remains. In areas where water has been contaminated by sewage, chemicals and other waste, farmers and pet owners will need to remain vigilant about potential health threats to their animals.

    BVA President and vet Robin Hargreaves said:

    “The terrible flooding has devastated many areas and it will be a huge relief for residents to see the waters subside. Unfortunately, the challenges for animal owners remain, as contaminated water continues to pose a threat to pets and livestock.

    “Pet owners should try to keep their animals from drinking contaminated water, as effluent and bacteria can be very harmful. It is also worth checking with your vet that you are up-to-date with all vaccinations. This will give your pet the best possible protection against diseases, such as leptospirosis, which can be spread through stagnant water.

    “Farmers need to consider the risks posed by contamination both to drinking water and feed for their livestock. Both silage and forage may have been contaminated by chemicals or waste and should not be fed to animals if they show signs of spoilage or mould. If alternative water or feed is not available it may be best to consider selling animals and reinvesting when conditions improve.”

    Animal owners in affected areas should speak to their vet if they have concerns and check with their environmental health team, who should be in a position to advise on local levels of contamination.

    For more information and advice from vets on animal welfare issues visit the BVA website at www.bva.co.uk/news

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    February 25th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    As Crufts approaches, the Kennel Club urges people to remember forgotten breeds.

    New registration statistics released by the Kennel Club reveal that the Skye Terrier, which is one of the most vulnerable of Britain’s native dog breeds – and more rare than the Giant Panda – has fallen to a record low of just 17 puppy registrations in 2013, as foreign breeds continue to thrive.

    The annual registration statistics for 2013, which have been released ahead of Crufts, where more than 200 pedigree breeds will be on show, has seen a 59 percent drop on 2012 registrations for the breed. It is estimated that there are less than 400 of the breed left in this country, making it the rarest of Britain’s vulnerable native breeds, alongside the Otterhound.

    The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds monitors those native dog breeds whose numbers are below 300 puppy registrations each year, which is thought to be a suitable level to sustain a population. An ‘at watch’ list monitors those between 300 and 450 registrations per annum that could be at risk if their numbers continue to fall.

    In total there are 25 vulnerable native breeds, including the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Deerhound, and eight ‘at watch’ breeds, including the Irish Setter and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

    Full registration statistics for all the VNBs can be found here.

    Sue Breeze, a Kennel Club Assured Breeder of Skye Terriers, who won the Best in Group at Crufts last year, said: “As somebody who adores this breed, I am terrified by this new record low in their numbers. The simple reason that Skye Terriers are in decline is that people don’t know they exist. It’s that basic.

    “We need to find ways that we can protect the breed or they won’t be around for future generations to enjoy. Winning Best in Group at Crufts last year led to a lot of enquires about the breed, but there weren’t many pups available and we’ve all been too scared to breed in recent years, for fear of the pups not having homes to go to.”

    Skye Terrier

    The shift in fashion, from native to foreign breeds, can be seen in the Kennel Club’s top ten registered breeds of 2013, with the French Bulldog knocking out long term British favourite, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Registrations of the French Bulldog, owned by the likes of Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman, have increased by 50 percent since 2012, with 6,990 registrations in 2013. This is an increase of over 1,000 percent in the last ten years. Four of the top ten breeds in the UK are now from overseas.

    The increase in popularity of foreign breeds comes as the Kennel Club prepares to recognise the Hungarian Puli, Picardy Sheepdog and the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne for the first time, on its Imported Breeds register, taking the number of dog breeds recognised by the Kennel Club to 215. These are three of only five new breeds to be recognised in the past five years.

    There are now 138 breeds which have originated overseas since the Kennel Club opened its registers in 1874, when there were just 43 breeds. There will also be two new breeds competing in their own classes at Crufts this year – the Eurasier and the Catalan Sheepdog, which have moved from the Import Register to the Breed Register and so become eligible.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Skye Terrier and other vulnerable breeds, which normally don’t register on people’s radars, will get much needed profile at Crufts, both in the show rings and the Discover Dogs area.

    “Of course, there will be imported and foreign dog breeds celebrated at the event as well – including those that have only just come into the UK – but we want Crufts to help people to remember our forgotten breeds. We register 213 breeds of dog and not just the ten or twenty obvious ones, so people should do their research and find the breed that is truly right for their lifestyle.

    “The plight of many of our native breeds is largely down to shifts in fashion and awareness. Some breeds, such as the French Bulldog and the Chihuahua, which have some very high profile owners, are thriving and the Labrador Retriever continues to maintain its top spot on our list of most popular breeds. But many of our oldest breeds simply do not have that profile. People need to ensure that the dog that they choose is right for them and that they go to a responsible breeder.”

    If people are interested in Skye Terriers they should contact the Kennel Club or the Skye Terrier Breed Club.

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    February 18th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    A special ‘Flood Fund’ has been set up by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust (KCCT), for those dogs that are in need as a result of the recent floods that have beset the country.

    The flooding has meant that some people and their dogs have had to leave their homes, whilst others are left marooned and the dogs may be going without food supplies, access to critical veterinary care or medicines. The debris underfoot and ever rising water levels may also be causing dogs injury and damage.

    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust Flood Fund will enable people to donate to dogs that have become victims of the flooding and for those in need to apply for a grant.

    Mike Townsend, Chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, said: “Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the terrible floods. The Flood Fund will help support those dogs that have been injured or that need shelter in these difficult times and we urge those who want to make a financial contribution and those who are in need of help to come forward.”

    Those who would like to donate to the Flood Fund, by cheque or debit card, or apply for a grant to help a dog or dogs that have become victims of the flooding, should contact Richard Fairlamb, KCCT Administrator, at 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB. He can also be reached by email at richard.fairlamb@thekennelclub.org.uk, or by phone on 020 7518 6874.

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    February 18th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Following reports that a puppy in Cornwall has died after biting into an e-cigarette refill, vets are warning pet owners to ensure they are kept out of reach of animals.

    British Veterinary Association (BVA) President and vet Robin Hargreaves said:

    “This is a tragic case and very worrying when you consider how many people are now using e-cigarettes. Nicotine poisoning acts very quickly and can be fatal, especially when large doses are involved. E-cigarettes and refills can easily contain sufficient quantities of nicotine to kill a small animal very quickly.

    “If you use e-cigarettes, we recommend storing all equipment safely out of reach of your pet. If you suspect your pet has chewed or eaten an e-cigarette or any toxic substance then it is vital that you contact a vet for treatment as quickly as possible.”

    BVA understands that the female puppy was a recently rehomed Staffordshire cross. It became unwell on Sunday after apparently consuming an e-cigarette refill and passed away on Monday morning after failing to respond to treatment.

    Information about other household substances which can be poisonous to pets is available by downloading the Animal Welfare Foundation leaflet: Pets and Poisons.

    For more information and advice from vets on animal welfare issues visit the BVA website at www.bva.co.uk/news

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