Shouldn’t The Punishment Fit The Crime?


By Marie Carter, Editor of Pets Magazine, as published at Huffington Post.

Barely a week goes by without there being yet another story in the media about animal cruelty. Thanks to social media, we are now regularly confronted on Twitter and Facebook news feeds by images of extreme pet neglect and abuse. Cases of cruelty towards animals seem to be increasing among our nation of animal lovers. Appalled by these acts, we discover that that the perpetrators are handed out ‘suspended sentences’ and not real prison time. Shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime?

Two cases of suspended sentencing
In the last two weeks, two cases of extreme animal abuse have shocked the nation. One involves appalling neglect of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by Northern Irish dog breeder Gordon Laverty. All six spaniels in Laverty’s care were found to be severely malnourished, unable to stand up properly and had coats that were severely matted. Laverty, due to his clean record and guilty plea in court, was handed a ten-month suspended sentence and banned from keeping pets for twenty years.

Another case that has also united the public in its outrage is that of Stephen Woodhouse, the Northamptonshire-based Flybe pilot who drowned his neighbour’s Border Terrier in a bucket of water because he’d been annoyed by its barking. Callously, Woodhouse dumped the poor dog’s body in a hedgerow, only to return the day after to bloodthirstily hack out its microchip in order to cover his tracks. When his neighbours were searching frantically for their beloved pet dog, Woodhouse kept up the pretence of ignorance, only handing himself in after they became increasingly suspicious. Woodhouse was also given a suspended sentence; in his case, a meagre 12 weeks, suspended for two years.

So what is a suspended sentence? 
A suspended sentence is issued when an individual is convicted of a crime and given a sentence to serve for that crime; however, the person will not have to serve that sentence immediately and may never have to serve it at all. It essentially means that an individual has been found guilty of an offence but provided that he/she refrains from certain activities – i.e. keeping pets – they will not have to serve prison time. If the sentencing provisions are infringed during the duration of the ‘suspension’, they will be sent to prison for the time that was suspended. 

Why are sentences so lenient?
The problem with too lenient sentencing in cases of extreme animal abuse or neglect can be put down to the fact that pets are regarded in law as ‘chattels’ or property. They do not have ‘personhood’ and thus are deemed to have only the basic rights of food, shelter and good welfare – as defined by the Animal Welfare Act (2006). Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice.

Interestingly, attorneys in New York are currently arguing in court that two chimps should be given the legal distinction of personhood. Hercules and Leo are at the centre of a landmark case and their attorneys from the Nonhuman Rights Project say they are unlawfully imprisoned at New York University and are asking the court to free them. Steven Wise, head attorney for the chimps, says they are “autonomous and self-determined beings” who deserve freedom of their bodies. The Nonhuman Rights Project is seeking to have Hercules and Leo removed from their university housing and moved to a chimp sanctuary in Florida. The defence has said that, if successful, the case could open the floodgates to applications for personhood on behalf of zoo and companion animals. 

There are basic protections in the UK as outlined in the Animal Rights Act, unlike in other jurisdictions such as Denmark. Last week, a live baby rabbit was killed on air to demonstrate the “hypocrisy” of animal rights campaigners who eat meat from supermarkets. Radio24syv presenter Asger Juhl was hosting a live debate when he reportedly hit nine-week-old rabbit Allan with a bicycle pump to demonstrate his thinking. Alarmingly, the presenter seems to have been endorsed by the radio station. 

A statement from the radio station reads: “We ensured that we killed the rabbit in a sound manner, in accordance with very precise instructions that were given to us by a zookeeper- so the rabbit did not suffer any harm. It is not our wish to offend anyone with this debate. And we regret that many people have misunderstood our message. But we hope that this heated debate creates better conditions for animals in Danish agriculture.”

Of course, Denmark was only last year at the wrong end of public interest over its animal welfare record in the case of the controversial killing of Marius the giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo. 

That doesn’t mean that because other countries have poor records on animal welfare, we should hold our heads high. Even if the courts are hampered by legal definitions of personhood or otherwise, they do have the freedom to mete out stronger sentences. As the public backlash over recent horrific animal cruelty cases has proven, there is an appetite for stronger sentencing. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as a country, were to badge ourselves as a nation of true animal lovers by ensuring that the punishment fits the crime in such cases? Appropriate sentencing would then act as a real deterrent for those so minded to harm innocent creatures. 

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Dog Reunited With Owners After Three Years 

PicturePDSA vet nurse Gemma Vance scans Mon’s microchip with owner Eoin Markey

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier missing for three years has been reunited with her owners thanks to a microchip.

Four-year-old Mon went missing from her family home in Belfast in 2012 after escaping from the garden. Her owner, Eoin Markey, tried in vain to find his beloved pooch, putting up posters and searching the local area but Mon was nowhere to be seen.

But on Wednesday 20 May, two railway workers at Yorkgate station came across a lone dog on the track and took her to veterinary charity PDSA’s Pet Branch on Shore Road.

PDSA Veterinary Nurse, Gemma Vance, said: “Mon was brought to us as a stray dog and so we scanned her for a microchip. Much to our relief she had been chipped by her owner and we were able to check the database and find not only her owner’s contact details, but also that she had been missing since 2012.”

Gemma immediately picked up the phone and called a shocked Eoin to let him know Mon was safe and well.

Eoin said: “I answered the phone and a voice told me they had found Mon. I couldn’t believe it. I had to ask if they were sure it was Mon as she’d been missing for so long. It was a bolt out of the blue!

“I’m so grateful to the people who found her and took her somewhere safe, and also to PDSA for checking if she was microchipped. Me and my partner often spoken about Mon, wondering what had happened to her and whether she was still alive. She left a huge hole in our lives and anyone who has lost a pet will know just how heart-breaking it is. But when we saw Mon, my partner burst into tears and I think Mon was pleased to see us too!”

Every year, thousands of pets across the UK go missing. Sadly many are never reunited with their owners, but microchipped pets stand a better chance of a happy homecoming. Research from the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found 84 per cent of dogs are microchipped and only 60 percent of cats. This leaves millions of pets at greater risk of never being reunited with their owner if they go missing.

Gemma adds: “Mon wasn’t wearing a collar when she was found, so I was relieved when I scanned her and found her microchip. Sadly, many other pets aren’t so lucky.

“Here in Northern Ireland we’re ahead of the rest of the UK, with microchipping of dogs being a legal requirement. Although any dog in a public place must wear a collar and tag by law, collars can sometimes come loose. It’s also important to remember that cats should be microchipped too, even indoor cats can escape through open doors and windows.” 

PDSA’s vets and nurses care for over 470,000 sick and injured pets across the UK at its Pet Hospitals and Pet Practices. It costs the charity almost £60 million every year to provide this service. To find out more about PDSA’s work go to

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What Foods Should You Avoid Feeding Your Cat? 


By Jack Titmuss of Time for Paws
Some common foods consumed by humans can cause health problems if fed to cats. In some cases, seemingly innocent foods may even be highly toxic to cats and could result in their death. If you own a cat, it’s therefore vital that you know which foods to keep away from your kitty. Here are some top examples:


It’s common knowledge that chocolate and dogs don’t mix, and the same is true for cats. Most cats don’t have a sweet tooth anyway, but to be cautious you should never give your cat a chocolate treat. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that is poisonous to cats. At best, it may cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but in the worst-case scenario your cat can suffer a fatal heart attack or seizure.


Feeding your cat onions might not be something that would ever occur to you, but be careful not to leave any dishes lying around in the kitchen with onions mixed into them, such as meaty stews. Your cat may jump up onto the work surface when you’re not looking and have a nibble at your leftovers, inadvertently ingesting some onion. Raw and cooked onions, and even onion powder, can be toxic for cats as it wipes out their red blood cells.

Dairy Products

You might think that giving your cat a saucer of milk makes for a nourishing treat, but you are likely doing more harm than good. Cats don’t have the ability to digest the lactose that is present in milk and other dairy products, which can result in tummy problems and diarrhoea. Never substitute milk for water, as this may lead a cat to suffer from dehydration. The only drink that a cat needs is water.


It may come as a surprise to many cat owners to discover that giving your feline friend raw, canned or even cooked fish may be detrimental to their health. This is because fish can deplete thiamine, a type of vitamin B, in a cat. If this deficiency isn’t addressed, your cat may suffer from health issues that can result in their death. Don’t panic if your cat has eaten small amounts of fish in the past, however. It’s only usually a concern if fish is fed to a cat in high doses. Canned cat food with fish in it is safe as it’s supplemented with thiamine.

Dog Food

You run out of tins of cat food, so you think that giving your cat some of the dog’s food instead will do the trick? Think again. Cat food is designed specifically to give a cat the necessary amount of nutrients it needs. Dog food doesn’t meet a cat’s requirements for nutrients, so if you feed your cat dog food, it will be missing out on key ingredients to keep it healthy. In particular, dog food lacks the protein, fat and the amino acid taurine that cats require to stay in tip-top condition.
Fat Trimmings

It might seem harmless enough to feed your cat fat trimmings off a joint of meat, but it won’t do your cat’s digestive tract any favours. As well as causing sickness and diarrhoea, it can also lead to an inflamed pancreas. Avoid giving your cat the bones from meat joints, too. Bones may cause dental problems or even choking.

Grapes and Raisins

For humans, grapes and raisins make a tasty, nutritious snack. For cats, they can be toxic and may result in kidney failure. The reason for this is unknown, but make sure you avoid feeding even small amounts to your cat.

So there you have it, a list of foods to avoid feeding to your cat. Take a look at what you’re feeding your pet and make sure you’re not giving them anything that they shouldn’t be eating in the future to keep them happy and healthy.


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Rabies Case Identified in France


A case of canine rabies has been reported in Chambon-Feugerolles, close to Saint-Etienne in the Loire Valley.
The seven month old bull terrier died during the night of May 17 to 18, while under quarantine at a veterinary practice, after biting a family member and the dog of a neighbour.  Tests at the Pasteur Institute confirmed rabies infection after positive tests by direct immunofluorescence, ELISA and virus isolation.

The dog had originally been acquired from Hungary in late December 2014, and entered France illegally without vaccination. However, as a result of virus typing, it is believed that the dog became infected with rabies during a visit to Algeria (21st April – 7th May 2015).

As a result local restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated and unidentified dogs, cats and ferrets have been imposed until 27th October 2015. Any vaccinated animals which have been in contact with the dog will be monitored for 6 months, while unvaccinated animals will be euthanased.

The occurrence of rabies in a single imported animal does not affect rabies status of the country or affect normal movements under the Pet Travel Scheme.
BSAVA President, Tricia Colville said: “Once again this case demonstrates the importance of complying with the requirements of pet travel legislation. Anyone acquiring a dog (or a cat or a ferret) from abroad has to be sure that it is fully compliant with the regulations. There is now a minimum age of 12 weeks for rabies vaccination under the Pet travel scheme as well as a requirement to wait 21 days before travel within Europe, this means that any animal under the age of 15 weeks will not be compliant.

“We would urge pet owners in the UK to only take their animals overseas if they are confident that they comply with the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme – and to also consider if travelling with that animal is really in its best interest.”
There are concerns amongst the public and the veterinary profession about the potential for rabies to enter the UK via illegal importation of susceptible animals.  UK veterinary surgeons are reminded that responsibility for dealing with illegal imports rests with local authorities; usually Trading Standards or Environmental Health.  It may be appropriate for veterinary practices to contact their local authority to ensure that they know how to report such cases before the need arises. In theory all animals entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme should have their documentation checked.  If a veterinary surgeon in practice finds any suggestion of non-compliance they should inform Defra – [email protected].
Vaccination & rabies in the UK
The BSAVA strongly advocates the use of vaccination as a vital defence against infectious disease in companion animals. These include vaccinations for distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parvovirus, and leptospirosis. These are called core vaccines, which ALL dogs and cats, regardless of circumstances or location, should receive.
Non-core vaccines are required in only certain circumstances – based on geography, the local environment, or because a particular lifestyle places an animal at risk of contracting specific infections. These include Kennel Cough (vaccination should be considered for dogs before kennelling or other situations where they mix with other dogs, such as training classes or dog shows); canine herpes (for breeding bitches), and leishmanaisis (before travelling to endemic areas), and rabies (for dogs travelling abroad or returning to the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme)
Vaccines should not be given needlessly and non-core vaccines should only be provided if necessary; this will be clear after a consultation with your vet. Whilst BSAVA understands that British pet owners may be concerned when hearing about rabies cases in Europe, the current advice is you should only vaccinate your pet for rabies if you intend to travel outside the UK.
So there is no current scientific evidence to suggest that dogs in the UK should be vaccinated against rabies, unless you intend to travel with your animal – in which case you should ensure you fully comply with relevant pet travel legislation. Remember to get your pet microchipped before the rabies vaccination or they will need to be vaccinated again.

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BBQ Blues For Bull Mastiff


Pet owners are being warned about the dangers of BBQs after a dog was left fighting for his life.

The warning comes after a puppy from Ponteland, Newcastle, nearly died after chomping on a barbeque skewer which punctured his intestine and caused an infection so serious he would have died if left untreated. 

Owner Julie Chamberlain first became concerned when her seven-month-old Bull Mastiff cross, Kuma, went off his food and started being sick. She rushed him to Gateshead PDSA Pet Hospital, where an ultrasound scan showed unusual fluid in his abdomen. With x-rays not clearing up the mystery of Kuma’s distress the next step was for vets to carry out exploratory surgery.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Rebecca Johnston, said: “Everyone was stunned when we found out what was causing the problem.

“Kuma had a large abscess in his abdomen. We then found the culprit – a 10cm wooden kebab skewer. It had clearly been there for a while, as it had punctured through his intestine to move into his abdominal cavity. This had caused a major infection – Kuma is very lucky to be alive!”

Kuma received round-the-clock intensive care from PDSA for a couple of days, but thankfully he was soon back on four paws – and free from tummy ache.  

Julie and her family were desperately worried, as they realised how serious his condition was:

“We thought we would lose him. The kids were devastated and I was heartbroken. When the vet said it was a kebab skewer I was totally shocked, as I’m incredibly careful with Kuma due to his tendency to eat everything in sight. I have no idea where he got it from. I’m just so grateful to PDSA for everything they’ve done, the care and attention Kuma received was second to none.”

Kuma has a history of gobbling things he shouldn’t – he tried to eat his own harness once and has also chewed and eaten half a remote control.

Julie added: “Kuma is adorable but it’s like having a naughty toddler – I have to keep an eye on him every hour of every day. He sleeps in my room with the door closed so he doesn’t get into mischief at night and wears a muzzle outside the house, simply to prevent him eating anything he comes across. I’ve now started working with a dog trainer to help with Kuma’s behaviour, and to teach him what he can and can’t eat!”

With barbeque season approaching, PDSA vets have put together a handy guide to keep pets safe and sound this Bank Holiday. It is available at

PDSA’s BBQ safety tips for pets include the following:

Skip the scraps – eating barbecue scraps can upset your pet’s stomach – undercooked, unfamiliar or fatty food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Bin it – make sure any leftover food and rubbish is properly thrown away in a lidded dustbin. PDSA vets see many pets that have eaten corn-on-the-cob-cores, which can cause a serious blockage, or kebab skewers which can perforate internal organs. These have to be surgically removed.

Don’t be a ‘fuel’ – lighter fluid contains hydrocarbons (derived from crude oil), which can prove fatal if ingested. So keep it well out of reach.

Flamin’ hot – playing around a barbecue can lead to severe burns, so pets should be kept well away from flames and burning embers.

Watch what you drink – make sure that glasses and drinks are not within reach of thirsty pets. Alcohol is particularly hazardous for pets and glass bottles or cups can be easily knocked over and smash – so plastic cups are a much better option. 

Slap on the sun cream – pets can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke just like humans, so if you’re enjoying the sun ensure your four-legged friends have access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Special pet sun creams can be used on pets with white fur or exposed skin, take extra care with white ears and noses. 

About PDSA

For more information visit

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Protect Pets from ‘Cable Blight’ this Bank Holiday!


Three quarters of UK homes now contain more than 20 electrical products, according to new research by cable management specialists D-Line.

The study shows the growing potential for cables to be a hazard in the home, a worry for many pet owners, particularly those with playful puppies.

40.6 per cent of people own more than ten home entertainment products, such as TVs, blu ray players and games consoles, according to the survey.

When asked about the product they had most of, 60pc said TVs were the most numerous in their home, with some stating they had up to six sets. Some respondents admitted to having as many as five games consoles.

Paul Ruddick, Managing Director of D-Line, said: “The danger of a pet getting caught in cables, nibbling wires, or accidentally pulling an electrical item off a desk is a concern for many owners.

“With up to six TVs in a home, among more than 20 electrical products, ranging from lamps to surround sound systems, the popularity of electrical items is greater than ever.

“Fewer than 7pc of people said the number of products in their homes was ten or below, with 87.5pc saying there were more then 15.

“A couple of years ago, we conducted some research that showed the average UK home has 170m of wiring, and I suspect from this latest survey data that this would now be even higher.

“What this tells us is that, without adequate measures to manage the multitude of cables in the home, occupants risk problems ranging from unsightly tangles and dirt traps to trip hazards.

“This need not be the case, as we have led the way in the development of a range of products, which not only keep the cables neat, but are easy to fit, look great and blend into the aesthetics of any home. These products include Cable Tidy Units, to hide multi-sockets and other items behind TVs, and D-Line trunking that looks great in the home.

He added: “When you look at the numbers of games consoles and TVs in many homes, it is easy to see how those cables add up to far more than the sum of the products themselves, with multiple wires going between the component parts of an entertainment system. Yet, many people leave these cables to intertwine in plain sight of inquisitive toddlers or even pets, and it is all too easy for accidents to happen.

“By covering these cables, or even banding them together, many of these issues can be avoided, making the home neater, safer and easier to keep clean.”

D-Line’s range of products is available in leading retailers, including B&Q, Homebase or Screwfix.

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‘Naivety’ of Pet Owners Leaves 250,000 animals unwanted, says animal charity


‘Blind faith’ and ‘naivety’ among would-be pet owners is leading to thousands of animals being rejected and returned to rehoming centres around the UK.

According to research released today in advance of next week’s National Unwanted Pet Week, almost half of all pet owners say they did not seek advice before choosing a pet.

Wood Green, The Animals Charity, which launched the awareness campaign for the first time last year, says the naivety around pet ownership is in part responsible for the increasing number of abandoned and unwanted animals finding themselves at a rescue centre.

In its survey of pet owners, Wood Green discovered that as many as 44.1% of people took no advice whatsoever before selecting an animal.

Just one fifth (22%) took the step of contacting a local rescue centre for advice – a step which the charity stresses could so easily be preventing thousands more deserving and loving animals spending months awaiting a ‘forever home’.

According to recent statistics by the Association of Dog and Cat Homes, there are approximately 250,000 unwanted animals in the UK at any one time. Wood Green believes that startling fact is being worsened with each passing month, given that they have seen a 6% rise in stray dogs in the last six months alone.

“Our research shows that people in Britain still identify us as a nation of animal lovers, so it’s depressing to see the stark reality behind the number of dogs, cats and smaller animals which are awaiting a loving home at any one time,” said Sally Stevens, Director of Communications for Wood Green.

“What I would urge anyone interested in pet ownership to do, is to please please do your research first.

“You wouldn’t purchase something like a smart phone without taking advice or seeking recommendation, so it seems incredible to me – and to the thousands of us which work in the animal charity sector – that potential pet owners would rely on blind faith alone and then be left surprised by the way their new animal fits into the home and lifestyle.”

Wood Green urges those looking for a pet to consider such aspects as:

  • How much exercise will my new pet need?
  • Am I confident I can afford it?
  • Can I give this pet enough time and attention?
  • How much bigger might it grow?

On the positive side, however, research timed for National Unwanted Pet Week did reveal that owners identified strong benefits from having taken on an animal (in the right circumstances).

Over two thirds of respondents said they gained loyalty and affection from owning a pet, with a further third citing improved health benefits around reduced stress and more exercise intake.

Ms Stevens added: “We are a nation of animal-lovers, so please show some love for those unlucky pets looking for their forever home by supporting Wood Green’s National Unwanted Pet Week.”

National Unwanted Pet Week runs from next Monday May 25 until Sunday May 31. To find our more, visit

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Pets Magazine’s Star Office Dog 


Ted is a four-year old West Highland Terrier who has been coming into work with his owner Steph Boulton, director of supply teacher agency First Class Supply, since she adopted him as a rescue dog at nine months from Westies in Need. 

Everyone loves cute and cuddly Ted and he loves the attention (and treats!) he gets from staff and clients. 

“Ted’s fantastic for office morale and when you’re having a busy day he really helps with motivation. Not with any great insights of course but by giving a paw, a waggy tail or a lick on the hand. It’s hard not to smile and to let any worries of the day fall away,” Steph says. 

Some people are allergic to, or anxious around dogs, however, and so Steph and co-director Lesley Robinson always check before introducing Ted to new people.

“Some people ask whether he’s friendly, and I always say he might lick them to death! Most people love that we’ve a real office dogsbody, but it’s important to ask first before introducing him. 

“He can really help with nerves as well. Many supply teaching applicants can be slightly anxious when they come in for their interviews, but when they see Ted they often say the butterflies just go away, and they’re at ease,” Steph explains.

“Ted’s a fantastic stress therapist for everyone and I’d recommend that every office has their own version of Ted. They’d never be without a pet at work again.”

Does your office or workplace have an office pet? If so, get in touch with your stories and photos by emailing the editor at [email protected]

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‘Animal Champions’ Given RSPCA Honours For Dedication to Animal Welfare 

PictureHarvey’s Army with the RSPCA’s chief veterinary officer James Yeates

Brave volunteer rescuers, a campaigning group that succeeded in changing the law and a comedy legend are among those given RSPCA Honours in recognition of their dedication to animal welfare.

Ricky Gervais was presented with the Arthur Broome Bronze Award for speaking out against animal cruelty and  championing the work of animal charities to his eight million Twitter followers.

The Office creator and star, who is currently filming in Los Angeles, was sent his award, which recognises an important contribution in the field of animal welfare.

The campaigning group behind what became known as Harvey’s Law also received the Arthur Broome Bronze Award, during the fifth annual RSPCA Honours which took place on Saturday (16.5.15). Pets killed on Britain’s highways will now be collected, identified and their owners notified, thanks largely to the petition launched by the group, which was signed by more than 100,000 people.

The campaign was launched by Nina Blackburn after her friend Jude Devine’s dog Harvey was killed on the M62 minutes after he went missing in 2013 – only for Jude to find out months later, after spending thousands of pounds searching for her beloved poodle.

A volunteer RNLI crew from Merseyside was recognised for their brave rescue of a dog in treacherous conditions at New Brighton in February.

The RSPCA Honours are an opportunity to recognise and honour all these people and organisations that help to make the lives of animals better; through kindness, courage, determination and innovation. Awards are given for bravery, outstanding service and to recognise exceptional contributions to animal welfare.

Dermot Murphy, the RSPCA’s Interim Assistant Director Inspectorate, said: “The RSPCA has a proud history of dedication to ending animal cruelty and preventing suffering. It is a history that will continue long into the future thanks to the magnificent work of our inspectors and front line staff.

“However, there is no doubting the enormous role played by other organisations, campaigners and tireless individuals to furthering the cause of animal welfare.

“The Honours recognise those people from both inside and outside the RSPCA who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to protecting and helping animals.

“It is thanks to them that thousands of animals are able to lead happy and healthy lives today.”

Winner of the Sir RSPCA Honours include the RSPCA’s former Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research Animals Dr Maggy Jennings OBE. She was presented with the Sir Patrick Moore Award, in memory of the former RSPCA vice president, in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of animal welfare science.

Surrey vet Carl Boyde was awarded the Lord Erskine Silver honour, after his 60 years of service in which he provided vital support to RSPCA investigations into allegations of animal cruelty. Mr Boyde, from Chertsey, received the award which is in recognition of an individual who has made an important contribution to the field of animal welfare.

Lifelong animal lover Lorraine Carey was also given the Arthur Broome Bronze Award after she raised more than £5,500 for the charity through a series of extreme challenges.

The personal trainer from Winteringham has so far climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, done a skydive over Las Vegas and completed a 5km swim across Lake Windermere, along with numerous running and hiking events.

She decided to raise money for the RSPCA after the charity rescued three stranded horses that were chest deep in freezing water following a storm surge in the village where she lives.

A full list of all the RSPCA Honours winners can be found at <

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Animal Charity to Stage Guinness World Record Attempt


Over 764 Adult Companion Dogs Needed to Break “Most Dogs Wearing A Bandana In One Place” Record!

Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand’s leading dog and cat welfare charity, has announced the launch of an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for “Most dogs wearing a bandana in one place”, to be held on grounds surrounding the Hope and Anchor Inn, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire on Saturday 27th June 2015.  The fun day out will start at 10.30am, with the record attempt scheduled for 1.00pm.

Organisers Isabel Van De Ven and Zat Lewis, UK supporters of the Thai charity, said: “This is purely being staged as part of a fun, family day out in the countryside. We’ll have lots of activities for the kids, as well as  pub food, bric a brac, bottle stalls, tea room, healthy living stall, face painting, dog boutique, dog shows, dog agility demonstrations, a luxury raffle with first prize as a trip to Thailand, and lots more for all the family.  We encourage everyone in the vicinity of Ross-on-Wye to come along, and bring your adult dog or dogs with you, for a day you’ll never forget.”

The current Guinness World Record for most dogs wearing a bandana in one place stands at 364, and Ms Van De Ven is hoping to break this by attracting over 764 adult dogs and their owners to the event. 

“Anyone in the area with an adult dog can come along, have a great day out, and be a Guinness World Record holder by the time they get home!”, added Ms Van De Ven.  

“Admission is £1, but it’s free to participate in the record attempt. All we require is that if you want to take part, you will need to register on arrival, pick up your free dog bandana (free to the first 500 dogs entering), have your dog verified as an adult, and briefly checked by a vet to ensure your pet is in good health. That’s it.”

More information on the event can be found on Facebook at:

Anyone with specific information requests concerning the event can email: [email protected]

Ms Van De Ven hopes that the event will also raise awareness of the Soi Dog Foundation charity in Thailand, which cares for homeless dogs and cats in Phuket and Bangkok by offering sterilisation and vaccination programmes, emergency medical treatment for sick and injured street animals, and an adoptions programme. Soi Dog Foundation is also leading the fight against Thailand’s illegal dog meat trade, and just recently started a campaign in Vietnam to try and end the dog meat trade there as well.  More details on Soi Dog Foundation can be found at

Soi Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003, is a legally registered charity in Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and Holland. Our mission statement is to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. John Dalley, co-founder and vice president, is available for interview.

For more information please visit or

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