June 2021 Edition
The place to stay connected with the people, topics and current affairs shaping the pet industry today.
Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. www.annawebb.co.uk As Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” We’re supposed to be ‘nation of animal lovers’, so the news, following The Queen’s Speech, that Government plans to introduce new laws protecting and promoting the highest standards of animal welfare is about time! The Government’s proposals announced on May 13th by DEFRA are set out in a flagship Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which will see several new laws coming into effect, transforming the lives of animals in this country. Legislation will now be underpinned by Environment Secretary George Eustice’s landmark Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, which formally recognises animals as sentient beings in domestic law. Supported by an Animal Sentience Committee, animal sentience will be at heart of government policy and all new welfare laws introduced. To my mind this sentient status is long overdue! It means animals will, at last, be given credit for emotional intelligence, understanding their ability to feel pain, joy and fear in the same way as humans experience emotions. The impact of change in status As we navigate the final stages out of Lockdown, we’ve seen how pets have been our constant companions, our gateway to the outdoors, our stress busters, and a social network not on social media. With sentient status Government plans to crack down on dog theft that’s risen to epidemic proportions through the pandemic. Currently as a low risk, high reward crime with pets classified as chattel under the Theft Act 1968, my hope is sentience will bring penalties for dog theft in line with kid-napping. To me considering animals, as anything less than sentient has for decades caused suffering and heartbreak, with animal cruelty and neglect cases rise year on year. Legislation been out of touch both with modern science proving animals’ emotional intelligence and with socio-economic factors reinforcing that pets are family. With ‘sentience’ a legal precedent, I hope that several proposed Bills become legislation expediently like Andrew Rosindell MP’s Jasmines Law to ban ‘no pet’ clauses in rented or leasehold accommodation. And realise Chris Loder MP’s Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill otherwise known as #FinnsLawPart2, recently passed through Parliament, raising the penalty for animal cruelty and neglect from a pathetic maximum six month sentence to a five year sentence. In addition to The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, the Action Plan for Animal Welfare includes The Kept Animals Bill, and the Animals Abroad Bill,
Anyone else get a letter from 10 Downing Street this week? In August last year Vinnie wrote an open letter to Dilyn the Downing Street Dog and whilst he didn’t get a direct response, suddenly great things started happening – we wonder if he had a ‘PAW’ in any of it. Andrew Rosindell MP introduced Jasmine’s Law to Parliament. Robert Jenrick MP made positive changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement, making it easier to rent with pets, a move we consider to be a nod of support for Jasmine’s Law. The positive impact of pets to people continues to feature heavily in news and on social media. In preparation for joining as a panelist on the recent webinar to formally introduce Andrew Rosindell MP’s ‘Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill’ we decided to reach out once more, this time to the Boss. And so, we wrote Dear Prime Minister Thanks for all your efforts to keep us safe during these unprecedented times. Those of us with pets have benefited massively from their love and companionship. As Dilyn’s human Dad, and Larry’s guardian and boss, I wondered if you would take the time to answer a few non-political questions for our NewsHounds. We hope you say yes. We know that Larry has long been known as Chief Mouser in Westminster. Aside from the important title of Downing Street Dog, if Dilyn had a role in your cabinet what would his title/job description be? When you head out walking together what’s the best advise Dilyn’s ever given you or vice versa? On a more serious note, Dilyn is a puppy farm rescue, we admire you and your family for falling in love with the little guy and shining a light on rescue. What advice would you give to anyone looking to bring a puppy into their family. What’s Dilyn’s favourite food/treats. Does he share them with Larry, we assume they are secretly friends! The human animal bond has never been more significant, alleviating both loneliness and the stresses of everyday life. Being constantly in the limelight can you sum up in few words the power of the non-judgmental and unconditional love we get from our pets. Gabby (& Vinnie Dog) We crossed our fingers and paws for a response, as the days passed and we busied ourselves with all things PAAW House, we forgot all about our note to the PM. Imagine our surprise when our inbox pinged on March 23rd with a message from Number 10. Downing Street wrote back Dear Ms Kuehn and Vinnie I would like to thank you for your email of 23rd February to the Prime Minister regarding pets. I hope
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Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. www.annawebb.co.uk Pets in the Pandemic Dogs owners have been the lucky ones through this, I know I certainly wouldn’t have survived without my gang – and that includes Gremlin, my rescued streetcat. The animal human bond has been well documented for around 30,000 years. ‘Back in the day’, sharing a simple life with dogs must have looked so different, yet I bet we were more in tune with them and the nature around us. What I think the pandemic has done is make us all re-calibrate our values. Everyone has been affected. And pets (dogs in particular) have provided a therapy, perhaps being a mirror to our inner selves? Health Benefits of Pets Dogs in particular represent big values at the heart of government, not least where physical fitness and health is concerned. Whilst many dog owners rely on dog walkers every day, my hope is that through the lock downs, owners have discovered the joy that is walking their own dog, and the mutual benefits it offers. As a gateway to the outdoors dogs have played their part in bringing us closer to nature and valuing the natural world that helps with mental health, and being in the moment. There’s so much science that concurs the health benefits dogs offer. A study back in 1991 showed that new dog owners, when compared to people without dogs, increased their exercise and had fewer minor health problems, and less trips to their GP. Growing up around pets helps children learn respect, empathy and kindness. Evidence suggests that children with dogs are also less likely to have ear infections, tummy bugs, and allergies. And less days away from school and at the doctor. Simply having a dog in a room lowers everyone’s blood pressure and cholesterol. A study in 2002 showed that people with a dog or a cat showed a lower resting heart rate and blood pressure than those who didn’t own a pet. Dog owners are also more likely to survive a heart attack according to a study that showed 94% of heart patients with dogs survive their heart attacks, compared to only 72% without dogs. Stroking your own dog releases the ‘happy hormone’ Oxcytocin, which boosts our wellbeing – naturally, without antidepressants. We know loneliness creates depression and is a silent killer, which is why dog owners are said to be happier than people without a dog. Pets and Companionship It’s this lifeline – constant companionship – where both
On World Book Day Battersea celebrates the Rescue Dogs helping Children to read. This World Book Day, it’s not just children missing out on the fun of the classroom. Since leaving the much-loved charity, many Battersea rescue dogs have spent their time visiting children around the country as therapy dogs, often acting as a quiet companion to be read aloud to. Claire O’Hagan, Rehoming and Welfare Manager at Battersea, says, “At Battersea, our staff and volunteers will often take time to sit and read with dogs in kennels. It not only provides companionship and enrichment for the dog but can be really therapeutic for the person. Every single rescue dog is amazing in their own way, and we are always so pleased to hear of those that go on to do great things once they leave Battersea, such as becoming qualified therapy dogs in schools, hospitals, care homes and many other places.” As lockdown restrictions are currently preventing them from doing the job they love this World Book Day, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on just three of the incredible Battersea rescue dogs helping children to read. DIAMOND, AGE 4 Gorgeous Greyhound, Diamond, was rehomed from Battersea in 2018 by Zoey Lee, a veterinary receptionist from Hampshire. As soon as Diamond had settled into her new home, it was clear she had more to offer than simply being a beloved member of the family. Zoey says, “A young relative of mine had really been struggling with his reading. Diamond is great with children and enjoys anything where she can have a lie-down, so we found that he really enjoyed reading to her and she enjoyed the experience, too. I’d always wanted to explore the Pets As Therapy route so, after completing our training and becoming qualified, myself and Diamond began visiting a local library as part of the Read2Dogs scheme.” “Diamond will lie down while the children take it in turns to read to her. If they’re nervous it’s like she knows, and she’ll rest a paw or her head on their leg. One boy had never read more than a few words out loud, but in his first session with Diamond he read a whole page. I think it takes the pressure off; she’s not going to judge them or mind if they get words muddled up.” COCO, AGE 6 Adorable Pug, Coco, lives with Mary, a deputy headteacher from West London. Mary says, “Our secondary school is for students with complex learning and physical disabilities. We decided we would like a therapy dog to join our staff team, so we contacted Battersea. In May 2019, they rang to say they had the perfect dog – Coco had
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Has your Dog got the PAAW Factor? Hello Friends Entries are now open for our PAAWstival Charity Dog Awards in aid of StreetVet, The Wild at Heart Foundation and our guest charities. Has your DOG got the PAAW Factor? 7 categories, lots of exciting prizes to be won including a whooping top prize of £10,000 and the Burly Bear Award to the overall winner. It’s been a tough year for animal charities, The PAAWstival Awards aims to raise much needed funds for them. All profits go to our charities StreetVet and The Wild at Heart Foundation with an additional donation to our guest charities. Enter today www.paawstival.co.uk PAAWstival Summer Season by PAAW House PAAWstival Online Charity Dog Awards is part of the ‘PAAWstival Summer Season’ taking place in the run up to PAAWstival 2021 where winners will be announced. Stay tuned for details of other events including ‘National Pets Are Always Welcome Day’ on 28th August. PAAWstival 2021, London’s premier Urban Festival celebrating all things pet will take place in the heart of London on the aptly named ‘Isle of Dogs’ on 4th & 5th September 2021. A petcentric festival with a difference, offering something for all the family, like nothing seen before in the heart of our city www.paawstival.co.uk Thanks to all our friends and supporters including; Our sponsors, media partners and supporters; This is Vertus Canary Wharf, Butternut Box, Pride Radio, A Dogs Life Podcast, Drake & Morgan, PhotobyA4 and House of Denna Our guest judges; Anna Webb, Awon Golding, Burly Bear Pom, Collette Cooper, James Greenwood, Jo Good, Joseph Sinclair, Ken O Rourke, Marc Abraham, Marcel Le Corgi, Nikki Tibbles and Russ Kane. Our Chief Ambassador Burly Bear for the Burly Bear Award. Guest charities include; Ark Doris UK, Pippa’s Army, Bow Lodge Cat Rescue and Mudchute Park and Farm.
YOU know you’re special, WE know your special – that’s why we want YOU to join Burly Bear and our VIPP backstage crew. Passionate about all things pet friendly, want to make the world a better place for pets – Influencer, ambassador, activist, game changer, ALL of the above!? Want to become a member of our FAMILY, get your hands on exclusive merch, entry into monthly prize draws, VIP treatment at our events, AAA access to our members areas and be the the first to know what we are up to and shake up the status quo! Whether you’ve got 1000 or 100,000.00 followers – WE want you to join our crew, If this sounds like YOU and your dog or mog or tortoise come to that – Email us NOW for all the details: [email protected]