There are many amazing dog rescue groups and
organisations around the UK which are run and staffed by animal-lovers who are
dedicated to helping unwanted, abandoned and abused pets. They work hard to find
forever homes for the animals and give them a second chance.
Vote for Little Mae
agility rescue dog Mae has been short listed in the Companion category for the
Naturo Superdog Awards.
Mae has been with her owner Helen Jones through a very difficult 18 months when
her Mum passed from Alzheimers and her Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Mae had a
very sad start to her life, left chained in a barn as she wasn’t interested in
working sheep. She was rescued by a kindly farmer and rehomed with Helen. They
started their agility journey together, going from complete beginners to a few
wins away from G6. Unfortunately, due to Covid, all shows were cancelled last
year and Mae was retired from competitive classes.
all the fun and success they had at agility, it was Mae's ability to help others
which made Helen nominate her. They used to go into local schools to help with
reading as a registered therapy dog and visit the nursing home where Helen's Mum
lived a few times a week. Residents would come over and stroke her, too.
Mae was awarded Wales’s Most Loyal Pet earlier this year. This little dog has
come a long way from an abusive start and to a well loved therapy dog. She has
been a true friend through difficult times.
Finals are in London in November and the closing date to vote is 19th September.
Little Mae is hoping all her agility friends will support her by going to
Search nominees 'Mae' and casting a vote for her.
KC Charitable Trust
Supports the Evacuation of Afghanistan Animal Charity
The Kennel Club
Charitable Trust is urging other organisations and charities to help fund a
plane to save Nowzad’'s staff and the animals in its care.
It has donated towards
an emergency evacuation mission for Nowzad, a charity saving animal lives in
Afghanistan, and it is calling on other animal organisations to support as well
to help to get Nowzad’s staff and animals into safety quickly.
Nowzad is a charity
established in 2006 by former Royal Marine Sergeant Pen Farthing, and supported
by celebrities including Ricky Gervis and Peter Egan, to help relieve the
suffering of animals in Afghanistan. The staff, volunteers and animals in
Nowzad’s care are now caught in the middle of escalating military conflict in
Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over the country and desperately needs £200,000
to organise evacuation of their veterinary and support staff members, whose
lives are in danger. The organisation also needs funds to help save over 200
animals who are currently in their care.
Following its donation
towards the fundraising mission – called Operation Ark - The Kennel Club
Charitable Trust is urging more organisations to donate and help Nowzad in this
Nowzad is a long-term
partner of The Kennel Club and Crufts where they have been fundraising for over
a decade. In 2008, Pen and his two rescue dogs Nowzad and Tali were finalists in
the Kennel Club’s Friends for Life competition, at Crufts. Pen found Tali and
Nowzad abandoned in the hot dessert whilst on a mission in Afghanistan. Nowzad
was a former fighting dog with both ears and tail cut off, whilst Tali was
starved and pregnant. The soldiers shared their food with the dogs, and Pen
developed a strong bond with both the animals, ending up adopting them.
Reverend Bill King,
Chairman of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, said, 'This is an emergency
situation where the lives of animal welfare heroes and the animals in their
care are at stake. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust donated funds to Nowzad
as soon as we were made aware of their desperate situation and we would like
to appeal to other organizations to help them, too.
'Their situation is
critical and any amount will help, and time is of the essence for the people
and animals linked to this inspirational charity. Nowzad has improved and
saved the lives of thousands of animals since 2006, despite the difficult
conditions the staff often worked in, and the animal welfare world should
come together to ensure they get to safety.'
To learn more about
Nowzad’s mission and current situation and to donate visit their website
Nowzad.com/donateor for Paypal donations,
email firstname.lastname@example.org (UK based
The charity is also
asking people to contact their local MPs with an urgent plea to ensure Nowzad’s
staff including the Afghan nationals who work or volunteer for the charity are
able to be bought to safety.
18th August 2021
Save Rescue Animals in Afghanistan
Some of you may have
read Pen Farthing’s books or met him on the Nowzad stand at Crufts. He and his
team and rescue animals are now in immediate danger in Kabul.
An ex-Royal Marine Pen
and his team are in Kabul with the Taliban knocking on their door! They are a
dedicated animal rescue, but they cannot continue under the circumstances. They
need to charter a cargo plane to fly most of the dogs and cats out of the
country tomorrow as dog ownership was banned under the Taliban previously. The
donkeys will have to stay in the country, but the charity needs to pay for their
The Afghan staff -
including female Afghan vets - need to leave the country with Pen, but they need
help with immigration and places to stay.
Please message your MP
tonight and spam Boris's twitter feed as the team need help to leave within
72hrs. Mention Nowzad and ask if Britain can support the 25 members of trained,
qualified staff and their families.
I have met Pen when he
gave a talk in Hunstanton and I have read one of his books. This is genuinely
immensely serious. They are desperate for immediate help and have just risked a
Facebook live from Kabul.
www.Nowzad.com and donate today.
17th August 2021
KC Charitable Trust
Emergency Relief Initiative
The Kennel Club
Charitable Trust has announced its intention to re-open its fund to support
small canine rescues in their communities which may be suffering genuine
financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The KCCT is aware of the
ongoing problems coping with the financial consequences of the ongoing
coronavirus outbreak. Following the first round of applications, the KCCT has
reopened its fund intended to help smaller rescue organisations and charities
and is inviting those that are suffering to apply to the KCCT which will
consider grants in the circumstance where it is proved that emergency funding is
needed to prevent unnecessary suffering of dogs.
On applications, the
KCCT will work to seek to understand the scale of the challenge and, therefore,
how best to respond to it within their financial and other resources. As such,
rescues are invited to apply by the close of Thursday, 11 June 2020 using the
form below to explain the scale of financial hardship they face as a result of
the coronavirus pandemic.
The KCCT, will evaluate
each application to match the available funds against those evidencing
significant hardship. Contact will be made with the applicants when further
details of the financial and/or other help the KCCT may be able to offer are
For more information, go
Celebrate Remembrance Day with a
Poppy for your Dog
With Remembrance Day
almost upon us, Louise Lewis has a contract in place with Royal British Legion,
to make and sell dog-specific knitted poppies that slide onto the dogs collar.
This year she has decide to split the proceeds between RBL and Ainmhithe Animal
The poppies will be £5
each + £1 P&P with £2.50 for the Royal British Legion and £2.50 for Ainmhthie Dog Rescue. Last
posting date is 8th November.
Louise said, 'Last
year I rescued a dog from Ainmhithe and this is my way of saying thank you.
It takes us approximately 30 minutes to make one poppy. I don't make any
profit from selling the poppies.'
To order your poppy, the
preferred method is via Paypal (friends and family please) to
email@example.com. Alternatively email Louise using the same address
for bank transfer details.
The day after
Just to let you know that from the sale of the knitted poppies £200 was
raised, split 50/50 with £100 to the Royal British Legion and £100 to Ainmhithe.
Thank you to everyone who bought one.
Medical Detection Dogs is Looking
for a Very Special Dog to be an Assistance Dog
Medical Detection Dogs
is looking for a special dog or bitch of a small size, similar to a Lhasa Apso
or toy breed. The coat type is very important and needs to be of a soft
A dog that loves giving
attention and receiving attention will be ideal and preferably will have lived
with elderly people . Due to the environments, the dog will visit as an
Assistance dog, it will have to be a dog that does not bark at people or noises
which they may hear at a distance.
The age of the dog is
very important, ideally between one to four years of age and well housetrained.
The dog will need to
alert to a number of life threatening conditions so a dog that is tuned into and
bonds well with an owner is a must.
It's true to say, if
your able to help then your truly be making a huge difference to someone’s life.
If you think you know of
a dog that meets this criteria, please contact
Valgrays Nominated for National Award
to Val Valgrays Border Collie & Animal Rescue on becoming a finalist in the Best
Rescue Centre UK of The Year Category at the Animal Star Awards which give
recognition to Animals and Humans alike for the extraordinary things they do for
each other. They were chosen out of of 700 other organisations.
include Hedgehog Bottom The Mayhew, Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital and Siki's
founder Val Philips said, 'We are over the moon and honoured to be in the
last five. The Awards dinner on 3rd November should be a good night with
lots of glamour and glitz.'
'I have loved every minute of rescue work - the ups and the downs, the good
and bad with dogs, the antisocial people who own dogs, the evil what goes on
with animals in general, but sometimes we get some happy cases and that
makes it all worth while. It's always been my dream to have my own big
centre but it never came so we carry on as we do and try our best. The
funding is always an issue so we opened a charity shop up last year which
has helped a bit and just had a lovely newer van donated to us by which was
a total shock but wow was it a wonderful surprise. I personally do the Lotto
every week - one line and who knows... in it to win it so they say.'
Val, along with
her team of helpers and volunteers, has been in rescue since 1976. Many Valgrays
dogs have graced the rings of agility shows across the country. Some have passed
on many, leaving lots of happy memories and some are still doing great things.
Val reminisced, I
started way back in 1979 when agility was very small. Back then, we all had
a laugh around the ring. In those days. there was only one ring in those
days at most shows. The equipment left much to be desired. My tyre at home
was a door frame with a hole in. The weaves were my mum's bean poles, shoved
into flower pots. Those days were good. I loved my judging, but now leave it
to the younger generation. I still like watching but would not complete
again because my feet hurt. Saying that, I am going to compete - or try to
compete -at Magic in the veteran class. Me, a veteran. I'm still 16 years
old in my head.
Update from Val...
Good night at the animal awards. We did not win but it was lovely seeing all the
Rehome Your Soft Tunnels
Sue Culmer is
offering new homes to any cloth tunnels that anyone is thinking getting rid of.
She has asked a few rescue friends who have rescue centres or sanctuaries and
they would love the tunnels to make dog shelters from. If they can, they will
try and get some to Romania, too.
If anyone is
willing to donate their tunnel please email me , we are currently collecting a
list of tunnels available and where they are so we can then organise getting
them to the rescues or pick up points .
Email Sue Culmer
Training is running its first ever show on Saturday, 20th February as a
fundraiser for Many Tears Animal Rescue. 25% of all entry fees will go to help
the fantastic work that Many Tears does. The show will be held at Petley Wood
Equestrian Centre, Marley Lane, Battle, East Sussex TN33 0RE.
You can choose to
run for competition or training, and you can choose the height you wish to jump.
There are four heights for the agility and jumping classes and five heights for
the steeplechase. Courses will be open and flowing and First Contact Aluminium
equipment will be used.
Abrahams said, 'I
immediately knew I had to give Zip a home after seeing him on the MT
website. Many Tears Zip Wired was hand-reared from one and a half weeks old
as his mum was too young at nine months to care for her pups. Zip is quite
a handful, but is the most loving, trusting and clever little man.
MT and their
team do a fantastic job saving, caring for and re-homing dogs. I heard
their funds are tight so Zip and I decided to help by running this show.
Before Christmas our Olympia training night raised £100 for MT, with your
support, this show can raise a lot more.
Helen Jones and her rescue dog Mae have been chosen as one of the finalists for
the HiLife Best Friends Trophy in Dogs Monthly magazine.
Mae was rescued from a farm where she was going to be destroyed as she was
deemed untrainable. They both started agility from scratch and through
perseverance and dedication to the sport, they have built a bond which all of us
who do agility will understand. As a bonus, the untrainable, crazy collie has
actually reached Grade 3 now!
She was chosen
as the SupaDarl Rescue dog of the year last year.
Helen said, 'We
want to win this award as there is a prize of £300 worth of food which we
would love to give to Valgrays Border Collie Rescue which I support as I
know that many agility dogs come through Valgrays and Val does such great
work. I would like to thank you in advance if you are able to vote for us.
Evry vote counts!'
All that is required to vote for them is to send an e-mail to the following
In the subject line just put HiLife Trophy. In the email content just put Helen
Jones and Mae. Voting closes on 31 January 2016.
If you are not able to vote online, there is also the option of sending your
vote on a postcard to Dogs Monthly, 62 High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24
Valgrays It Is With Great Pride We
Drum roll please... It is with great pride we can announce...
Founder of Valgrays Border Collie & Animal Rescue, Val Phillips has been invited
by the Kennel Club to present the winner of the Pastoral group trophy on Friday,
6 March evening. She is very honoured and very humbled by this invitation. Also
Val Phillips has been involved with rescue since the 1970s and, day after day,
the dogs are have been her life. Hundreds of dogs have been saved by Valgrays at
home in the UK and also in Europe. Many of them have gone on to be successful at
So please set your TVs to record Friday evening between 7pm & 8pm.
And you might watch out for the Valgrays Rescue Agility Demo Team who will be on
their stand on the same day. The team consists of Marian O'Neill, Lesanne
Mitchell, Neil Morgan, Kim wWatts and Jo Nixon
Good News from DARL
to the winner of the Agilitynet Rescue Me Award is Helen Veal and Wood Greens Red Devil.
News about new
sponsors for 2015 as follows: CSJ
will be the new sponsors of The Dog Agility Rescue League from 2015. The Finals will be held on
Saturday, 18 July 2015 at the Adams Summer Show.
Administrators Deena Freeman and Karen Fuller said, 'We
would like to thank Adams for their support in stepping in and offering to host and supply the
ring and equipment for this event. '
To register for
the 2015 Rescue League, please visit the website:
Burgess Pet Care has decided not to continue with their sponsorship of The Dog Agility Rescue
League (DARL). They have been fantastic sponsors, very supportive supplying generous food
prizes and lovely league awards, finals trophies and rosettes.
Karen Fuller has also decided this would be the right time to step down from her role, as the
last several years have seen her business hours increase and she has found it increasingly
difficult to commit the time needed to run the league and website.
Karen said 'I
would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved with and supported
the league over the last nine years'. I have met some wonderful people over the years, with
fabulous dogs with inspiring stories, we
still intend to run the Finals in 2015 and I will update the website with information in due
will continue to run DARL from 2015. She has been in every Final since the start of the League
with her rescue dogs Jake and Dexter and won the Large Novice category in 2006 with Jake. She
hopes to continue this in 2015 with youngsters Flyte and Dexter.
we are looking for sponsorship to carry on the great work that Burgess Pet Care have provided,
and any enquiries should be sent to
Foal Farm Animal Rescue Fundraising Shows
Farm Animal Rescue will be holding their Unaffiliated Agility Show on Sunday, 5 October
starting at 8.30am along with a 11-class Fun Dog Show, starting at 11.00am. It includes Best
Trick and some stalls for dog lovers so there will be plenty to see and do.
This event is
being held to raise money for the Main Kennel Fund – the largest project Foal Farm has ever
undertaken. They need approximately £1.3 million to rebuild our main kennel block that needs
urgent attention and we rely entirely on donations.
building will provide a very much improved environment for rescue dogs awaiting new homes at
Foal Farm, including these three pups that have just been dumped at Foal Farm. They are just
three reasons why they are asking for your support.
Please go to
www.foalfarm.org.uk for more information on the Centre or visit via Facebook.
Valgrays Goes to Crufts
Valgrays Border Collie Rescue has been invited to go to Crufts 2014, to be on the Find a Rescue
stand. Also in conjunction with The Eukanuba Breed Support Programme, they will be on the
Kennel Club Rescue Me stand and also one of the other days on the
Eukanuba UK stand.
are also be inviting two sets of agility teams for the rescue agility display which is Friday
and Saturday. If you interested, send an email to Val Phillips. Only Valgrays dogs please.
Agility Rescue League Reminder
to everyone who supported the Rescue League this year, and a reminder that the 2012 League
closes on the 21st December 2012. Points will not be accepted after this date, so please make
sure your points are added and updated before then.
Karen Fuller said, 'I
am sorry, but I have found & deleted some points, which do not follow the SupaDarl Rules &
Guidelines. The main reasons for deletions are that points are being claimed for club shows,
finals and invitation events. If you have claimed points outside of our rules & guidelines,
would you please delete them, specifically:-
If a schedule
for an Unaffiliated show is published on Agilitynet or Agilityeye or the Agility press and
is open for anyone to enter, then the show will qualify for points.
can be claimed from all shows including unaffiliated, but not club only shows, matches,
leagues or fun days.
can be claimed for all standard 'singles' classes, including *Championship qualifying rounds
(not the final) H/Skelter, Gamblers, Snooker, special classes. Points may also be claimed for
the UKA Masters COMBINED result but not the individual rounds.
be claimed for: teams, trios, pairs, knockouts, finals, invitational events, pay on the day
classes or rounds which toys have been used.
for the League, will be posted to the address we have on record from January this year. Please
make sure your address and email details are up to date if you are due to receive an award, as
these are processed & posted before the new registration in January.
Registration for the 2013 league will open in January, and any points from the 21st December
onwards will count towards the 2013 league.
News will follow and be added to the website in January.
information can be found on the website:
http://www.darleague.com/leaguerules.htm and http://www.darleague.com/guidelines.htm
Foal Farm to Hold Charity Agility Show
Farm Animal Rescue Centre has extended the closing date for its first unaffiliated agility show on Saturday, 29
September. They will now be taking entries up to Wednesday, 26 September.
This event, to be held in the grounds of the rescue centre, will kick-start their fundraising for
a new kennel building for their rescued dogs.
They estimate that they will need at least £750,000 for
this so they need your support! The existing kennels are old-fashioned and the layout means
that the dogs can see each other every time a dog is taken out which can lead to the dogs
becoming anxious and stressed. They need to help these dogs, especially as most of them have
not had the best start in life.
Sarah Mitchell, Kennel Supervisor, said 'We have
received fantastic help from Axstane and Beckenham Agility Clubs and our thanks to the
members of these Clubs for their enthusiasm and organisational skills to try and make this
show a success. So please send your entries in and support the dogs.'
F.A.I.T.H. Rescue Challenge
Wright decided that she wanted to help raise some money for F.A.I.T.H. Rescue as both she and
her mum have dogs that came from there that have gone on to high levels of agility success.
Melanie Wright decided that she wanted to help raise some money for F.A.I.T.H. Rescue as both
she and her mum have dogs that came from there that have gone on to high levels of agility
success. It was her idea to put on a class where all entry fees were kindly donated to the
charity. Altogether £154 was raised for F.A.I.T.H.
During the summer, competitors entered heats
at the BAA Agility Ability shows to qualify for the Final challenge which was held on Sunday,
29 July 2012 at the Anglian Windows Sports Club, Norwich.
The Final was a very exciting event with
some quality competition, enjoyed by fellow competitors who took advantage of the lovely
weather, gathering around the Finals ring during the lunch break.
It was extra special for Melanie to win with
Flyte as he was from F.A.I.T.H. Rescue and is now 12 years young. Flyte continues to enjoy
Veterans Agility competitions at BAA shows and is proof that if we keep our dogs fit they are
as good as any youngster.
F.A.I.T.H. Challenge Finals results
Flyte - Melanie Wright
Kestrel Janice Bell
Rascal - Anne Worthington
Turpin - Sandra Stringer
Ritz - Freda Wallace
Badger - Janice Bell
Tessa - Adrienne Atkinson
Jacob - Rachel Oliver
Cousi - Sue Piddock
Isis - Jenny Arnold
Denver - Nik Knight
Whizz - Colleen Harris
Bailey - Mike Bidle
Tess - Nik Knight
Bracken - Sian Carrell
Diesel - Carol Gilden
Poppy - Alison Poulter
Jho Jho - Melanie Wright
Melanie Wright runs a very successful series
of Summer & Winter BAA Agility Ability shows in Norwich.
Rescue Agility Scotland News
The first year of Rescue
Agility Scotland has come to an end. It has provided a lot of information on the rescue agility
scene in Scotland which can be used this to make some changes and to set up an internet-based
points submission and registration fee payment system for the convenience of our members.
Kerstin McDonagh said, 'We
would like to thank everyone who enquired about the league and supported us in 2011. Without
you, Rescue Agility Scotland would still only be an idea bandied about by Dawn and myself.
Special thanks must go to the co-sponsors of our first three perpetual trophies - Denise
Clayton (Vynor Trophy), Dawn Greer (Remembrance Trophy) and Trudi Davidson (Goatbrae Trophy)
– as well as to Vicki Watmore for donating the trophy for the Best Gundog (all sizes) and
Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue for donating the Extra Mile Trophy.
The final date for
submitting points for the 2011 RAS League was 29 February. After this date, the results will be
compiled and the winners announced. The first awards presentation will be held at Woodside
Championships show on 5-6 May.
Kerstin continued, 'We
are really looking forward to this and invite all Scottish agility handlers with rescue dogs
- as well as all others - to come along and celebrate with us.'
For more information on
this, please join us on Facebook or visit the Rescue Agility Scotland
website. Here you can also find out
more about how to nominate someone for the Extra Mile Trophy, the new ABC trophy, rule changes
and new registration fees. If you have any questions, you can also contact us on
Rescue Dogs Help Scottish Young Offenders
The Scottish Prison
Service (SPS), Dogs Trust and Rebecca Leonardi, a postgraduate student from the University of
Stirling, are collaborating on the first prison-based dog training programme in the UK.
Based at HM Young Offender
Institute (HMYOI) Polmont, and aptly known as Paws for Progress, this pioneering programme
involves young offenders from Polmont training rescue dogs from the nearby Dogs Trust West
Calder rehoming centre. The aim is to help offenders address their behaviour and develop
employment skills in preparation for release. The project was instigated by Rebecca Leonardi,
as part of her Psychology PhD at the University of Stirling. Beyond the staff commitment, there
is no additional cost to the SPS.
Paws for Progress runs in
eight week cycles and each one sees a small group of prisoners take part in three training
sessions each week, two of these with rescue dogs. As well as working with the dogs, the
participants learn team working and social skills, while some become volunteer assistants and
peer mentors for the programme.
Every prisoner is paired
with a dog, making them responsible for its development and accountable for its behaviour. They
are taught never to use punishment, while positive reinforcement techniques, like rewarding
good behaviour, are encouraged. It is hoped that by completing the programme, prisoners will
enhance their employability, develop social skills and gain the confidence to be positive about
their future prospects.
Engaging participants in
learning is central to the project's success as young offenders often have a negative attitude
towards education as a result of difficult experiences at school. After completing the course,
participants are provided with ongoing support and development.
Ms Leonardi explains:
'The young men involved in the programme are going through difficult and challenging periods
in their lives. They are aware of how their attitude and behaviour impact upon their
allocated dog’s progress – they must remain positive and help the dog to trust them - and
work very hard to ensure their dog is given the best chance of a happier future. When they
see how the dogs change as a result of their hard work, it is very rewarding and they realise
that they are capable of changing too.'
With the help of HMYOI
Polmont and Dogs Trust staff, Rebecca Leonardi runs the Paws for Progress sessions and will
evaluate the effectiveness of the programme over the next three years. Paws for Progress was
inspired by the success of a similar programme in America (Project POOCH), but it will be some
time before the impact at HM YOI Polmont can be fully evaluated. Nonetheless, initial
observations are overwhelmingly positive.
Kate Donegan, Governor
at HM YOI Polmont, said: 'This has been a mutually beneficial project for all involved. The
young men at Polmont have enhanced their employability and literacy skills and, as a result
of their involvement in Paws for Progress, have even been awarded an SQA certificate. I look
forward to reading Ms Leonardi’s findings in the future and seeing how this research can be
utilised to improve the efficiencies of the prison estate.'
Throughout the project the
young offenders complete two portfolios: the first covers the dogs’ development (and includes a
K9 CV) while the second focuses on that of the prisoner. The dogs’ portfolios are used by Dogs
Trust training and behaviour advisers and shared with potential owners, who make an informed
decision as to whether the dog is suitable for them. Students can achieve an SQA, which for
many is their first qualification, and the successful rehoming of a dog is an achievement for
The dogs involved have
been carefully selected by Dogs Trust experts. The charity believes that the training they
receive through Paws for Progress could increase the chances of their being rehomed.
Susan Tonner, Manager of
Dogs Trust West Calder, explains: 'We’re very excited to be part of this groundbreaking
project. The dogs taking part benefit from extra training and socialisation which, in many
cases, increases their appeal to potential owners. It’s great to tell prisoners that their
hard work with a specific dog has helped us to find a new loving home. We’re looking forward
to lots more success stories.'
A video showing the
project in more detail, with audio from students explaining their experience can be viewed here
http://vimeo.com/35561729 . The password to access the video clip is polmont
Paws for Progress: Q&A
What is Paws for Progress?
Paws for Progress is an animal-assisted intervention programme for male young offenders. Young
offenders from Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institute (HMYOI) Polmont are paired with and
train rescue dogs
from Dogs Trust West Calder.
The aim is to help offenders address their behaviour through education and develop
employability skills in preparation for their release.
The programme was
instigated by Rebecca Leonardi, who will evaluate the programme for her Psychology / Applied
Social Science PhD at the University of Stirling.
Who is involved?
for Progress was developed: by Rebecca Leonardi;
Prison Service (SPS) / HMYOI Polmont;
and Dogs Trust,
the UK’s leading dog welfare charity.
The scheme is managed by Rebecca with
the other organisations’ support.
What is the format of Paws for Progress?
The programme runs in eight week
cycles with up to eight young offenders selected to take part at one time (up to 6 new members
and 2 graduates as peer mentors).
The dogs are brought into
HMYOI Polmont from Dogs Trust West Calder twice a week for two-three hour training sessions
with Paws for Progress participants.
is one further training session each week, in which participants complete coursework and are
visited by guest speakers who discuss their work with animals and encourage the young men
involved to think about how to put the skills they are learning to use in employment in the
future. This also increases wider links with the community and facilitates the work experience
opportunities available to students post-release. Participants also complete coursework in
their own time.
structured educational programme addresses key dog welfare issues and aims to increase
understanding of the responsibilities of dog ownership. Both canine and human participants
benefit from the positive and rewarding interactions, and young offenders also improve their
understanding of behaviour, and their problem solving and social skills. This project combines
increased human interaction and training for rescue dogs with practical education and valuable
skills for young people, thereby benefitting all participants simultaneously.
Q: How has the
programme been funded?
research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Dogs Trust, the R.S.
Macdonald Trust, the Robertson Trust,
Robert Barr’s Charitable Trust, the Cross Trust, John Watson's Trust
and the Nancie
Massey Charitable Trust support the project and contribute generously towards the running
Are there similar schemes to this running elsewhere?
This is the first and only
project of its kind in Britain. During the
development of Paws for Progress, research was carried out into other schemes such as the very
successful Project Pooch in the US, a vocational training programme which also involves young
offenders and rescue dogs, in which inmates are made responsible for the dogs’ day-to-day care.
Joan Dalton, founder and director of Project Pooch, has advised during the development of Paws
for Progress, and continues to offer her support.
Do the pairings remain throughout the scheme?
possible, the pairings remain the same throughout each cycle as this strengthens the bond
between participant and dog, increasing the effectiveness of training. The students are
entrusted with responsibility for their dog’s development and are shown how their behaviour
directly impacts on that of the dog. The dogs continue to be cared for by Dogs Trust West
Calder for the duration of their time on the scheme. While at the rehoming centre, they are
available for rehoming and, if they find a new home during a training cycle, Dogs Trust selects
a suitable replacement.
Where on site are the sessions held?
indoor area is a large warehouse at HMYOI Polmont that has been specially adapted for training
and behaviour work. There is also a nearby enclosed grassy area where outdoor training work
How long is the programme scheduled to run for?
A: Up to
3 Years/the length of PhD.
Q: What evidence
is there to suggest the scheme will be a success?
A: Similar programmes
have been successfully developed in numerous secure institutions worldwide. Researchers have
evaluated the canine training programs with results proving overwhelmingly positive. Reported
benefits include improvements in the institutional behaviour and psychological well-being of
participants, better staff-inmate relations, improved social and relationship skills, and
enhanced educational progress and employment prospects. Working through the dogs' behavioural
issues facilitates the inmates' own rehabilitation. Furthermore, participants’ views on the
various programmes are very positive, supporting their therapeutic effects.
response also suggests that such a programme could overcome the problem of low engagement with
education that is currently a cause of concern in Scottish prisons; the need to develop
employability skills is also a priority for the SPS.
How is the success of Paws for Progress measured?
young men have so far successfully completed the programme.
In addition to
on-going qualitative feedback from inmates and staff, the project will be subject to rigorous
academic analysis in order to evaluate its value and applicability for future use. A mixed
design will be used, in which the progress of programme participants is compared with those not
taking part (control groups).
participants are examined (pre-test/post-test), allowing for clear and systematic comparisons.
Long term follow up is agreed with participants before they begin the course, and will be used
to evaluate their progress post release.
include progress through the course (i.e. completion of coursework and SQAs), qualitative
interviews (participants and staff), observational methods, psychometric assessments, plus
behaviour and development outside the course. Long term measures after completion of Paws for
Progress/release include follow up interviews, monitoring of volunteering and/or employment,
educational engagement and reoffending rates. Importantly, lower levels of re-offending should
positively affect communities, making them safer and happier places.
Another measure of success is to assess the benefits for the dogs taking part, including
monitoring whether the dogs that take part are rehomed and whether this happens more quickly.
Of particular interest will be dogs that have been with Dogs Trust for longer than average
(over 60 days) that find homes following participation in Paws for Progress.
are opportunities for those who have completed the course to continue as peer mentors,
assisting new members; so far three students have done this. A further two former participants
continue to attend
sessions to hear guest speakers and provide practical support.
Young Offender related questions
Why was Polmont Young Offenders Institute chosen?
Polmont is Scotland's national holding facility for Young Offenders aged between 16 - 20 years
of age and therefore its population offers suitable participants for a programme like Paws for
Progress. HMYOI Polmont is also well located for the University of Stirling and Dogs Trust West
Why Young Offenders and not older prisoners?
is an educational and vocational course, which is best suited and tailored to the needs of
young offenders, who are typically serving short sentences and often have low employability
prospects on release.
are different types of animal assisted intervention programmes which may be better suited to
the needs of adult prisoners (such as service dog training programmes for those serving longer
sentences) and which may be explored in the future.
conducting the course in a custodial setting, this project reaches those most in need. The
typical situation faced by young offenders is that they are from deprived communities, have
experienced chaotic and difficult family backgrounds, have poor experiences with education, low
levels of qualification and low employability prospects. Reducing these disadvantages is a
crucial issue. This project reaches those who have been offered few opportunities for a sense
of accomplishment or feeling of self-worth, making a real difference to their futures.
What were the selection criteria for participant young offenders?
Participants must have at least six months left to serve of their sentence, to allow for
completion of the course and assessment, both before and after. They should also be able to
participate in group work and not be committed to any other conflicting activities. Only
prisoners with no convictions of animal cruelty are considered. Enthusiasm to work with dogs is
an important factor.
Do they need to have had previous experience of dogs?
however they must be enthusiastic about spending time with dogs and be prepared to work hard.
What does this partnership offer for the young offenders?
project addresses a number of needs observed during current evaluations of young offender
provisions in Scotland. These are: improving offender engagement with educational programmes;
developing social and problem-solving skills; setting and achieving targets/goals, and
overcoming low self-esteem. These are key to the personal development of offenders, offering
improvement to their social and mental health, thus reducing the subsequent likelihood of
Often young offenders have low levels of engagement with education, due to
strong anti-learning cultural factors, previous poor experiences, lack of aspiration and lack
of confidence. Forced learning in a typical classroom setting is counterproductive. Paws for
Progress encourages young offenders to take advantage of new learning environments, improving
their literacy and numeracy.
They learn to work as a team and have the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills.
The programme is an enjoyable, worthwhile activity and
achieving targets/goals encourages participants to aspire for positive progress, improving
their future outcomes.
What work do the young offenders have to complete during the course?
dog handler on the course is given responsibility for their dog’s behaviour and development.
Under guidance of professionals, participants learn to work as a team and use positive
reinforcement methods to help the dogs, whilst at the same time, the handlers are given
opportunity to gain valuable employability skills. The young offenders must work hard to ensure
their dog’s needs are catered for at all times. In addition to developing a good bond with the
dog, their responsibilities include exercising and feeding, maintaining the kennel areas and
making assessments of the dog’s behaviour and personality. From these assessments, each handler
designs training plans for their dog, with the aim of improving their behaviour and helping the
dog find a new home.
participants are required to complete coursework. This includes a ‘K9 CV’ for their dog, and
posters advertising the dog to potential adopters for display at Dogs Trust West Calder. They
also create a portfolio, recording key information about the dog, such as their personality,
behaviour, the type of home they would suit and the progress they make. The Dogs Trust West
Calder then shares this with potential owners, so they can make an informed decision as to
whether the dog is suitable for them.
second portfolio is used by participants to record information from teaching sessions and
tracks their own progress. They complete an SQA in Personal Development, in which they evaluate
their work against set targets and goals. We plan to make further links with the Learning
Centre at HMYOI Polmont, to increase the qualifications available to participants on future
What happens when the young offenders are released? Will they be able to continue working with
Trust welcomes applications for voluntary positions from former Paws for Progress students.
Dogs Trust Glasgow and Dogs Trust West Calder are currently providing volunteering
opportunities to two of our former students. There are also additional volunteering
opportunities relating to animal care for Paws for Progress graduates. The organisations
supporting us by offering such opportunities include Willows Animal Sanctuary, Blair Drummond
Safari Park, the Guide Dog Association, and Canine Partners.
Dog related questions
Where are the dogs from?
dogs have been carefully selected from Dogs Trust West Calder. As the scheme grows, dogs from
Dogs Trust Glasgow may also become involved.
How are they chosen?
general behaviour, interaction with other dogs and training needs are all taken into account
when selecting suitable canine participants for the scheme. Dogs Trust believes that the
training the dogs receive through ‘Paws for Progress’ could increase the chances of them
finding new homes.
Has Dogs Trust done anything like this before?
2008 Dogs Trust rehomed two dogs to Belfast Prison following a very successful Animal Care
course within the institution. Extensive checks were undertaken to ensure the dogs would be
looked after and cared for properly. Dogs Trust deemed the carers and canine managers to be
suitable loving and responsible owners, so two Labrador-Crosses were successfully rehomed
What happens during the sessions and what do the dogs learn?
the dogs have had a chance to exercise post-arrival, participants spend around one hour with
them outdoors working on training. They use clicker training and other positive reinforcement
techniques. The dogs are then taken into the indoor area for some ‘down time’, during which
they are fed and enjoy some bonding time with their handlers. This is followed by further
training indoors and discussion of the dogs’ progress
handlers and dogs work towards the
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)
Good Companion Awards. These comprehensive assessments cover all basic exercises (e.g. walking
well on a lead, staying calm around people/dogs, recall) and health checks. Eight dogs have
achieved these awards so far. Several have been rehomed prior to their testing date, which is
also a great achievement for their handlers.
Which dogs are working with the scheme?
A: At any
one time there are up to eight Dogs Trust dogs taking part in Paws for Progress. Dogs Trust
West Calder will indicate on their kennels which dogs are currently on or have taken part in
What checks are in place to ensure the welfare of the dogs during the training?
Rebecca Leonardi is a qualified and experienced dog training instructor (registered
member of the APDT,
Membership Number 01117).
Staff from Dogs Trust West Calder are also in attendance during many of the sessions, along
with at least one supervisor from HM YOI Polmont.
Is there a trained behaviourist that works with the young offenders?
Training and Behaviour Advisor from Dogs Trust West Calder Centre regularly attends training
sessions and works closely with Rebecca to monitor dogs’ development. Other members of staff
from Dogs Trust West Calder also attend sessions with the dogs, all of whom help to monitor
each dog’s progress throughout each cycle.
What positive benefits has Dogs Trust seen so far as a result of the programme?
A: So far
21 dogs have taken part in the programme, of which 14 have found new homes. Some of these had
been with Dogs Trust for a long time and the skills they learned, and socialisation they
received, from Paws for Progress contributed to their successful rehoming.
dogs are learning to respond to positive training techniques that can be used to teach them
many other things. They learn that good behaviour and obedience is beneficial, while disruptive
behaviour is pointless. This has been fundamental in helping some of the more challenging dogs
learn patience and manners, which in turn has led to them finding good homes.
What would happen if a prisoner formed a close bond with a dog and wished to rehome it
priority for Dogs Trust continues to be rehoming as many dogs as possible. It would not be
possible to ‘hold’ a dog until a prisoner is released. Paws for Progress students are aware of
this and they understand that if a dog is rehomed during or following its participation in the
programme, it is a positive reflection on their hard work and something to be proud of.
Is a prison a good environment to train dogs?
prison environment doesn’t have an impact on the dogs and, from a training perspective, it is
ideal because it is relaxed, calm and controlled.
managed setting is very predictable for the dogs, with minimal chance of anything happening
that could upset training sessions, i.e. strange noises, people or dogs approaching. For many
of the dogs, being around several people and dogs in this controlled environment provides
important socialisation/habituation which is very beneficial for them when finding a new home.
A Happy Ending for Happy Endings
Happy Endings Rescue is
extremely pleased to announce they have relocated the Sanctuary from Hailsham to Faversham in
Kent. A small satellite centre will remain in East Sussex but at a new site near Windmill Hill
From Monday, 14 November
2011, Happy Endings Rescue will be based at: Happy Endings Rescue, Hillside, Well Lane,
Ospringe, Nr Faversham, Kent ME13 0SD
Discover Valgrays at Disco Dogs
Valgrays Border Collie
Rescue will once again be on the Breed Rescue Stand at Discover Dogs on Saturday, 12 November
so if any of you are at Discover Dogs with your Valgrays dogs, pop over and see Val and Co. us.
Val Philips said, 'We
are honoured to have been asked again to take part in the Rescue Display Teams on Saturday and
Results Announced for the Valgrays Dog of the Year
is now 33 years since Valgrays has been up and running. Val Philips and helpers pride
themselves of the work which is carried out because all Valgrays is doing is helping mans best
Val Philips said, 'Before we announce the
winners of this years final of the Valgrays Dog of the Year, may I take this opportunity to
thank you all so much for
offering homes to the many dogs that Valgrays takes in. You will all notice many Valgrays dogs
on the circuit. Each and every one has had some past. These dogs have now got a super life and
forever homes so thank you.'
'Times are hard for many rescue services but
Valgrays are only a small and self supported charity and are always desperate for funding,
leads, collars, bedding and food is essential to keep the work going for all the rescue dogs
that Valgrays take in. Veterinary costs are our biggest worry as most dogs have to have
treatment, especially vaccinations, castrations, spaying, and, like the lovely Princess Abbey,
the cost on her was so high to get her better and the debt to our vets still grow.
Well done to the winners of the Valgrays Dog of the
Year competition. The presentation took place, as usual, at the Wallingford show on 19 April.
Many thanks to Wallingford's committee for letting them present these awards.
Valgrays Spend a Penny
Final Fantasy of Valgrays (Large)
|Philippa Verstraete &
Wot the Dickens of Valgrays
|Marian O'Neill &
Tear Drop of Valgrays
|Thomas Shaw &
Jedeyes of Valgrays
|Lesley Skinner &
Dynamite Spite of Valgrays
Please note that next
year Valgrays are changing the way that points are collected in for this award. Thanks to Karen
Fuller from Darl League who has kindly offered to help on this. If you have a Valgrays dog and
want to be part of Valgrays Dog of the Year, send in your points now to the DARL League and get
For more information about Valgrays Border Collie & Animal Rescue go to
Calling All Scottish Rescue Dog Handlers
Do you live in Scotland? Do you own one or more rescued
dogs? If so, Rescue Agility Scotland is looking forward to hearing from you.
The new organisation is the brainchild of Kerstin McDonagh
and Dawn Greer. Although there is already a UK-wide rescue dog league, the idea of providing
handlers based in Scotland with their own league came about after Kerstin and Dawn realised
just how few Scottish handlers attend the Peterborough-based final.
Fuller and her team are doing sterling work with SupaDARL, but it's a shame that geographical
distance and, in recent years, the price of fuel are preventing Scottish handlers showing the
wider agility community what their fantastic dogs are capable of. We felt that it was high
time to give them the opportunity do so,' says Kerstin.
To start with, Rescue Agility Scotland, which welcomes dogs
of all sizes, will be running a points-based league table, with points awarded for wins, places
and clear runs at both Kennel Club-licensed and independent shows. But in the future, Kerstin
and Dawn believe that a final may also be on the cards.
weekend, Dawn spent time talking to handlers at a Scottish show to find out how they felt
about the idea. The support from both handlers and clubs was overwhelming, and this has given
us the incentive to go ahead. We are now looking forward to finding ways to reward Scottish
agility handlers who have given dogs a second chance, and spent time and effort on making
life better for them. These handlers often work hard to put a dog back together again after
it’s been abandoned or abused, and they deserve all the recognition they can get.'
The 2011 league will be running from 1 January this year, so
handlers are encouraged to start keeping a record of all their wins, places and clear runs
immediately. The final touches are still being put to the rules, but points will certainly be
awarded down to 20th place or as far as rosettes go, whichever comes first. Points
will also be awarded for many of the special classes, so handlers are urged to keep a careful
tally and not rely solely on records kept for Kennel Club purposes.
Any handlers based in Scotland and interested in joining
Rescue Agility Scotland should speak to Kerstin McDonagh or Dawn Greer at shows, or email
Valgrays Looking for Dog to Make Up Crufts Team
Valgrays are delighted to be
asked once again to join forces with the other charities for the Agility Rescue Display team at
Crufts 2011. The team is on Thursday and Saturday. They will require three Medium and/or Large
dogs and one Small dog on both days.
If you have a Valgrays and
would be interested in joining the team then please make contact with Val as soon as possible
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valgrays at Discover Dogs
Valgrays are very honoured to
have been invited yet again to be part of the Rescue Agility Display Team at Discover Dogs on
both Saturday and Sunday....
The Team has now been selected to
represent Valgrays at Discover Dogs.
- Marian O'Neill with Tia
- Pat Fencott with Red
- Andrew Murray with Jess
- Frankie Wheeler with
Daisy (Jack Russell)
- Lin Bergan with Penny
- Wendy Nixon with Maggie
- Steve Hoddinott with Pi
- Philippa Verstraete with
Boz (Border Collie X)
Valgrays has also been invited to
attend Find a Rescue Dog stand on the Saturday.
Vikki Pollock said, 'For
those of you who may not be not aware, Val has had a sports injury so we are not sure what
state she will be in for Dicover Dogs. Hopefully her operation is soon as she is driving us
all mad, but if she is at Discover Dogs I'm sure she would appreciate all the support on the
stand if you have a for minutes to spare.
Discover Dogs 2010 take place
between 13 - 14 November 2010 at Earls Court 1, London. The show opening times are 10am - 5pm
Agility Dog Wins the Pet Factor
King's dog Chloe who volunteers at a Hindhead care home has been recognised for her
inspirational behaviour with a national award.
Collie-cross from Alton, won the £1000 prize in The Pet Factor, a competition launched by the
National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) to find pets who had amazing stories of bravery,
companionship and survival.
Chloe was due to be
put to sleep in her early years after previous owners felt nothing could be done to change her
behaviour. She overcame her severe behavioural difficulties to achieve two Kennel Club Good
Her owner Lucy
said, 'She'd bite, bark and had a general
lack of manners. I've owned her for two years now, and she's a reformed character! She's my
best friend, my loyal companion and I couldn't want for a better dog.'
Chloe has been doing agility for
about three years now. They went out competing six weeks after they had started learning
about agility, and haven't looked back since! At her first show, Chloe came 8th, 10th and
12th while Lucy was just pleased not to have been eliminated! Since then, they have
managed to get a 1st st trophy. , but
Chloe, now 10 years
old, and sadly she's had to semi-retire as she
is getting mild arthritis in her legs. Chloe still performs at demonstrations run by Lucy's
club KATS, although it tends to be very slow nowadays! She is about to start Rally
and will continue as a Pets As Therapy (PAT)
dog, regularly visiting the Manormead Care Home in Hindhead to provide therapeutic experiences
and welcome comfort to the elderly.
chief executive of NOAH has described both Chloe and her owner Lucy King as inspirational:
'To think that Chloe spent many months abandoned in a rescue centre and was due to be put
down proves how out of control she was. Lucy has handled her incredibly well and the
turn-around in Chloe’s socialisation skills are humbling to see. We have rarely, if ever,
seen or heard of a girl of Lucy's quality. Dedication of this size from both pet and owner is
rare to see, and other pet owners who struggle with out-of-control pets can learn from Lucy.'
Lucy and Chloe have
won a full photo shoot worth over £1,000 with renowned animal photographer Sam Lunt.
Lucy said, 'I'd really like to thank
all Agilitynet members who voted for us!'
Marian O'Neill, Don
Nunn, Veronica Brown and Lesley Skinner
Valgrays Dog of the Year 2010
Where does the year go! iI only seems a
few weeks ago that we were reporting on the Valgrays Dog of the Year presentations, held once
again at Wallingford. The weather was totally super, not a cloud nor an airplane in sight!
Val Philips said, 'It always gives me
great joy in seeing the many Valgrays Dogs out and about doing Agility and having fun. This
year we have homed so many collies and other breeds to agility homes, so thank you all so
much in giving these dogs a chance.'
Onto the awards and congratulations to
all the winners.
Elementary Medium: Marion O'Neill
with Tear Drop of Valgray (175)
Graduate Large: Don Nunn with Kez the
Bandit of Valgray (220)
Novice Large: Pat Fencott with Red
Iland of Valgray (111)
Intermediate Large: Barrie James with
Seriously Smug of Valgray (36)
Small: Veronica Brown with Little Zac
of Valgray (60)
Senior Large: Shelly Woodward with
Fleet of Foot of Valgray (66)
Veteran Large: Lesley Skinner with
Dynamite Sprite of Valgray (171)
There were no Junior win
Every year the presentation takes place
at the Wallingford Agility show, so grateful thanks to Wallingford DTC's committee for letting
Valgrays do this. Also many thanks to Agility Eye Magazine for supporting, compiling and
supplying these results. And finally thank you everyone for giving these dogs a happy forever
Val added, 'We are now saving dogs
from the pounds and some of these will be out and about on the circuit. Sad to think they
were just strays and no one wanted them. They did belong to someone but they never bothered
to chip them. We have found now that some dogs are chipped when they end up in dog pounds but
the owners do not update records so please remember, if your dog is chipped, then keep your
details up to date. If you change your address or even your mobile numbers get it logged.
Dogs are being put to sleep after
seven days. I personally think this is not along enough to find the owners. I have proved
this case many times and have just reunited a dog with its owner after three weeks. That was
one happy family. We all cried with joy.'
Seriously running a rescue is very
hard work. Without funding, we cannot survive so please support Valgrays instead of buying
that bar of chocolate or that bottle of wine! Pop a donation into the post to Valgrays,
please. Don't forget we do have a charity table which goes around some shows so dig out
anything you think that Valgrays would be able to sell. (no cloths)'
Two dogs of the dogs
Urgent Fund-raising Appeal for the Border Collie
Spot & Valgrays
The Border Collie Spot
and Valgrays Border Collie Rescue are in
desperate need of funds. They has agreed to take 19 collies found in appalling conditions in a
barn in Wales who were only discovered because their owner was taken ill. Two of the dogs
are pictured above.
Some have collars deeply
embedded into their flesh. Others may be pregnant. They will all need veterinary care,
neutering, and rehabilitation.
Val Philips of Valgrays is getting in
a supply of dog food to help Gill as well.
If you can spare anything at all,
please send a cheque or PO, made payable to Gill White, to The Border Collie Spot, White
Cottage, Forest Road, Binfield, Berkshire RG42 4ED. Tel: 01344 450206. Also, if you’re not too
far away and can give any time at all to help with rehabilitation of these poor animals, please
has a new web site
Valgrays Web Site Problems
Bordr Collie Rescue is having difficulties with their website and it can no longer be used. They are working hard to create a new website and will
be back on-line very soon.
Val Phillips said, 'The problems with our website have been
completely outside of our control and has lead to our inability to re-home as many dogs. It is
such a shame that it is the dogs that suffer. After all why are dogs always expected to be
perfect when humans rarely are. We do have many dogs still needing wonderful homes - so please
phone them for information and pictures will this will be forwarded on via email.
Valgrays Rescue Demo Team Off to Crufts
again Valgrays BC Rescue Dog Agility Team has been invited to take part in the rescue demo at
Crufts 2010.The teams will consist of:-
Thursday, 11 March at 11.50am
Saturday, 13 March at 9.50am
* Marian's Tia is currently lame, so
just in case Marian will run Sky as reserve (God help her!)
Valgrays at Discover Dogs
Valgrays are highly delighted
to have been invited to join forces with other major charities in the agility display
demo at this years Discover Dogs at its new home in Earls Court 1 (London) the weekend of
14-15 November 2009.
Valgrays Rescue Dogs and handlers
have now been chosen. They are:-
Saturday (run time 3pm)
Val Phillips with Sky
Marian O'Neill with Tia
Pat Fencott with Sophia
Phillipa Verstraete with Boz
(run time 1.55pm)
Chris Smoothy with Cassie
Lesley Pearson Simmons with Meg
Lin Bergan with Penny
John Ellinore with Susie
You can check out the type of thing we
will be doing by looking at the videos from this years Crufts on
Youtube site .
On the Saturday, Valgrays will have a
section at the show promoting the breed of Border Collies. Shirley Budgen will be manning
this for day and Val will be popping in and out during the day as she is running in the Rescue
Please come and support Valgrays and
have a great day out at Discover dogs.
Organised by the Kennel Club, Discover
Dogs is moving from its former home in Earls Court 2 to the bigger venue of Earls Court 1,
following the huge success of last year’s event.
For more information about the show
visit Discover Dogs
Valgrays Dog Walk
Campbell is co-ordinating a Valgrays Dog Walk and Get Together for doggy and human friends on
Saturday. 24 October 2009 so keep that date free if you want to walk with the collies!
Starting at about 10.30 am it will last
for an hour and a half at Long in The Ashdown Forest, followed by the chance to go for coffee
and cake at the cafe at The Ashdown Llama Park. They have been warned! There is outside seating
at the llama park so you can keep an eye on the cars, too so no worries about leaving the dogs
The walk is lovely, going down to the
lakes, around the Vachery and then back towards the car park. There will be signs, some
balloons or something obvious at the car park entrance!
Val and Shirley have promised to come,
and nobody will be at all surprsied if Val brings a few newbies looking for homes.
Richard said, ' Please join us. Let's
invade the forest in collie-style.'
Please RSVP if you are planning on
coming so the Llama Park can be warned how many to expect.
For more information or any problems,
ring RIchard on mobile: 07966 464486 or email
Richardcampbell3@btinternet.com on the day or nearer the time.
Valgrays Border Collie Rescue are
highly delighted to let you all know that they have been invited to join forces with other
rescue services for the rescue agility demo at Crufts on the Saturday and Sunday.
The Dogs and Handlers who will be
representing Valgrays are:-
Val with Sky (Valgrays Reach for the
Sky) (of course) - Saturday and Sunday
Marian O'Neill with Tia (Tear Drop
of Valgrays) - Saturday and Sunday
Lynda Stangle with King (King of the
Ring of Valgrays) - Saturday
Diana Muirhead with Chas (Charlie
Farley of Valgrays) - Saturday
Lin Bergan with Penny (Valgrays
Spare Er Penny) - Sunday
Pat Fencott with Red (Red Iland of
Valgrays) - Sunday
Val Philips said, 'We hope that this
will be a great success for us all. We are really honoured to be asked and are very excited to
go into the agility ring. God help all these rescue dogs. None have never seen anything like
this before! We would also like to thank
Waggitt for supplying polo shirts/leads/tabards and a huge thanks to
Eukanuba who are supporting Valgrays at Crufts
Another year has come and gone and
Valgrays Dog of the Year presentation is upon us once again. During the past year, Valgrays has
re-homed many many collies and other breeds. Some have gone to pet homes. Others have gone to
agility, obedience and/or flyball homes. Three have gone to farm homes. Four have gone into
Police duty, passive drugs/explosives. All have passed with flying colours.
The dog of the Year Awards are
traditionally presented at the Wallingford show. The results this year were:-
Grade 3 Large
Valgrays Rusty Man
Grade 3 Small
Valgrays Spare Er Penny
= Grade 4 Large
Leaping Leo of Valgray
= Grade 4 Large
Red Hand of Valgray
Grade 4 Small
Southlawn Becky of
Grade 5 Large
Super Sasha of Valgray
Grade 5 Small
Little Zac of Valgray
Grade 6 Large
Pepsi Fizz of Valgray
Likely Lad of Valgray
No Junior wins nor Grade
1 or 2 were submitted.
The Valgrays DOTY
presentation is always a good time to look back at the year and say thank you to all the people
who have supported Valgrays BC Rescue. For example, last November was the big launch of the new
Valgrays web site which is being handled by Shirley Budgen, so a big thank you to Shirley for
all the hard work she puts into this site.
Valgrays is always
trying to raise funds and this year they have raffle tickets available at a £1 each in books of
20, There is only one prize which is a £200.00 oil painting of your pet. Details are on the web
site. if you feel you would like to sell some books, please contact Shirley or Val. Perhaps your Club would like a couple of books, friends at work, etc. The prize draw will be
later in the year so you have plenty of time.
you from Val
Running a rescue centre is always hard work. You have your ups and downs and you see some
wonderful dogs go out to new homes and spend the rest of their happy days in a loving family.
Val Philipps would like to say thank you very much to all the people who help - the drivers,
the fosters and even the poo picker uppers! Also the walkers, all the folk who donate collars,
leads and beds etc.
Eukanuba (Iams) has been a
wonderful support, proving a constant supply of dog
food. And finally thank you to Agility Eye for the results of Valgrays Dog of the Year. To Ellen Rocco of Agilitynet who must love me so much with my phone calls about putting dogs on
her Rescue Page. Not forgetting Agility Voice for putting adverts in the magazine. Last but not least thank you to Wallingford for letting Valgrays do the presentation of this
event. But the biggest thank you goes to all the adoptive owners for taking on a Valgray dog.
needs a new home.
Comes with own bed. Clean indoors. Loves the bitches.
Ogles the TV. Can be protective over his channel changer. Te he.
Photo: Val Philips
Keith no longer needs a new home. Val Philips has informed Agilitynet that she's had lots of
offers from 'desperate' women out there wanting to give the poor soul a home, but she has
decided to keep him!
Seriously though, it was done as as April Fool's Day but it turned out so funny that Val wanted
to share some of the emails that she received.
Does he come back when called?
Will he be good if he meets other males?
Is he a fussy eater?
Does he eventually give back the channel changer?
Is he good in car?
Does he mind being left alone?
Is he faithful?
Do the PJs come with him?
As he is after the bitches, would it not be best to
Keith laughed so much. He did not know they were going to
submit the photo. The bed was given to Val and Keith was showing his old dog Reg how to get in
it. After al that Reg said, ' you can stuff it. He prefers the carpet.
John Burns Steps
Up to Rescue Many Tears
from 1 January 2008 one of Britain’s leading animal charities withdrew its supplement of spay
and neuter funding to all small rescues in Wales. This meant that in Wales, where there are a
huge amount of unwanted dogs, the small rescues were in trouble. Some will close this coming
year others will not be able to fund the amount of dogs they use to.
Many Tears Animal Rescue,
one organisation which is well known for rehoming dogs to agility handlers, took the initiative
to fight for the dog's lives. Sylvia Van Atta, owner of Many Tears, says 'Believe to achieve.'
And she did. The only way she could see to keep open was to be able to reduce her vet bills by
equipping her own veterinary surgery to enable her rescue to have low cost spays and neuters.
John Burns of Burns Pet
Nutrition stepped forwards. He had already been providing food for the rescue and now has
pledged out of the Burns Trust Fund an enormous £16,000.00 to enable staff to be paid so that
the home can use their resources to continue to run. Doctor’s vets and nurses all over the UK
have sent no longer used equipment for the surgery, and what’s still needed is being found and
bought with funds raised by the Friends of Many Tears,
With more and more strays
and unwanted dogs each year in Wales at least one small rescue, which take in and rehome over
1000 dogs a year can keep saving dogs.
Many Tears is run by
Sylvia Van Atta (formerly Wragg) who is the founder of Last Chance Animal Rescue in Kent. For
more information, contact Many Tears Animal Rescue, Cwmlogin House, Cefneithin, Llanelli SA14
7HB. Tel. 01269 843084. Email: email@example.com
Border Collie Rescue are now in the real world. Yes, they have a
web site created by Shirley
the Valgrays Border Collie owners and, of course, the other breeds which have come via Valgrays
are invited to send in their stories etc. to the Valgrays Club now. If
you are a proud owner of a Valgrays why not add your picture, too.
Valgrays Border Collie Rescue, based in Warlingham (Surrey) is
run by Val Phillips. It was established in 1978 and is a registered charity (number 1088503).
For more information, ring tel. 01883 624513 or email
And, oh yes, visit the new web site http://www.freewebs.com/valgraysbcrescue/index.htm
Valgrays News and
Another year and Valgrays have even
more Valgrays collies competing successfully. Since last years presentation in April 2006, they
have rehomed 71 collies, most of which have gone to agility homes.
This year Valgrays has gone from
strength to strength. March saw Val Win the Ladies Rescue Award at Crufts 2007, a recognition
of all the dedication and hard work she has put in over the many years for our faithful friends
This year Valgrays had a donation left
by Pat Pleasants who sadly died. This has enabled them to update the charity van and renew
kennels etc. a bonus for all the dogs including the residents which will stay there forever. As
always, however, Valgrays needs foster homes, leads, collars, beds, food and funds so please
just give a little to help.
Valgrays would like to take this
opportunity to thank you to all for helping, supporting and homing the beautiful collies which
come in all the time. You are providing wonderful loving homes for these dogs. It is obvious
that many folk are not bothered if the dog is a registered Border Collie or not nor do they
worry if they cannot take them aboard to compete. It is the dog and not the pedigree which is
Valgrays Dog of the Year
Val Philips said, 'Last year we saw many more working sheepdogs chasing these awards. Well done
to all the worthy winners of the Valgrays Dog of the Year Awards. You have all done Valgrays
The 2007 presentation will take place
at the Wallingford DTC Agility Show on 22 April 2007.
Tilly Meet Again of
Holly Hopit of Valgray
Tilly Meet Again of
Super Sasha of Valgray
Pepsi Fizz of Valgray
Holly Hopit of Valgray
Likely Lad of Valgray
Little Zac of Valgray
Thank you to the Wallingford Committee
for allowing Valgrays to make the presentation at the show
the new season awards, it has been decided that a Valgrays dog can only enter into one
category, so handlers must choose which one they wish to send in their points in for.
For moe for information contact Val
Philips at The Horseshoes, 33 Crewes Lane, Warlingham, Surrey. Tel. 01883-624513 or
First ‘Ladies Who Rescue’ Award Presented at
® Enterprises Ltd and Animal Friends Insurance (AFI) were delighted to have presented their
first ‘Ladies That Rescue’ award at Crufts,, celebrating and recognising the positive work
achieved by women in rescue. The presentation took place on Trover® Coat’s UK distributor’s
stand Country Mun on Friday, 9 March. AFI Founder MD, Elaine Fairfax,
and Obedience and Freestyle expert, Donelda Guy, presented the £500.00 prize to the
winner Val Philips of Valgrays Border Collie Rescue. She was accompanied by Red, one of her
rescue dogs who was proudly wearing his bespoke Trover® Coat in style.
The runner up Jacquie Neilson of Rain
Rescue received a Bootsuit, presented by Tim Valentine, MD of Bootsuit.
The Award was set up
in response to staggering figures that reveal that 101, 586 stray dogs were found in the UK
last year and that 7, 743 dogs were destroyed for want of a home, Trover ® and Animal Friends
Insurance were keen to acknowledge the valuable rescue work achieved by women volunteers –
without which these figures would be higher.
Inundated with entries all of which
were extremely worthy, it is the aim to make this an annual competition, which will heighten
awareness for women in rescue and the on-going recognition that they deserve.
Winner Val Philips said, 'I am deeply
moved to have received such an honourable award. It is a great thing that people have at last
begun to acknowledge the work done by so many women who give up their lives rescuing and caring
for abused and abandoned dogs. The prize money will go back into Valgrays to help provide for
more border collies in the future.'
Elaine Fairfax commented, 'It’s been
a pleasure to collaborate with Jane Aireton and Toni Cherrett of Trover®. Together we hope to
make others aware that literally hundreds of women, often single handed, contribute to helping
animals in need, through their generosity of spirit and genuine love of creatures who don’t
have a voice.'
Jane Aireton of Trover ® Enterprises
Ltd added, 'We have been deeply moved by the women who have entered the ‘Ladies That Rescue’
competition. Their heartbreaking stories, which tell of 150% commitment, compassion and care
for animals, whilst fighting for funds and working against incredible odds, are inspiring and
deserve to be told.'
Products from Trover and Country Mun
can be found on Agility Warehouse
Wiccaweys Good News Update
Collie Dog Jigsaw Puzzle
40 pieces. A4 Size.
The Enforcement Officer from the Council has visited Wiccaweys Border Collie Rescue has
had the visit from the Enforcement Officer, and although he didn't issue an enforcement
notice at the time, he said he will if any rescue activities takes place there from now
on in. He confirmed that if it hadn't been for immediate neighbours, the planning would
have gone through without any problems.
Sarah and Paul
have been looking for properties and happily have found a suitable one in
Northamptonshire. They are now frantically fundraising to make this happen, and to secure
the property for the dogs once they get there. With that in mind, they have also just
launched the New Wiccaweys Online Store,
with lots of goodies on offer including some great looking, exclusive mugs, t-shirts,
kids clothing and even a jigsaw puzzle of Nilla (Wiccaweys Nilla Vanilla), one of the
Agilitynet rescue dogs.
Sarah said, 'At present, the rescue work is being able to continue with the amazing help
of our wonderful foster homes. Everyone is pulling together to make sure dogs are saved.. Val
Philips at Valgrays and the guys at Border Collie Trust have been incredibly supportive and
have kept in touch. They have both said they have been feeling the impact of us not working a
Animal Friends Insurance Present First ‘Ladies That Rescue’ Award at Crufts
® Enterprises Ltd and Animal Friends Insurance are delighted to be presenting their first
‘Ladies That Rescue’ award at Crufts to Val Philips of
Valgrays Border Collie
Rescue. Animal Friends Insurance Founder MD, Elaine Fairfax and Agility and Obedience
expert Donelda Guy will present the £500.00 prize to the winner. Val will be accompanied by
Red, one of her rescue dogs who will be proudly wearing his bespoke Trover® Coat in style. The
runner up, Jacquie Neilson of Rain Rescue, will receive a Bootsuit, presented by Tim Valentine,
MD of Bootsuit.
recognising the positive work achieved by women in rescue, this
Award was conceived in response to staggering figures that reveal that 101, 586 stray dogs were
found in the UK last year and that 7, 743 dogs were destroyed for want of a home. Trover
® and Animal Friends Insurance are keen to acknowledge the valuable rescue work achieved by
women volunteers without whom these figures would be higher.
entries all of which were extremely worthy, it is the aim to make this an annual competition,
which will heighten awareness for women in rescue and the on-going recognition that they
presentation will take place on Trover® Coat’s UK distributor’s stand Country Mun, Stand no:
142 - Hall 2 , on Friday, 9 March at 2.15 pm.
commented. 'It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Jane Aireton and Toni Cherrett of Trover®.
Together we hope to make others aware that literally hundreds of women, often single handed,
contribute to helping animals in need, through their generosity of spirit and genuine love of
creatures who don’t have a voice.'
Jane Aireton of
Trover ® Enterprises Ltd added, 'We have been deeply moved by the women who have entered the
‘Ladies That Rescue’ competition. Their heartbreaking stories, which tell of 150% commitment,
compassion and care for animals, whilst fighting for funds and working against incredible odds,
are inspiring and deserve to be told.'
We’re delighted to
be staging the ‘Ladies That Rescue’ award on our stand. It is important to support and
contribute positively to the canine world. Trover’s approach is refreshing and we’re only
too pleased to help raise awareness of the valuable rescue work both Val Philips and Jacquie
Neilson have achieved,' enthused Country Mun’s MD, Irvin Werrett.
Wiccaweys Needs Rehoming
again Wiccaweys, the rescue organisation that rehomed more than 300 collies last year, is under
threat . 18 months ago they were faced with closure when their landlord wanted to redevelop the
property they were in. Happily, they were able to find new accommodation in Warwickshire where
they were told that they did not need planning permission to move in.
Wiccaweys has since
heard that they have been refused a change of use planning permission at their present
location, despite having the complete support of their landlords, supporters and volunteers as
well as various rescue organisations across the country including the Blue Cross. The Council's
Planning Enforcement Officer was supposed to come around on the 9 February to issue Wiccaweys
with an enforcement notice but cancelled at the last minute due to illness.
After they do issue the Enforcement Notice,
no rescue dogs will be
allowed on the premises. Nor will anyone be allowed to come to adopt a dog. Even foster
carers will not be able to meet their foster dogs. Wiccaweys will not be allowed to rescue,
rehabilitate or rehome any dogs whatsoever. While Sarah and Paul at Wiccaweys are appealing
this decision in order to 'buy themselves time' but they have been told that they won't win it.
They have to find another property. And soon.
What can you do?
Most importantly you can look out for suitable properties.
can also help raise funds by joining the Friends of Wiccaweys donation scheme.
This can be done via standing order - please email, phone or write for a form - or
on-line via PayPal, See the Wiccaweys website for
details. Donations are gratefully accepted.
you would like to volunteer for fostering one of the dogs, please contact Alexa Gordon, the
Wiccaweys Fosterers Co-ordinator on
For more information contact Sarah
Carey and Paul GIll at CLifton Cottage, Dunsmore Stud Farm, A5 Watling Street, Clifton upon
Dunsmore, Warks CV23 0AQ. Tel.
07905 203254 or email
Wiccaweys Autumn Show Scheduled for September
Wiccaweys Autumn Show will take place on Sunday, 10 September near the village of Welton,
Northamptonshire, with a
Fun Agility or Jumping
competition for Wiccaweys Agility Dogs, judged by Pauline Barr. Any Wiccaweys dog
currently competing, or attending agility classes can have a go. It will not be open to dogs
who have never done agility before. There will also be a
'Have A Go' Agility
course s well as a
'Have A Go' Flyball
depending on trainers available, open to any dogs, not just Wiccaweys dogs.
'It is just a bit of
fun, but with a little trophy for the winner,' said Sarah from Wiccaweys.
There will be a
displays of Border Collie activities. Confirmed already is
an Obedience display,
Flyball display/competition by two teams, Fire Service Search & Rescue display and an agility
display as well as a demo by the Northants DTC Demonstration Team, consisting of up to 20 dogs
of various breeds, including rescued dogs, collies, greyhounds. In addition, the organisers
hope to have a Heelwork to Music display, herding display (possibly ducks?).
In addition there
will be a
raffle, doggy games, sausage eating competition and musical mats and a
Fun Dog Show with
classes like Waggiest Tail, ) Best Pair, Cutest Puppy, Best Veteran (over 8 years), Special
Dogs (dogs with disabilities), Owner Most Like It’s Dog, Snoggiest Dog (lickiest kissiest dog),
Best Rescue Dog (any variety), Best Rescue Bitch (any variety), Best Child / Dog Combo, Most
Appealing Eyes, Best Wiccaweys Dog (boys rehomed by Wiccaweys only), Best Wiccaweys Bitch
(girls rehomed by Wiccaweys only), Fancy Dress and Best In Show.
The Wiccaweys Stall
will be there, selling there wares and they hope to have other rescues from across the country
and stalls attending, with lots of goodies - handmade collars, posh beds etc, TT stand, Reiki,
Clicker Training, Arden Grange Stand, Dog Lost, The Oldies Club. Refreshments and a BBQ will be
Camping is available on the Saturday night for those travelling a distance. If we have a few
folks overnighting, there will be a BBQ-shin-dig on Saturday evening.
A reporter from
Our Dogs will be present.
The show venue is
just off the A361,
about 15mins from Wiccs HQ and about 20 minutes from the M1, M6, A14 meeting point. Show will
open at 10.00am and finish at around 4.00pm. If anyone can help out with, or knows anyone who
can help out with, the below, we would be very grateful. If you have an enquiries about the
show, please ring Sarah or Paul on tel. 07905 203254
Wiccaweys Agility Dogs
Rescued Border Collies & Working Sheepdogs is updating its
web site and has created a section especially for the Wiccs dogs who compete at agility. If
you would like to have your Wiccaweys dog featured in the section, please send a photo of your
dog, with details of their KC name, your name, what level they are competing at, what club you
belong too and any other achievements/wins you are particularly proud of to Sarah and Paul at
Calling All Career Canines!
Take Your Dog to Work
With Britons working the
longest hours in Europe, Take Your Dog to Work Day, taking place on 19 September, gives the
country’s workforce an opportunity to experience what dog owners have always known - that pets
can have positive effect on the mental and physical wellbeing of people around them.
past 11 years of Take Your Dog To Work Day, tens of thousands of career canines and their
owners have gone to work in offices, shops, hospitals and schools across the UK. Such are the
health benefits of having pets in the work place that workers in the health and well-being
industries been some of the most likely to take part in the national charity event.
Your Dog To Work Day helps The Blue Cross encourage responsible dog ownership and raise funds
for the charity’s work with needy animals. By highlighting the social nature of dogs, The Blue
Cross hopes that Take Your Dog to Work Day will encourage people not to leave their dogs alone
at home for prolonged periods.
Your Dog To Work Day 2006 is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd. For more information or to
take part in Take Your Dog To Work Day visit The Blue Cross website at
www.bluecross.org.uk . Visitors will also find
information on health and safety advice on taking dogs into the work place and to how to make
the day enjoyable to dogs and colleagues alike.
Valgrays Rescue Dogs of
the Year 2006
presentation for the Valgrays Dog of the Year took place once gain at the Wallingford DTC open
agility show at Newbury. As you all know Valgrays Border Collie Rescue play a very big
part in homing the many collies we have in rescue to you agility folk..
Philips said, 'Here we are again, another year gone.
I would like to
take this opportunity to thank Wallingford DTC for having us at this lovely show and venue and
for making time for our presentation again and the biggest thanks to all of you who have so
kindly taken on a Valgrays Rescue Dog. My last thanks is to Chris Park and Agility Eye for
Complying the results for this competition.'
so onto the results:-
Final Fantasy of Valgray
Super Sasha of Valgray
Red Alert of Valgray
Dandy the Comic of Valgray
Phydeaux of Valgray
Diane could not attend so no pic.
was a very special day for George and Phydeaux of Valgray, lovingly known as Basil. Val
Philipps presented them with a Special award as Basil is retiring from agility. For many
years he has graced our agility rings and many times has won the Valgrays Dog of the Year.
has had a fab life with the Hildersley family, said Val 'and I had much pride in awarding both
George and Basil a lovely memento. I can assure you their was no dry eyes.
Next season we have many new collies who will be chasing these
trophies so watch out.'
Good News for Wiccaweys
has a new home. With less than a month to go, they've found somewhere suitable where the new
landlords are really excited about the rescue work they do.
Their new place
in Warwickshire has
4.5 acres, so there are
stacks of space for the dogs to learn to enjoy life again. The landlords are also really happy
for Sarah and Paul to run events, workshops, training etc. It is about only 30 minutes from
their old place which means they can stay with their wonderful vet, 'Auntie' Jackie!
The new Wiccaweys HQ is
based at Clifton upon Dunsmore, close to Rugby, so great transport links (M1, M6 & A14)
for both the rescue and visitors. The
new address is:-
Wiccaweys Rescued Border Collie & Working Sheepdogs
Clifton Cottage & Stables
Dunsmore Stud Farm
A5 Watling Street
Clifton upon Dunsmore
Warkwickshire CV23 0AQ
Valgray’s Dog of the Year 2005
presentation of algray’s Dog of the Year 2005 took place at the Wallingford Agility Show on
Sunday, 24 April in the most lovely sunshine. The trophies were presented at 1:00pm by Val
Phillips, founder of Valgray’s Border Collie & Animal Rescue.
Val was, once
again, delighted to present the Valgray’s awards and was so pleased to see the winners there as
well as many supporters and friends who all have 'Valgray’s' rescues.
She gave the
winners a heartfelt thank
you and well done as well as a warning to each one of them. 'There are a lot of Valgray’s
owners out there, she said, 'and they are looking to take those trophies away from you so keep
up the good work !
Collie and Animal Rescue started in 1978 and has, over the years, become respected as one of
the most successful rescue charities which caters for the very unique nature of the Border
Collie and its close relatives. You just have to look around the Agility circuit to see just
how many dogs with a Valgray’s name are competing with their new found families.
Val decided over
the years to give something back to the new owners of the Valgray’s Rescue Dogs and so the
Valgray’s Dog of the Year was born and is now a very coveted award to be won.
Congratulations to the winners
Krackers of Valgray
Phydeaux of Valgray
of Foot of Valgray
Scoobie Doo of Valgray
Thank you from
I would like to say thank you, from myself and also on behalf of Valgrays’ to Carol Hughes.
She has worked so hard over the years to help us with our rescues and has taken so many
herself. We will all miss her a great deal and hope that Carol, Michael and all of the dogs
will enjoy their new adventure and that they will all be extremely happy (We will all have to
pay a visit soon and you never know there may even be a Spanish Valgray’s Rescue soon!)
I would also like
to extend my thanks to Wallingford Dog Training Club for, again, allowing the Valgray’s
presentations to take part at their annual show and a special thank you to Carolyn for giving
Bonnie a lovely home and becoming the owner of the latest Valgray’s Rescue.