The Kennel Club Charitable Trust

International Canine Health Awards 2017

The International Canine Health Awards, run by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, were held on Wednesday 24th May at the Kennel Club in London. Now in their fifth year the awards recognise researchers and scientists whose work has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of dogs.

Award winners each receive a substantial cash prize, donated by Vernon and Shirley Hill of Metro Bank, to contribute to new or continued research. We are pleased to announce the 2017 winners:

  • Professor Garden, Chair of Department of Clinical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) received the International Prize in Canine Health, for his outstanding contribution in the field of canine health and welfare, with a prize fund of £40,000,
  • Professor Paul McGreevy, Professor of Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award with a £10,000 prize.
  • The Student Inspiration Awards were presented to University of Cambridge PhD student, Andrea Strakova with a prize fund of £10,000 and a prize fund of £5,000 to Liverpool University undergraduate student, Harriet Davenport.
ICHA Winners 2017

From left to right: Prof Steve Dean, Prof Paul McGreevy, Harriet Davenport, Prof Oliver Garden, Shirley and Vernon Hill with Sir Duffield the dog (Credit: the Kennel Club)

More details about the winners and their achievements can be found here.

If you could like to enter or nominate a candidate for the 2018 International Canine Health Awards, you can register your interest here.

Video Of Jack Russell Going Rogue At Crufts Goes Viral

A Facebook video showing a cute Jack Russell going ‘off course’ during an agility competition at the world’s largest dog show, Crufts, has racked up more than a million views in under 24 hours and is approaching 10 million views!

Olly the rescue Jack Russell was competing with his owner in the rescue dog agility competition in the main arena at Crufts on Friday 10th March when he decided to tackle the course in his own way.

Agility courses involve the dogs running a series of jumps, weaves, seesaws, A-frames and tunnels.  They must run the course in a specific order, directed by their owner.  Olly however wanted to tackle the course in a different way and was caught on camera running around as he wanted.

Caroline Kisko, Crufts spokesperson, said: “Olly wanted to do things his own way and it’s clear he was having the time of his life.  In the video you can see his owner laughing as he whizzes round the course and even the commentator got the giggles, which is exactly the reaction we imagine was shared by the two hundred thousand plus people who have watched the video since yesterday.

“Olly is a rescue dog that was rehomed by Blue Cross rescue charity so it is lovely to see that he’s now having such a fun time with his new owner.”

Crufts was held at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th March.

Watch it now.

Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust have a Christmas to remember

Christmas came early to the Bulldog Rescue and Re-homing Trust in the shape of a grant from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust! But it wasn’t just shiny ribbon bound presents that these lucky little Bulldogs received in their fluffy stockings and eager little paws this Yuletide. For some of them, the gift has and will have been of a new forever home via Bulldog Rescue and Re-homing Trust.

This is made possible by kind donations from members of the public, who have donated to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust or to the rescue themselves – who have then been able to use the money to help this wonderful breed receive emergency, and sometimes life changing and saving medical care and attention. The donations have even helped with such basics as microchipping, worming, defleaing, and vaccinations – all of those lovely little “perks” that we responsible dog owners take for granted when we care for our own little pals, but mount up when there are so many, unwanted, Bulldogs needing these bare necessities!

Imagine being tied up in a graveyard, left all alone, with no one to care for you. The only person you had ever known had left you and you had no idea if they would ever return for you, how long you had actually been waiting there and how long it would be before they would come back…IF they would come back?! Bulldog Emily went through all of this and more, but was thankfully found by a member of the public who took her straight to her local vet and it wasn’t long before Bulldog Rescue and Re-homing were on the scene and well and truly on the case!

Bulldog Emily

Bulldog Emily after her surgery

Emily was underweight and malnourished, suffering from two Cherry Eyes (a condition affecting the third eyelid of each eye) and with very bad skin. She needed surgery on both eyes to remove the overlapping third eyelids and this was paid for by the grant awarded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. The volunteer who took Emily to the vet for her surgery could not believe the difference when she came to pick her up to take her home as it was SO dramatic! She was a different dog. It is so hard to believe how dogs who have been through so much hardship, especially surrounding humans, can still love us so very much. I personally know this from my own experience with my 8 furry friends that include rescued and disabled dogs.

Another lucky little Bully, Belle, was also helped by a grant from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust! She also suffered with Cherry Eye as well as severe demodex (skin disease), MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and pseudomonas. Following surgery and treatment for her other ills, thanks to the Kennel Club Charitable trust grant, she now not only has a healthier life… but also a happy forever home and a new family who love her very much!

Bulldog Belle after surgey

Bulldog Belle after surgey

Both of these stories show us how important it is to support our rescue charities and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. What amazing work they do in saving lives and improving the physical and psychological well being of many of the poor little pooches of this country! They truly make a massive difference and what a world we would live in if we did not have them. As the saying goes, Christmas is a time for giving but rescues need your donations every day of every year. In the same vein, a puppy is not a present it is a forever investment that will likely leave stains on your carpet, chew your slippers and generally get up to no good, BUT how could we ever live without them?!

Find out more about Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust
Find out how you can help make a difference to dogs by donating now!

Find out more about our author Caroline Murphy here

Stark Truth Behind Health Charity’s New Family-Friendly “Beat The Bugs” Animation

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust (KCCT) has provided funding to The Bella Moss Foundation to help launch a new animated video to explain the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to children and families to mark the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual awareness campaign run by the World Health Organisation, this year running from November 14-20. It also features European Antibiotic Awareness Day, which falls on November 18 every year.

Meanwhile, The Bella Moss Foundation deals with the fallout from antibiotic resistance every day.

While AMR figures in pets and livestock are not as easy to collate as human infection figures from the NHS, the charity knows first-hand that these infections happen in pets. It runs a support service for human and animal clinicians and pet owners battling AMR infections and receives at least 30 calls every week.

As a charity set up by a grieving pet owner, for other members of the general public, The Bella Moss Foundation is passionate about the need for more awareness around AMR – and has created a simple family-friendly video to help.

Charity founder Jill Moss said: “The threat of AMR isn’t news to doctors, pharmacists, dentists or vets, but it also isn’t going away.

“In 2015, AMR was recognised as the potential source of a future civil emergency on the Government’s national risk register, and earlier this year, the former Prime Minister’s Review on AMR said if we don’t act, by 2050 we could see 10 million global deaths every year caused by superbugs.

“That same report also said a real effort was needed to raise public awareness of AMR.”

There are brilliant initiatives going on aimed at convincing professionals to prescribe responsibly, and The Bella Moss Foundation is a keen, long-standing supporter of Public Health England’s Antibiotic Guardian campaign.

“But there’s always more we can do to get the message across,” Jill said.

“AMR is here, people and animals die from it every day, and if we don’t start to appreciate the problem and listen to medical practitioners about protecting these drugs, then millions more will die. It’s up to all of us to make sure they don’t.”

The Bella Moss Foundation’s new one-minute “Beat The Bugs” video is aimed at children and families and stars a mass of multiplying, resistant bugs, and outlines how we can all do our bit to stop them from eliminating our antibiotics.

Jill said: “It’s a simple video but we want as many people as possible to share it with their friends and families – the message really is simple, together we can ‘beat the bugs’.”

Dawn Howards, chief executive of the National Office of Animal Health, who helped fund the animation alongside the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, said: “We welcome this innovative initiative to raise awareness. Better understanding of AMR in humans and animals and the important role of antibiotics is vital for all of us to ensure the future effectiveness for our children and pets”.

To view the Beat The Bugs video, please visit

Support rescue dogs by ordering the 2017 Kennel Club Breed Rescue calendar

Dog lovers can support rescue dogs by ordering the 2017 Kennel Club Breed Rescue calendar, which is now available and stars dogs from breeds that have been helped by Kennel Club Breed Rescue (KCBR) organisations.

Raising money for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the calendar features images of rescue dogs that were submitted by KCBR organisations for a competition run by the Kennel Club to find worthy models to illustrate each month of the year. 

The 2017 calendar features the following breeds: West Highland White Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, German Shepherd Dog, Dobermann, Akita, Old English Sheepdog, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Afghan Hound, French Bulldog, Greyhound and Bedlington Terrier.

The cover star of the 2017 calendar is 16 month-old Irish Setter, Harry, who came into the Irish Setter Breeder Club (ISBC) Rescue in September last year when he was just 10 weeks old due to a serious health condition. Harry suffers with megaesophagus, which means he has significant issues swallowing

Originally the rescue organisation was given his brother George, who had the same condition, after his owners couldn’t pay his vet fees. Two weeks later, ISBC Secretary Geraldine Cove-Print discovered Harry in an advert online after his owner too had trouble paying their vet bills. After £300 was raised to buy Harry via donations from the ISBC Rescue’s Facebook page, 24 hours later Geraldine was able to collect him.

Harry went into foster care with ISBC assistant secretary Karen Pare whilst George was taken in by Geraldine for several weeks whilst they received specialist care to make sure they were as healthy as possible for new homes. During this time the pair acquired a large fan base via the ISBC Facebook group, which lead to further money being raised to pay for their medical bills. Although they will always be at risk of a lung infection called aspiration pneumonia, following specialist veterinary care and a specific diet regime, both brothers’ condition has significantly improved.

Harry’s new owners, Sarah and Simon Docherty from Buckley, North Wales, stumbled upon his story when they saw that friends of the ISBC were raising funds in order to rescue Harry. The couple had previously owned another Irish Setter who had the same condition as Harry, as well as cancer, but who sadly passed away in April this year. The pair weren’t looking for a new dog but as soon as they read about Harry on Facebook they quickly changed their minds.

Proud owner Sarah said: “We firstly fell in love with his story due to his poor start in life. We’ve always had Setters and his plight tugged at our heartstrings and made us want to help. Then in discussions with the ISBC Rescue we fell further in love with him through his updates and stories about how he was getting on in his foster home, his cheeky character, and how he developed his own personality as his health improved.

“Upon setting eyes on him for the first time, we instantly fell head over heels in love and we couldn’t be happier, or more proud of him, for being on the cover, and handsome Mr August, of the Kennel Club Breed Rescue calendar.”

Harry and his new owners will be joined by Karen Pare from the ISBC Rescue, along with other dogs which feature in the calendar, at London’s biggest dog event, Eukanuba Discover Dogs on 22nd-23rd October at ExCeL London to promote Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations and encourage people to buy the calendar to support rescue dogs.

As winners of the competition to find the stars of the calendar, the ISBC Rescue will be presented with £100, and the 11 other rescues which had their dogs chosen to appear in the calendar will each receive £50 granted by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said:  “Congratulations to all of the dogs in the new breed rescue calendar – we are thrilled to showcase their pictures and stories. The hope is that the calendar’s sale will help to encourage people to consider rescuing a purebred dog which needs a permanent home, whilst also raising money for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust which supports and funds a number of rescue and rehoming organisations.

“The Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations do such fantastic work and we look forward to having Harry and the other calendar stars at Eukanuba Discover Dogs to showcase the amazing rehoming stories as well as educating the general public about rescuing a dog.”

The Kennel Club Breed Rescue calendar will be on sale for £5 throughout Eukanuba Discover Dogs and through the Kennel Club online shop via for the rest of the year. All proceeds go to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to ‘make a difference for dogs’.

Labrador study offers vets clues on why dogs’ tails lose their wag…

A painful condition that affects dogs’ tails may be more common than previously thought, a study suggests.

The research offers clues to potential causes of the illness – known as limber tail – which mostly affects larger working dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers.

Researchers say their findings are the first step towards preventing the distressing condition, which causes the tail to become limp and painful.

The team at the University of Edinburgh compared 38 cases of limber tail that were identified from owners’ reports about their dogs’ health with 86 dogs that had no tail symptoms.

Their goal was to gain insight into habits and lifestyle factors that might explain why some dogs are affected and not others.

The majority of dogs in the study were pets but those affected by limber tail were more likely to be working dogs, they found.

Swimming has previously been thought to be a risk factor for limber tail, which is sometimes known as ‘swimmers’ tail’. Some but not all of the affected dogs had been swimming prior to the onset of symptoms, the study found.

Dogs with the condition were more likely to live in northern areas, lending support to anecdotal reports that limber tail is associated with exposure to the cold.

Labradors that had suffered limber tail were more likely to be related to each other than unaffected dogs, which may indicate an underlying genetic risk.

Experts hope that further studies will identify genes associated with the condition, which could one day help breeders to identify animals that are likely to be affected. Over time, this could help to reduce the disease prevalence.

The symptoms usually resolve within a few days or weeks so many cases are not reported to vets. This may be why it has been so underestimated in the past. However, owners report that it can be very painful and distressing for the animals.

The study is the first large-scale investigation of limber tail and was conducted as part of the Dogslife project, which follows the health and wellbeing of more than 6000 Labradors from across the UK.

Dr Carys Pugh, who led the study at the University’s Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “We were surprised by how many owners were reporting limber tail to us but it meant we had the chance to do a detailed investigation.

“We have been able to add evidence to a lot of internet speculation about risk factors and the new findings relating to geographical region and family links give us avenues to pursue in understanding and avoiding the condition.”

The study, published in the Veterinary Record, was funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. The Roslin Institute receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The Joy Book Club donates to Bark and Read

Bark and Read

The Joy Book Club, a subscription box book club, has donated money to the Bark and Read foundation after it nominated them as their chosen charity for their ‘Read Books, Do Good’ initiative.

Every two months, The Joy Book Club customers receive a box with a book and few gifts themed around that month’s particular book. As part of this, they nominate a book-related charity and donate £1 from every box sold to said charity.

For the months of April and May The Joy Book Club sold a total of 28 boxes. The book that inspired the club to nominate Bark and Read was Sirius by Jonathan Crown, which is the remarkable story of a little dog who changed world history.

Founder of The Joy Book Club Julie Fisher said: “It’s important to me that this business, as well as being a fun, bookish business, gives something back to society and does some good, which is why I started the initiative.

“I first heard about the Bark and Read at Discover Dogs back in October and thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. And as my latest book pick featured a dog, this seemed like the obvious choice for this month’s charity, and it’s a scheme I am very happy to support.”

The Bark & Read Foundation provides funding and support to individuals and charities, big and small, who bring dogs into classrooms and libraries to assist children and young people to become confident and happy readers. It receives funding from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust as well as local businesses such as The Joy Book Club. Currently, Bark and Read have eleven participating charities with more in the pipeline.  Between them, they reach approximately 700 schools.

Find out more about the Bark and Read Foundation by clicking here

Winners of Dog Photographer of the Year Competition Announced

DPOTY 2015 Overall Winner © Anastasia Vetkovskaya / The Kennel Club

The Kennel Club has announced the winners of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition. Now in its tenth year, the competition received almost 13,000 entries from a staggering 90 different countries.
Anastasia Vetkovskaya from Russia has been selected as the overall winner of the competition with an image of Sheldon the English Springer Spaniel entering the water early one morning. The image initially won the ‘Dogs at Work’ category. The winning photographer lives in Moscow with her husband and two children plus their three dogs, two cats and a horse.

DPOTY 2015 Overall Winner © Anastasia Vetkovskaya / The Kennel Club

DPOTY 2015 Overall Winner © Anastasia Vetkovskaya / The Kennel Club

Upon winning the biggest canine photography competition in the world, Anastasia said: “I have loved animals from an early age, which is why I went to Moscow Veterinary Academy and became a veterinary surgeon in 2007. Around this period of time, my husband gave me my first SLR camera and since then I have devoted all of my free time to photography. My speciality is pets and I am inspired most by horses and dogs.

This particular image was taken during dog training one early autumn morning. The dog, Lordsett Just One Look (Sheldon), belongs to a friend and often becomes my model.”

The competition consists of eight categories: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, new category Oldies, under 18s’ category I Love Dogs Because…, and Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities.

The other category winners were: Tom Lowe from North Tyneside, who won the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with a photo of Baxter, his pet Westie, emerging from Loch Lomond; Linda Storm from Colorado, who won the ‘Puppy’ category with an adorable image of a rescue puppy enjoying a bowl of milk; Jamie Morgan from Maidstone, who won the ‘Dog Portrait’ category with a stunning image of two Afghan Hounds against an idyllic backdrop; Fiona Sami from Bristol who won the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category with an understated photograph of a man and his dog travelling by train; under 18s’ category ‘I Love Dogs Because…’ winner 16 year-old Jade Hudson from Lincolnshire; and Kevin Smith from Worcestershire, who won new category ‘Oldies’ with a portrait of 12 year-old crossbreed, Lizzie.

The winner of the ‘Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities’ category was Michael Higginson from Preston, Lancashire, who took a relaxed photograph of his brother Dale with family pet, Esta. A prize of £500 for this category will go to Michael’s chosen charity, Dogs for Good.

DPOTY 2015 Michael Higginson-®_The Kennel Club

DPOTY 2015 Winner of the ‘Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities category, Michael Higginson ® / The Kennel Club

Speaking about his win, Michael said: “I was pretty surprised when I got the call. I’m not one for expressing myself emotionally but I had the largest, longest lasting smile and my partner Cat – who came 2nd in the Puppy category – was enthusiastically star jumping around the room. Winning the Assistance Dog category has made it even more special. It’s an honour to be able to show the world what a difference a dog can make to someone else’s life.”

This year’s Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition is sponsored by SmugMug, the dog-loving photo sharing site for professional photographers. The company’s European Manager Alastair Jolly commented: “At SmugMug we are passionate about two things – photography and man’s best friend – so being on the judging panel for this year’s competition has been a fantastic experience. The quality of images entered in to the competition was incredibly high, making it very tough to choose the winning few. We look forward to meeting the winners at the awards ceremony and introducing them to the SmugMug community.”

Each of the eight winners will receive a print of their image courtesy of Loxley Colour, a SmugMug business account, and a two day photography course with dog photographer Andy Biggar, a former finalist of the competition who has gone on to great success. The overall winner will also receive an original oil painting of their winning image by internationally award winning artist Sara Abbott. Two runners-up for each category will also receive prizes.

Judges this year included Head of Exhibitions at the Photographers’ Gallery, Clare Grafik; Press Association’s Group Picture Editor, Martin Keene; professional dog photographer, Samantha Clark; SmugMug’s European Manager, Alastair Jolly; and Kennel Club representatives  Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive; Simon Luxmoore, Chairman, and Pauline Luxmoore-Ball.

Rosemary Smart, Kennel Club Chief Executive said: “The entries for this year’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition were some of the best we have ever seen. Choosing the winners was an incredibly challenging task and we commend every photographer who entered. Each of the winning photographers beautifully captured the essence of their canine subjects on camera, demonstrating how important dogs are to us in every walk of life. The winners showed great technical skill and we look forward to seeing more work from them in the future.”

All of the winning images plus the photos that placed second and third for each category will be on display at the Kennel Club in Mayfair, London from 28th June until 12th September. The exhibition is open to the public and free to visit by appointment.

Anyone wishing to visit should contact the Art Gallery office

To view all the winning images visit the Dog Photographer of the Year website.

What does the Kennel Club do for canine health?

what the kennel club does for healthDid you know that last year alone the Kennel Club e-mailed around 420,000 dog owners inviting them and their dogs to contribute to independent scientific research, or that Mate Select, a free online Kennel Club health resource for breeders, was used approximately two million times?

The Kennel Club makes a difference to dog health in many different ways and a new report highlights some of the steps taken to provide education, improve health in dog shows, progress scientific research and encourage responsible breeding.  The work of the Kennel Club is ongoing, but information on what has been achieved so far can be found at

New book published about 2015 Eukanuba Friends For Life winner Miracle

Miracle cover shotA book about Miracle, the 2015 winner of the Eukanuba Friends For Life competition, has now been published and focuses on the heart-breaking and inspiring story of Miracle, the dog that refused to die.

The book focuses on the tear-jerking, inspirational and incredible tale of Miracle, a crossbreed that was snatched from the streets of Thailand, loaded onto a truck with hundreds of stolen dogs and destined for the restaurants of Hanoi.

But an incredible rescue led to a fateful meeting with Amanda Leask, a dog lover from Scotland. Devastated by Miracle’s plight and the hopelessness of his situation, she enquired about how she might help him. Amanda’s six year old son Kyle, who was born with cerebral palsy and autism, developed an amazing connection with Miracle and their special bond has transformed not only Kyle’s life, but that of the entire family.

Miracle and Kyle were crowned winners of Eukanuba Friends For Life at Crufts 2015 in front of a packed audience and broadcast live on Channel 4. The annual Eukanuba Friends for Life competition, run by the Kennel Club, celebrates inspiring stories of canine companionship in the face of adversity. For more information on the competition visit

‘Miracle’ was published by Ebury Press on 21st April 2016 and available for £12.99.