On Tuesday 11th December K-9 Angels co-founders Victoria and Pola were in Westminster for the last All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) meeting of 2018. It was a very heart-warming and inspiring evening celebrating "Unsung Heroes" chaired by founder and vet Marc Abraham.
There was a beautiful and moving interview between the great animal welfare campaigner Peter Egan and thirteen year-old Owen Hawkins, with Owen talking about his three legged Anatolian Shepherd dog Haatchi. Owen is an amazing young man who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome (SJS)
Owen shared his story with the packed Boothroyd Room, explaining how he was eight years old when he first met Haatchi. Haatchi had previously been bludgeoned in the head and left to die on a railway line. Owen went on to say how Haatchi had originally joined Owen and his family as a companion dog but how he soon became his soul mate. He spoke of the remarkable close bond that he has with Haatchi, and how they have helped each other through adversity.
Owen was presented with APDAWG’s inaugural Philippa Robinson Dog Welfare Award, in memory of campaigner Philippa who very sadly passed away recently.
The team spent a very special and emotional time listening to the other unsung heroes who are making such a difference:-
Rachel Fuller spoke about her Animal Requiem concert which is taking place on 31st January 2019 featuring Alfie Boe. The concert is to raise money for animal charities and to celebrate, remember and honour all the animals we have loved and lost.
Linda Goodman of C.A.R.I.A.D then spoke about the progress of Lucy’s law in Wales. The Welsh government have indicated their intention to consult in January on banning commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens.
Clare Bass from the Humane Society International (HIS) talked about the fantastic work they are carrying out across Asia in order to end the brutal dog and cat meat trade, describing the horrific conditions on South Korea dog meat farms. She went on to describe their success in closing them down, and rescuing and re-homing dogs that have been saved from this awful trade.
Tracey Berridge spoke about her charity Dogs Helping Kids and explained how her charity uses highly trained dogs to help teach children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust.
Emma Ward spoke about the role of dogs in war and gave a fascinating presentation on the proposal to create a National Military Working Dogs Memorial to commemorate military working dogs who bravely served their country in conflict.
Eileen Jones of Friends of the Animals Wales gave a very moving presentation about their work rescuing and rehabilitating ex-puppy farm breeding dogs.
It was an incredible evening bringing together animal welfare campaigners from across the UK who are united in their aim of improving the health and welfare of dogs.
We look forward to attending meetings and making a difference together in 2019!