Tag Archives: Charity

Dog Theft Awareness Day – 14th March

Dog Theft Awareness Day is around the corner and it is an issue that, despite recent political events gets very little coverage.

More than 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen to police forces in England and Wales since the start of 2013, a BBC investigation has found. (Link here)

This shows a 22% increase within the last two years so it is pretty safe to say that it’s a worryingly sharp rise and one that I feel needs highlighting in Parliament. Fortunately the MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson is keen to discuss this and propose a change in dog theft legislation.

Many may already know that in the eyes of the courts, animals are viewed as chattels, or possessions. If I asked most of my readers and fellow dog owners if they had to put a ‘value’ of a dog it would be absolutely priceless.

Nottinghamshire Police recorded the highest rate of dog thefts between 2013 and 2016. There were some two dogs stolen per 10,000 people served by the force.

It’s difficult to put a monetary value on something that holds so dear to the family? Sadly the value of a family loved dog would be found to have the same value as the chair I am sitting on. The courts would have very little interest in upholding the law in tragic cases of a dog being stolen, even if it was used in cases of dog fighting, puppy farming etc.

That is where the law needs to be reformed.

Dog Theft Awareness Day is around the corner and those need to make sure their voice is heard! Fortunately I will be attending talks within Parliament on the 14th of March to discuss these issues. Do you have an experience of dog theft? Do you know someone that has been a victim of this thoughtless crime? Leave a comment or email me at mark@walden.me and I will do my best to raise this to those who have authority.

Handy advice from www.pettheft.co.uk

Hearing Dogs gets the Doctor Who treatment. Batteries not included…

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With the celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who and a new series around the corner, Mark Walden investigates the advances of technology and whether assistance dogs will eventually be replaced our very own K-9 robots…

The Day of the Doctor is approaching! Equipped with his trusty sonic screwdriver, time shifting Tardis and of course his loyal assistant robot dog K-9 Doctor Who is returning to our screens.

K-9 is Doctor Who’s robotic companion but with today’s technology not so far dr_who_k9away from that of his first incarnation in 1963 it makes you wonder, could robots ever replace real hearing dogs for the deaf? Hearing Dogs for Deaf People was formed back in 1982, far before the widespread use of personal computers, smart-phones and the world wide web. Will that ever change in the future?

At first glance it almost seems perfect. Low cost, minimal maintenance and no training involved – and the technology is actually out there. What’s not to like?

We’ve put together this info-graphic to test the theory and see how K-9 would fare in completing some of a hearing dogs everyday tasks…


OK, so perhaps our study is a little biased but one thing is for certain, in each case hearing dogs provide their owners with the one thing that robots can never provide; companionship, emotional support and a link to the hearing world.Hearing dogs are trained to detect alarms and, unlike a robot, capable of learning and adapting to their owners lifestyle. They have a sense self awareness and judgement that goes the extra mile and naturally thrive on making us happy.They can potentially allow some of the nearly 10 million adults and children in the UK with hearing loss to live independently or go to school and interact with other people.K-9 on the other hand is capable of playing chess, flying, talking and occasionally saving the world from time to time. They are of course good qualities in any dog you come across but he lacks the emotion, empathy and body language that could speak a thousand words to a deaf person. Maybe he should stick to saving the world and travelling through time and leave hearing dogs to the professionals.There is one thing in common between robot and assistance dog though and that’s the extremely high costs that are involved to make them. It’s estimated to cost the Charity on average of £45,000 per assistance dog. The Charity receives no government funding and rely 100% on your donations and support to keep going.So next time you watch Doctor Who, pause for a minute and think that you don’t always need to traverse worlds to help others in need, you can help a deaf person by supporting Hearing Dogs and give them a second chance. Why not get involved and get the chance to meet some of these amazing dogs yourself?

If you want to learn more about hearing dogs or are interested in getting involved, you can visit: http://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/volunteering/opportunities-in-your-area for more information.


Emily’s Story

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Emily Thornton was born profoundly deaf but has gone on to win, amongst many other awards, top Hound handler in UK four times.
 “When I was 7, I wanted a fish. Parents said no. Then I said I wanted a rabbit. Parents said no. Then I said I wanted a horse. Mum said yes! But dad said no. Finally I said I wanted a dog, and eventually parents said yes!
So we’ve been looking at the breeds and the Beagle seemed like perfect breed for us and eventually met Bella. From that night, she changed my life and my confidence just grew and grew. She was the best friend and the one in a million for me. We did do everything together and our bond was genuinely special. Because of Bella and all the hard trainings we’ve done together. 
If it wasn’t for Bella, I wouldn’t have won all those achievements and I wouldn’t be at where I am now, with five beagles under my name and would be so confident to do my three jobs, as a Dance teacher, Sports Massage therapist and a Commis Chef. Bella has genuinely helped me becoming the person I am today and I will never ever find another dog just like her and I truly miss her.
 Dog aren’t only man’s best friend, but also can be a deaf person’s best friend.”


RAF service guard dogs to the Duke of Cambridge put to sleep.

I was going through the news like I do every day with a cuppa’ tea. There is always a story about dogs, the majority bad, especially recently.

However one story made me look twice and it was one you don’t often hear about in the news so I thought I’d share it with you. To summarise, two RAF service dogs have been put down due to behavioural issues (despite the fact that most articles concentrated on Prince William’s leaving the same RAF base).

Continue reading RAF service guard dogs to the Duke of Cambridge put to sleep.