Free Microchipping Events in the Highlands

Signing the CPG's Pledge to protect Scotland's animals
Signing the CPG’s Pledge to protect Scotland’s animals

I was pleased to have a chance to catch up with the Dogs Trust in Parliament last week as part of the CPG on Animal Welfare’s exhibition. With debate continuing over the microchipping of dogs, it was great to hear that the Trust will be travelling across the Highlands offering free microchipping to anybody who’d like to have peace of mind in the unfortunate event of their dog going missing. They’re currently hoping to make it along to the following locations:

Friday 6th June

Thurso Lorry park opposite Riverside Replicas Shop KW14 8BU 9am – 12pm
Wick Riverside area next to Riverside Walk. Near Macleay Lane, Wick KW1 2pm – 5pm

Saturday 7th June

Golspie Community Centre, Golspie High School, Sutherland KW10 6RA 9am – 12pm
Dingwall Dingwall Auction Mart, Mart Road, Dingwall, Highland IV15 9PP 2pm – 4pm

Sunday 8th June

Alness West End Community Centre, Firhill, Alness IV17 0RS 10am – 3pm

Monday 9th June

Inverness Coronation Road Car Park, Merkinch, Inverness, IV3 8AD 10am – 2pm

Tuesday 10th June

Nairn The Links, Links Place, Nairn IV12 4NH 10am – 2pm

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MSPs ‘PAWS FOR THOUGHT’ THIS CHRISTMAS TO MARK 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF ICONIC DOGS TRUST SLOGAN

Dogs Trust Xmas

On Thursday 5th December, Members of the Scottish Parliament attended an event in Holyrood organised by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to raise awareness of its annual Christmas campaign.

 

The event, sponsored by Kenneth Gibson MSP, celebrated the 35th anniversary of the iconic Dogs Trust slogan; “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas”. The phrase was coined in 1978 by the charity’s CEO, Clarissa Baldwin OBE, in a bid to highlight the issue of dogs being given as Christmas gifts and later abandoned when the novelty wears off.

 

MSPs were given the opportunity to take a festive Dogs Trust sleigh ride and meet a large number of furry friends. These pooches, however, were all stuffed toys – the only suitable kind of dog to give as a gift! Attendees also learned more about the charity’s annual campaign, which encourages people to pause and think carefully before taking on a dog, especially during the festive season.

 

Jean Urquhart MSP for Highlands and Islands said:

 

“I am delighted to support Dogs Trust and help the charity mark the 35th anniversary of its famous slogan, which is as important now as it ever has been. A dog is a lifetime commitment and should never be bought on impulse as if it were a new television or a pair of shoes. This message is particularly poignant during the festive season, when people are buying all sorts of gifts on a whim without necessarily considering the consequences. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a dog or puppy as a Christmas present to ‘paws’ before doing so, and remember that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.”

 

Laura Vallance, Head of Public Affairs at Dogs Trust said:

 

“We are delighted that so many MSPs are supporting us once again in raising awareness for our annual Christmas campaign. Although our iconic slogan is known throughout Scotland, we still see dogs and puppies all too frequently purchased as inappropriate Christmas gifts. It is clear that our message is as poignant now as it was in 1978, which is why it so encouraging to see MSPs get behind our message that a dog really is for life”.

 

Every year since 1978, Dogs Trust has campaigned to highlight the problems surrounding dogs being given as gifts at Christmas. The charity aims to curb this problem by educating people about responsible dog ownership and about the potential risks of buying pets on an impulse, be it in pet shops, directly through breeders, or online.

 

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs a year through its nationwide network of 18 rehoming centres, including Glasgow and West Calder. For more information about Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.

Photos: Dogs Trust Visit, July 2013

On July 4th, I was lucky enough to visit the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre near Uddingston. The Dogs Trust are a fantastic charity whose dedicated employees and volunteers rehome over 1000 dogs every year. Each rehomed dog is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, and is matched carefully to its new owners.

I discussed key dog welfare issues with front line staff at the rehoming centre – issues such as microchipping, which is a simple and effective tool that Dogs Trust believes should be made compulsory in Scotland to help trace abandoned pets back to irresponsible owners and reduce the number of healthy dogs unnecessarily put to sleep in the country.

Sadly abandonment is one of the main reasons dogs come in to the centre, and in 2012 they saw 4,524 dogs picked up in Scotland. This equates to 12 dogs being picked up each day by Local Authorities. Dogs Trust strongly believe that these numbers could be reduced by the introduction of compulsory microchipping.

I really enjoyed my visit to Dogs Trust Glasgow, especially meeting all the lovely dogs and dedicated staff who work so hard to care for them. The service that Dogs Trust provides for the dog population in Scotland is invaluable, and I greatly support the work that they do. I’ve been a supporter of compulsory microchipping, and hopefully the Government’s consultation later this year will yield further good news for man (and woman!)’s best friends.

Jean with Ben Hope, one of the centre's puppies
Jean with Ben Hope, one of the centre’s puppies
Jean and the team with Ben Hope.
Jean and the team with Ben Hope.
The Centre has dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, but there's been a growing number of breeds requiring regular exercise such as huskies, malamutes and collies being brought to the Centre.
The Centre has dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, but there’s been a growing number of breeds requiring regular exercise such as huskies, malamutes and collies being brought to the Centre.
The dogs in the Rehoming Centre are very well looked after- as well as temperature-controlled rooms, the dogs are well groomed and have at least one long walk a day
The dogs in the Rehoming Centre are very well looked after- as well as temperature-controlled rooms, the dogs are well groomed and have at least one long walk a day
The Centre receives about 3 or 4 dogs every day, and houses 100 or so dogs at any time. Some dogs stay for only a few weeks; others remain at the Centre for years waiting for the perfect owner. So far, 489 dogs have found new homes in 2013.
The Centre receives about 3 or 4 dogs every day, and houses 100 or so dogs at any time. Some dogs stay for only a few weeks; others remain at the Centre for years waiting for the perfect owner. So far, 489 dogs have found new homes in 2013.
Jean with Sandra, the Manager of the Dogs Trust at Uddingston. Sandra was kind enough to show us around the facilities and answer all of our questions.
Jean with Sandra, the Manager of the Dogs Trust at Uddingston. Sandra was kind enough to show us around the facilities and answer all of our questions.