2 new members join our Health Committee Pet Adviser team
In 2011, three people, Helga Klausgraber, Emma Newman and Gill Key were invited to join the DBC Health and Welfare sub-committee as Pet Advisers, with a remit that included helping to raise awareness of health and welfare within the pet community by supporting responsible buying and ownership, directing owners to the invaluable resources on the DBC website via social media, the internet and social events. The team also provide input from the pet owner perspective within the sub committee.
Since then, the breed has grown in popularity hugely, in no small part due to the high profile of dachshunds on TV and adverts, and at the same time, the Facebook community has expanded enormously. We now actively participate in the majority of the UK Facebook pet groups along with a number of U.S./multinational groups. Amongst the biggest UK groups are:
· Dachshunds Needing Homes (UK): 8402
· Miniature Dachshund UK : (6342)
· Dachshunds in the United Kingdom (5164)
· Dachshunds Anonymous (UK): ( 5038)
· Simply Sausage Dogs (3830)
· Happy Dachshunds (3445)
· Sausage Dog Walks South Wales UK (3346)
· Dachshunds UK (3285)
There are at least 20 groups with more than 400 members, including regional (e.g. Yorkshire Dachshund Group), variety or colour specific (e.g. Brindle Dachshunds) or with a specific purpose (e.g. Dachshunds for Sale UK – help and advice).
Helga has now emigrated to Australia, where she is doing sterling work on IVDD, and Emma has been increasingly busy with work commitments, meaning that the bulk of the work has been shouldered by Gill Key. For some time, we have been looking for two additional Pet Advisers to support the work, and we are now delighted to announce that two new members have accepted an invitation to join the subcommittee: Charlotte Baldwin and Aimée Thomas. Welcome Charlotte and Aimée, and thank you Helga and Emma for your invaluable contributions.
Although fairly new to the dachshund world, Charlotte has been invited to join due to her incredible organisational and fundraising skills, high social media profile and ongoing commitment to health.
Charlotte and her husband own two mini smooths, Barney and Rosie. A couple of of years ago, keen to socialise them with other dogs, they joined a local dog walking group. It soon became apparent that the excitement and mayhem of running with the big pack of dogs of massively varying sizes may have been putting them in danger.
After a few near misses, in late 2015 they set up a brand-new Facebook group: Sausage dog Walks South Wales UK and invited likeminded dachshund owners along for sociable, safe walks on some of the beautiful beaches in the area. However, it rapidly became so much more, taking all by surprise. Within weeks of announcing a Christmas walk at Porthcawl, over 500 dachshunds descended on Porthcawl for what may be the biggest dachshund walk ever in the UK. Since then the group has continued to grow and now has nearly 3500 members, and even attracted national and international press interest!
Sadly, it soon became apparent that many of the dachshunds were unable to join the walks as they were suffering with IVDD. In September 2016, Charlotte launched Dedicated to Dachshunds, with the aim of providing equipment (temporarily or permanently) and additional therapies for the dachshunds in need, whilst also raising IVDD awareness and the importance of getting an early diagnosis. Charlotte organised fundraising events alongside the walk, mobilising exceptional support from her group and beyond, with people donating their time, goods and donations to the cause.
In just 5 months over £7000 has been raised and D2D now qualifies for charity status. Some money has been passed to Dachshund Rescue and the rest is used to buy and loan out crates, strollers and other equipment as well as supporting complimentary treatment such as hydrotherapy to help wasted muscles and nerve regeneration.
Charlotte is passionate about health and welfare and is very keen to help with ongoing research initiatives and raising awareness of responsible buying and ownership. She is often referred to as the Dachshund Godmother by her Facebook group and hopes to continue to sprinkle this magic and hope across the UK and further, with the generous support and donations from the dachshund pet community.
Charlotte works for the Welsh Blood Service, collecting blood from donors across Wales and all her hobbies all revolve around dachshunds. She wouldn’t want it any other way.
Since meeting a primary school teacher’s black and tan miniature long haired dachshund when she was 7, Aimee has been in love with dachshunds and set herself the goal of one day owning at least one of her own. She now has two miniature long haired dachshunds, a red called Poppy and a shaded cream puppy named Pumpkin, who joined the family at the start of 2017. She also has a 12 year old Black Labrador and a 5 year old Jack Russell terrier. Growing up, she always had the company of animals and her family owned dogs of various breeds including a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Flat Coated Retriever and Labrador, but none of these breeds never had as big of an effect on her than her dachshunds.
Aimee studied Animal Management and Welfare at Harper Adams University, including units on health, welfare, biology and physiology in the curriculum. Before that she had spent a year helping out on weekends at veterinary practices while at school. Since becoming a dachshund owner, she is now pursuing a career in canine behaviour, with the aim of setting up her own business.
For the last year, she has also one of the two main administrators on the Facebook group ‘Miniature Dachshund UK’, which is now the biggest dachshund group in the UK with over 7000 members, and growing by the day. She regularly responds to requests for information about dachshund health and welfare from other pet owners and has been complimented by members of the Dachshund Breed Council Health and Welfare Sub Committee for her sensible and articulate posts.
Aged 23, she is aware that her experience isn’t as extensive as the other members of the sub-committee, but has already found the information provided by the Dachshund Breed Council invaluable and every day she is learning more and more about this unique breed.
She is incredibly excited to now be part of the team.
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