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Bella Moss Foundation celebrates charity status success

The Bella Moss Foundation has been granted Charity Registration, and celebrated the event at Crufts this year.

Bella Moss FoundationThe foundation has been active in alerting pet owners and vets to the dangers to pets from MRSA since April 2005, and has drawn plaudits from leaders in the veterinary profession for its development of conferences and professional development seminars.

Among those showing their support at Crufts were Marc Abraham, best known for his association with Channel 4’s programme The New Paul O’Grady Show, who said:

‘The work done by The Bella Moss Foundation is exactly what vets and pet owners have needed. The foundation has made the profession sit up and take notice of MRSA when it probably didn’t want to and it’s fantastic that it now has charity status. Vets and owners have to work together, with the same information, to make sure that pets have the very best of care. As a profession we have to be more focused on the best way to deal with MRSA and other serious infections, and Jill and The Bella Moss Foundation is helping us do just that.’

The foundation was also joined by Chris Laurence, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust, who has supported and advised The Foundation since it began, and Mr Otto, a Great Dane who had recovered from an MRSA infection that followed repair of a broken leg with his owner Tina Mueller Griffiths who was so much help on our stand.

Peter Purves, Vice Patron of the foundation, was unable to attend the celebration but gave a statement of support:

‘I am delighted to hear that the valuable work done in the area of infectious diseases in animals can now move on to the next phase due to The Bella Moss Foundation’s new status as a charity. The extent of MRSA and other diseases in dogs is not really known, only the fact that the numbers are rising. Vets will welcome the support and information provided by the charity - I can see nothing but good coming from this.’

Jill Moss, President of the foundation, was pleased that the foundation had a stand at Crufts for a second year. ‘Being at events like this is vital to the work of the foundation, and we want to thank the Kennel Club for all of the help it’s given us. We know that there are many people who are still unaware of the things they can do to protect their pets, and this is the best way of reaching them. I’m still amazed by the number of people who have no idea that pets can be affected by serious infections like MRSA.

‘People take our leaflets and thank us for raising awareness. We advise pet owners on how to keep their pets healthy, what they can do to help limit post-operative infections occurring and advise them on communicating with their vets to ensure the best health care for their animals. We also advise human doctors and nurses on cross infection and patients who have MRSA infections on hygiene in the home and around their pets.’

The foundation was helped on its stand by volunteers from Cambridge and Nottingham veterinary schools who, as they progress with their training, help out at Foundation events.

Lara Caddy of Cambridge vet school commented: ‘I have been helping the foundation for two years now and I really enjoy meeting the public and having a chance to talk to them, the foundation works hard to keep owners informed of not just symptoms of post-operative infections but also prevention. I am delighted to be of help and as I move through my training as a vet I hope to become more involved with academic projects that the foundation is working on with leading veterinary schools.’

Many vets and veterinary nurses stopped by the stand commenting on what great work the foundation is doing and asking for Jill and Mark to talk at their practices on how the foundation has emerged as a charity having such an impact on veterinary approach to infection control.
Work also continues with the veterinary profession to develop learning opportunities, and the foundation is a member of DEFRA’s antimicrobial resistance committee on MRSA in animals and is currently in discussion with DEFRA and other veterinary organisations to present a second International Conference on MRSA in June 2009 near London.

‘The conference is another exciting project,’ said Moss, ‘but we know that more needs to be offered. As well as large events, The Bella Moss Foundation in association with Janssen Animal Health are planning another series of CPD seminars on MRSA in animals around the country (May 2008). These seminars will bring leading researchers and clinicians with the most up-to-date knowledge to those front-line vets unable to make it to the conference. These programmes show our commitment to working in partnership with the profession.’

Four seminars are planned to take place around the UK in May and will be published on the BSAVA website and in their newsletter to members.

t For more information on seminar dates, please contact Janssen animal Health 01494 567646 or email

Photo courtesy of the Kennel Club.