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RSPCA threat to Companion Dog Shows

Our Dogs has learned that the RSPCA is taking direct action from its headquarters at Horsham to stop fundraisers running Companion Dog Shows.

Our Dogs contacted the RSPCA Press office and asked them to ‘clarify whether the RSPCA have banned all fund raising events involving companion dog shows, pedigree dogs or similar’ They replied that in September last year, Mark Watts, Chief Executive of the RSPCA sent a directive to all RSPCA satellite centres and affiliated organisations (most RSPCA centres operate like a franchise operation: they are charities in their own right, have to raise all their own funds and receive no money from RSPCA headquarters) reminding them that the RSPCA ‘does not associate itself with, or host shows that judge dogs in relation to breed standards’.

This had little effect last year but now that fundraising groups (including RSPCA centres) are beginning to plan for 2009, many organisers have had no alternative but to abandon Companion Dogs Shows. Some are replacing their activities with ‘fun shows’ but the core supporters of these events who own healthy, happy pedigree dogs and like to show them off in a relaxed, stress free environment will not have the opportunity either to support them or dig into their pockets for much needed funds.

In his letter, Mark Watts said ‘I am very aware that some of you run dog shows as fundraising events. We want to help ensure a positive future for the pedigree dog by working with everyone involved. That’s why we would like to see the emphasis at shows shifted away from appearance, so that health, welfare and temperament are considered first and foremost.’

Despite confirming that the statement by Mark Watts was correct the RSPCA press department have told Our Dogs that ‘there has been no ban on RSPCA fundraising events like dog shows’. On the other hand, they add, the RSPCA is fully behind events which judge dogs on the basis of traits such as agility, good character or similar criteria.

The result of these conflicting messages is that at least one organiser has told Our Dogs that he fears that the funding he gets from the RSPCA for his work would be withdrawn should he run a Companion Dogs Show as he had done for many years.

His concerns were confirmed by a ‘stand off’ at the Companion Dog Show he ran last year when a local RSPCA inspector in attendance demanded that the steward order those dogs with undocked tails out of the ring as ‘showing them is illegal’. He was wrong, of course, and the steward refused but such incidents show the lengths the RSPCA is prepared to go in using its influence to create fear and misunderstanding among those whose pleasure and leisure is that of owning a pedigree dog.

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You forget about the unregistered pedigree dogs and the new fancy cross breeds. With all the programms on TV at present I have never see so many people and dogs come to classes. Has the RSPCA gone made will they stop rehoming pedigree dogs and the fashionable breeds. And now they have another issue with companion dog show. 


Should the article read ordered those dog with "docked" tails, not "undocked" ?  I suspect so.
I went to several country dog shows last summer, run by local hunts and village hall committees and, in most cases, the public paid for entry.   There were quite a few docked terrier puppies there whose owners had never heard of the Docking legislation, had no docking certificates and said "it is painless".   Ditto some of the people on the gate.
The RSPCA fund raising events at regional rescue centres will probably just host "fun shows" and events, but may make their own rules.
Somerset dweller!

Typical RSPCA!!!!talk about cut your nose off to spite your face!!!!why dont they stick to looking out for ill treated animals???They con folks into sending money to head office by sending out letters asking for donations...with pictures of ill treated/sick animals on them,when none of the money sent goes to any animals at all.then put paid-excuse the pun-to the branches doing something to make money to keep running.Companion shows are more fun than  open/ch breed shows for a the other classes, prettiest bitch,most handsome dog,etc..well what's wrong with those???and for goodness sake, have they nothing better to do than tell the judge,who more than likely gave up his/her time for a good cause-ANIMAL WELFARE!!!-to take docked dogs out of the ring??? at a so callled fun show!wouldnt the inspector have been better off looking into puppy farmers,folk ferrying sheep/ponies about,squashed together in lorries with no water for days and such like!!!and speaking of temperament,my sister cried as she had to return a dog to our local RSPCA kennels,after struggling with her for months,getting qualified help too.she told them the dog couldnt be trusted,so why is she now up for rehoming as a cuddly family pet???