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Club member ‘unhappy’ at lack of support

Issue: 02/03/2018

A row has erupted about access to the welfare fund of a breed club.
Melanie Jackson, member of the Maltese Club, is unhappy as she feels that she has not been given adequate support from the club after her dog, Annabelle, contracted Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME).
She told OUR DOGS, 'I have been an active member of the Maltese Club for many years. Recently I bought a puppy from a well known breeder and it has developed GME and it has been very ill.
'There has been no help from the breeder and I approached the committee about help and nothing came back from the club.
'I have set up a GoFundMe page and have been helped by friends. The vet bills are at least £8,000 and the dog still needs treatment.
'There has been help from around the world and yet the club have given me zero time, compassion and they have not made one offer.
'The Welfare Fund was set up when an elderly member died and she left the club money. The club paid for dogs to get them in a good condition. They are financially stable, in my opinion  they can afford to help.
'I have had to sell my engagement ring and my grandma's ring. After 25 years with the club you think they would offer to help.
'Lots of people have resigned from the club have not renewed their membership because of this. The club should be there to help but they are just burying their head in the sand.
'They hope I'm just going to shut up but I am not. I'm disgusted with their behaviour.
'I am determined to get this dog into remission. My dogs are my children, my life.'
Ms Jackson alleges that she believes the reason she has not received any help is because the breeder's mother is Chair of the club. The Club strongly deny that to be the case.


Valerie Blore, the Welfare Officer, responded for the Club telling OUR DOGS, 'We don't have a welfare fund. When Ms Worthington died she left money in her will to the Club. There were instructions attached and we had to sign an agreement with the executors of the will.
'The money was to be used for lost, abandoned or rescued Maltese dogs. It is ring fenced for that purpose. Ms Jackson seems to suffering a misapprehension about the welfare fund. 
'We didn't help the other member with their vet fees. We homed the dogs but we never paid any more to help her dogs.
'The officers have faced a torrent of abuse on social media and I believe there has been a death threat to the breeder of the dog.
'I had not heard of GME but it is not just in Maltese but Chihuahuas can also get it.
'I can't see why she expects us to pay her vet fees. The fund was set up for rescue dogs but it was thought it would be nicer to call it a welfare fund when it is actually a rescue fund.
'The Chair has offered to resign over this but I have told her not to do so. The dog was 18 months old when it got sick. It was not as if Ms Jackson was sold a sick puppy.
'She only has two dogs. I would say to anyone with two dogs that they should get them insured.
'We have never had anything like this happen to us. She won't speak to me or the secretary. I am sorry for the dog.
'She clearly loves her dogs but we don't have a fund for help. If we did help that would set a precedent and we would then have to pay the vets bills for anyone who asks for help.
'Even if we went bankrupt we could not use that money for welfare. As I say I can't see why she expects us to pay for her dogs.'

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