Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography.
Every dog lover has heard of Crufts, but The Kennel Club’s work goes way beyond the famous show, as Ann Evans reminds us.
Crufts, the world’s greatest celebration of dogs, returns to the NEC in Birmingham from 5th – 8th March 2020, and tickets are now on sale.
The four-day event, organised by The Kennel Club, attracts more than 150,000 people and over 27,000 dogs. It’s the perfect show for dog lovers with its diverse programme of dog displays and competitions including the finale of the prestigious Friends for Life competition which recognises unsung canine heroes. There’s also a celebration of crossbreeds with the Scruffts final.
Show-goers have the opportunity to follow the Best in Show journey beginning with the Utility and Toy group competitions on Thursday 5th March, Gundog group on Friday 6th, Working and Pastoral groups on Saturday 7th and the Terrier and Hound groups on Sunday 8th. The event culminates with the announcement of the public vote for Friends for Life followed by the exciting Best in Show finale on Sunday evening.
Throughout the four days there’s the opportunity to meet and greet around 200 different breeds in the Discover Dogs area. In 2020 two more breeds will be making their debut. The Barbet, an ancient French breed and the Harrier, a native hound which will be recognised by the Kennel Club from January 2020.
With over 400 trade stands offering every kind of canine related product imaginable, the show is a dog lover’s shopping paradise. Importantly too, there are show stands and areas offering an opportunity to learn more about other Kennel Club activities, including partnerships with veterinary and animal health organisations that fuel research into treatments of various canine conditions and diseases. Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations will be showcasing their hard work and successes in rehoming breed rescue dogs on the Kennel Club stand where visitors can find out about rescue dogs looking for their forever home.
The Kennel Club is committed to improving the health and welfare of all dogs and over the last year has given funds totalling £842,000 to organisations and charitable causes including its own charity the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Together, they are the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health and welfare to ensure that dogs live healthy and happy lives. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK.
Additionally, the Kennel Club registers around a quarter of a million pedigree dogs each year, thousands more on its activity register, plus it and runs Petlog, the UK’s largest lost and found database for microchipped pets. The Club invests the money that it makes back into dogs through the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and the Kennel Club Educational Trust.
Its charitable initiatives include supporting rehoming centres and investing into research and the development of DNA tests to help prevent canine diseases. The Kennel Club has its own Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust where this work is carried out. Since 2009 the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has donated nearly £5 million to help improve the lives of dogs to be dedicated to canine genetic research with the Animal Health Trust.
The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and, through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) contributes to the AHT’s well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary commented; “While the Kennel Club might be best known for its registration of dogs, it is also the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs. As well as our registry, we offer dog owners and those working with dogs an unparalleled source of education, experience and advice on puppy buying, health, dog training and handling. The Kennel Club also commits itself to supporting other organisations with similar aims and over the last year some of these recipients have included the Scottish Kennel Club, Welsh Kennel Club, Genetic Journal and the National Military Working Dogs memorial in Brynford, Flintshire which will honour all military dogs.”
Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust said; “Since the Kennel Club Charitable Trust was established in 1987, it has donated more than £10 million to help improve the lives of dogs. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities. The Trust awards grants to organisations to help them to achieve its objective of ‘making a difference for dogs’ and supports work with dogs across three distinct areas: Science – the funding of research into health problems in dogs; Support – helping to train dogs to help human beings and welfare; Sentiment – providing funds for dogs that need help or rescue.”
For more information and tickets for Crufts, 5th – 8th March 2020 at the Birmingham NEC, visit www.crufts.org.uk
For more information on the Kennel Club visit: www.thekennelclub.org.uk
For more information on the Kennel Club Charitable Trust visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcct