NewsHound | Issue 09

Hello NewsHounds, wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. This week we feature a study from the National History Museum, a Downing Street scuffle involving Larry the Cat, Animal Sentience information from RSPCA, plus a tribute to Claude and his legacy of friendship and goodness.



Tribute to Claude – #CLAUDESMEMORIES

We were very sad to hear about the passing of our friend Claude recently. Claude, a beautiful Golden Retriever was a very special boy who was loved by everyone who met him. We were fortunate to meet Claude and his human family a number of times, he was a boy who naturally brought a smile to all who knew him, not easily forgotten.


Claude regularly attended dog friendly events; he stole the show at a couple of our charity parties! He had many friends, both human and canine as the tributes on his social media accounts attest, he will be greatly missed not least by his heartbroken family. Claude leaves behind not just a legacy of friendship and goodness, he was also a blood donor helping save the lives of other dogs.


We send his family our deepest condolences, we are happy he got to spend Christmas with all who loved him. Rest well, and have fun on the other side of the rainbow bridge Claude, @the_life_of_claude – #claudesmemories. If you would like to find out more about the pet blood bank UK you will find some information here, Canine Blood Bank Charity | Pet Blood Bank UK | Pet Blood Bank UK


© @paaw_house #claudesmemories

Does Your Dog Have a Favourite Colour?

The 2020 puppy boom was real, we’ve certainly noticed lots of new pups on the block locally. With ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, many new pet parents may not have had the opportunity to socialise or deal with behavioural issues in their new family members. I personally didn’t know about a really useful colour coding system, signifying certain behavioural or health issues a dog may have until quite recently.


RED – Caution, I like my own space, ORANGE – I like meeting people, but not Dogs, GREEN – Friendly, I like meeting new friends, YELLOW – Nervous, please give me some space, WHITE – Deaf or Blind, I may not be able to see or hear you, BLUE – Training or Service dog, I am learning new skills or I am working.

My own dog, Vinnie can be quite anxious around new dogs, whilst he is not aggressive others may consider him so when they hear him bark. We’ve recently started using his red lead (ironically purchased because red suits him, not for any coding reasons). I have however noticed that other dog walkers do give us more space when we are out and about. Of course, it’s important to respect a new dog’s boundaries whatever colour they may be wearing, and speak to their owner before you or your dog become over familiar. The colour coded system, visible from a distance, helps dogs of all breeds and sizes let strangers know their personalities and preferences before being approached. This can make dog walking a more enjoyable experience for everyone, but in particular those whose dogs are nervous or anxious in new situations. An alternative option to coloured leads is to use coloured ribbons or bandanas tied in a prominent spot on a dog’s lead.


© @paaw_vinnie

Pets in Parliament – Larry the Cat

Our animal loving MPs who work tirelessly on animal welfare issues, across all parties will be back on NewsHound next week. Having featured Dilyn last week we thought it only fitting to give his feline colleague Larry, the Downing Street Cat a shout out this week. Larry a 13-year-old tabby cat arrived at Downing Street from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home back in 2011. Despite reports of his killer instincts, we like to think he’s been hanging out with the mice & keeping them safe and out of sight since his arrival!


Larry recently gave a group of cold and weary journalists some entertainment outside Downing Street. Larry provided an unanticipated photo opportunity in a scuffle with a pigeon on December 24th. Despite Larry’s seemingly triumphant attack both cat and pigeon came away unhurt. For more information about the great work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or to make a donation check out their website Battersea Dogs & Cats Home


© @Andrew Parsons, 10 Downing Street for Larry the Cat

Animal Sentience – RSPCA

From 1st January 2021, Brexit will mean European laws recognising the sentience of animals will no longer apply in the UK. A wide and growing body of research reveals that many animals, from chicken and lobsters to rats and fish are sentient beings, experiencing negative and positive feelings like pleasure, joy, pain and distress. For example, rats have been found to giggle when tickled, chickens are intelligent, have distinct personalities, use over 20 different calls and have a sense of time.


RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Penny Hawkins says “Science shows us that many animals are sentient beings, able to experience feelings like pain or pleasure, and they should be protected in law. “It’s not just mammals and birds that can be considered sentient. “The issue of animal sentience has implications for all areas of human-animal interaction; if animals can have feelings, as we know many can, both their physical and mental welfare needs must be taken into account. This is very important with respect to laws, policies and people’s behaviour relating to animals and their welfare.


“The concept of animal sentience must be enshrined in law, so that all government departments would have to consider the impact on the welfare of sentient animals when developing any policies in any area of life. I