Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Dog owners in the UK are being warned of the dangers of automatic dog-walking units. 

It comes after sales of the Walk-i device topped 1 million worldwide. The unit is now the fastest selling pet product in both the USA and Canada.

The Walk-i is the world's first autonomous drone specifically aimed at dog walkers. Priced at a hefty $2500, the Walk-i can be leashed to a dog's collar, allowing the drone to walk the pet when the owner is preoccupied. The manufacturers, Doggone Mad say the unit is capable of storing up to 10 pre-programmed routes and has a built in traffic sensor, enabling the Walk-i to safely walk your dog around the block. 

In the US, the product quickly occupied the #1 best seller spot and has been hailed as a "lifesaver" by many elderly pet owners. The Walk-i is due to be released in the UK on April 30th.

However, UK animal welfare organisations are now queuing up to warn owners of the dangers of such a device. Dog rescue charity Safe and Sound has cautioned that owners purchasing the Walk-i may find themselves in breach of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act and at risk of prosecution.

The charity's Chair warns that "pet owners in the UK have a legal duty to keep their dog 'under control' at all times. In relying on a device such as the Walk-i, dog owners are relinquishing control of their animal, opening themselves up to prosecution, as well as technically allowing their dog to stray. What happens if the dog sees a cat? Or is spooked while out unaccompanied? Could the dog find itself suspended mid air by the leash? The potential consequences of relying on this equipment are frightening".

The charity is one of many which is now calling for the Walk-i and other such devices to be withdrawn from sale in the UK.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fundraising news

Transport volunteer Kathy Grant is a retired nurse who scared of heights, so what better way to raise funds for us than... A SKYDIVE!

Kathy will be jumping out of a plane approx 2 miles above ground on Friday 13th September 2013 to raise funds Safe and Sound (Registered Charity no 1152935).

Please show your support by visiting Kathy's page & sharing it with your friends!

Kathy says:

"I am the wrong side of fifty, and a retired nurse. I have a family which consists of a husband, two daughters, two dogs, five cats, a horse, and nineteen chickens.

I am involved in the transport of stray/unwanted dogs from pounds to places of safety, where they can be assessed, treated by vets (if necessary, including neutering & microchipping) and rehomed.

Safe and Sound is an excellent small charity which works hard in this field, often funding emergency boarding for dogs.

I am afraid of heights, and am a big coward.  However, I will be jumping out of an aeroplane at 13,00 feet (approx. 2 miles high!), strapped to an experienced skydiver (hopefully!).   I am doing this for Safe and Sound, who rescue stray and unwanted dogs from Death Row pounds, something I feel strongly about, as these dogs are defenceless, and need our help.

Please sponsor me! Thank you! :-)"

Friday, 27 July 2012

Miracles Do happen!

Marley's Story

Marley the Malamute is a very very lucky boy indeed.  He was brought into the pound by a dog warden who was adamant that he was not fit for rehoming and needed to be destroyed.  The pound staff were told that he had bitten two people and was a danger to the public.  Neither of the alleged biting incidents had been reported to the police by the victim, so there was no evidence to back up this claim.  Even stranger, the kennel staff reported Marley to be a 'gentle giant', who had show no signs of aggressive tendancies whilst at the pound.

Well, we simply couldn't let this boy die.  With our help, the pound staff persuaded the local council not to euthenase Marley and to allow us to find a specialist rescue space with the tools to take on a dog with complex needs.

We arranged for a qualified behaviourist to visit Marley at the kennels and give him a thorough assessment to determine whether Marley was indeed 'dangerous'.  The behaviourist reported that Marley was in fact a very nervous dog, who found much of the world around him rather scary.  She described a dog that would try to retreat from situations he found worrying, or stressful.  Her tests showed that when Marley felt under threat, his preferred option was 'flight' rather than 'fight'.  She did say however that inappropriate handling styles (such as 'aversive' or 'dominant' training methods) which cornered Marley and gave him no escape route could well result in him having to bite if his handler failed to give him the space he needed and there was no other way to escape a situation that was causing him distress.

With this in mind, we set about finding Marley a very special rescue space - one where his needs as a nervous, fearful dog AND his needs as a Malamute (a breed which is not suitable for the uninitiated) would be understood and met.

After four months of searching, we are delighted to report that we have found Marley a FANTASTIC rescue space with Snowdonia Animal Sanctuary, a rescue that specialises in rehabilitating dogs with special needs that need some help working through their issues.

Snowdonia has a fantastic track record with fear aggressive dogs and lots of experience of working with Malamutes.  We really couldn't have found a better place for Marley to begin his new life, a new life which we hope will be one without fear or stress for him.

Marley left the pound yesterday, to quite a fanfare and a lot of tears.  He will be sorely missed by the staff but knowing he is going to such a fantastic centre and has such a promising future ahead of him now.

Good luck Marley!  Be happy!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Exciting times... or daunting ones?

We are busier than ever in terms of the sheer numbers of dogs we're being asked to help and the speed at which we need to help them.  The sheer numbers of dogs coming through the pounds means there is never a moment's rest, never a moment when we can forget about the dogs that need us.

This week we have had to cancel appearances at two dog shows which we were scheduled to attend shortly.  We simply don't have the time to spare.  Every second we have is dedicated to saving these dogs.

But that presents us with a real problem... It costs us anything between £60 and £150 to transport a dog to safety, neutering costs between £110 and £140 per dog.  Our costs are spiralling in line with the sheer volume of dogs coming through the pounds.

What to do?  Do we take time out to run the essential fundraising events we need to raise desperately needed cash?  Or do we save that dog that only has until tomorrow afternoon, that dog that noone else will help, if we don't?

So this week's task is to try and find ways of raising funds without having to hold events which will wipe out several of our very busy days - the dogs need us and we cannot take our eye of the ball for more than a couple of hours.

Today's mission?  To explore merchandising opportunities.

This is where I've got to so far...

Safe and Sound's Tshirt Factory

Thoughts please!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Hip hip hooray! :D

We are delighted to announce that our neutering appeal has not only paid for Samson and Rio to be neutered, but that there was enough money left over to allow us to get Cooper neutered too!

And in even better news, both Samson AND Rio were offered rescue spaces shortly afterwards.

Now for the best bit of all...  Rio and Samson have both been rehomed!  Samson was spotted at the kennels by a family visiting another dog - they fell in love with him on first sight.  Rio went into foster care, but was there for only 12 hours before his foster family decided they wanted to become his forever family.

Woo hoo!  What a result!

We are keeping everything crossed that Cooper gets some good news soon too.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Great news!

We have raised enough money to get both Samson AND Rio neutered.  They are booked in for 'the snip' next monday!  Woo hoo!

Now we just need to find them both a rescue space!.....

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Special Appeal

Stunning Samson and Ravishing Rio are now two of the longest residents at their pound.  We have had NO rescue interest in them and the months are steadily ticking by.

These boys are too fabulous leave locked away in a kennel for months and months on end, when we KNOW they will both make fantastic pets.

We cannot, we will not, leave them languishing in the pound with no hope of a future.

We are therefore launching a special appeal to get both Samson and Rio neutered. The hope is that this will make them much easier to place with rescues and hopefully shorten their stay at the pound. We need to raise £220 to neuter both dogs.

Can you donate just £1 towards Samson and Rio's neutering fund? Donations can be made via our website (bank transfer or via paypal):  http://www.safe-and-sound.org/donate

PLEASE PLEASE share and crosspost!