Come woof, come all to festival for four-legged friends

The countdown is on for a weekend of canine capers as DogFest is coming to Ragley Hall at the end of May.

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity which has a rehoming centre in Kenilworth and a charity shop in Stratford-upon-Avon, is the charity partner for this year’s dog-focused festival and will be welcoming dog lovers to the Dogs Trust Village at the event.

The Village will have lots of fun activities to take part in as well as information about some of the Dogs Trust dogs currently looking for their forever homes. There will also be reunion parades for former residents of Dogs Trust who have now found their forever families, to take part in.

Louise Round, Head of Supporter Relations at Dogs Trust, says: “This is the second year we have been DogFest’s charity partner and we, and all of our dogs, had a fantastic time last year. It was wonderful to see so many who were having a great day out with their forever families.

“Anyone wanting to raise money for Dogs Trust can take part in the Big Dog Walk at the event. There will be walks of 2k and 4k, and one especially for puppies, and there are activities for children to take part in along the way. Also, the walks will take participants to parts of the park others won’t see!

“Our Dog School colleagues will also be there holding interactive training activities as well as doing demos and giving dog-owners top tips to take home.”

Visitors to the doggie dream day out will be able to take part in everything from an agility course and flyball to a hay bale race, a fun dog show and doggie diving.  BAFTA – Award winning TV Presenter Michaela Strachan, will also be in attendance to meet visitors and no doubt offer lots of tummy rubs.

There is also an action-packed main arena with demonstrations from hugely talented canines and their trainers including TikTok sensation Lucy Heath and Crufts Freestyle winner Nicci Hindson will be showing off her dancing dogs in the obedience ring.

Team members from Dogs Trust Kenilworth will be at the event accompanied by some of the lovely dogs currently being cared for at the centre whilst they wait to find their forever homes.

One dog awaiting for his furry-tail ending is Suede, a 7-year-old Spaniel Cross who never tires of cuddles and playing with toys!

Emma-Jane Thomas, Dogs Trust Kenilworth Centre Manager, says: “Suede is a stunning boy, who would love a rural retreat to call home. When Suede grows to know and trust you, he’ll happily provide endless love and affection! Getting to know him is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He adores being in the company of people and we hope that as dog-lovers flock to DogFest, Suede finally finds the home he’s looking for.”

You can book your tickets via the Dogs Trust website at https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/latest/events/dogfest Every ticket booked via the Dogs Trust website will mean 15% of the ticket price goes to Dogs Trust, helping the charity care for around 14,000 dogs every year.

If you’d like to find out more about Suede, or any of the dogs waiting for their forever homes at Dogs Trust, please visit: www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/

Rosewood Pet Products supports Ukraine animal aid

Rosewood Pet Products has made a donation of pet supplies to support a local team delivering aid to animals affected by events in Ukraine.

David Pryce, who set up the project, made the 1,400-mile journey to the Polish / Ukraine border with friend Vince Price to deliver thousands of pounds worth of pet donations. 
Before the friends set off on their trip, David visited Rosewood’s headquarters in Telford to load their van with essential pet items, including pet bedding, crates, leads and harnesses and feeding bowls.  David invited local charity Team Poundie to be part of the project.
This was David and Vince’s second time delivering aid to Ukraine, in April the pair made the same journey taking a van of mobility equipment, including spinal injury wheelchairs. After meeting a Ukrainian family in a hotel with a dog who’d lost its leg, the pair decided to make a second trip to help animals in need.
David Pryce said: “We were very grateful for the generous donations from Rosewood and to everyone who has donated, big or small, which helped immensely. By the time we left we had a van full of pet essentials. We drove to Warsaw to deliver the items, which were then transported to an animal rescue centre in Zhytomyr, West Ukraine. We really hope this helps to ease some of the pressure during this awful time.”
Bev Panter, Marketing Director at Rosewood Pet Products, commented: “We were approached by David Pryce who had teamed up with Team Poundie. He told us about the amazing work he’s been doing taking supplies to Ukraine, so we were happy to be able to contribute. Our Rosewood Charity committee sorted through stock in our warehouse for suitable products which we hope will help the pets in need. We followed Dave and Vince’s incredible journey and are pleased they had a safe trip.”

Four puppy sellers admit their parts in £850k fraud

Four members of a puppy-selling gang have pleaded guilty to offences in connection with the fraudulent sale of puppies.

Kelly Jean Bennett and Ricky Jay Bennett, both of Weymouth Drive, Chafford Hundred, Grays; plus Steven Gilmore Foster and Stacey Jane Hayward, both of Colliford Road, West Thurrock, all stood trial at Basildon Crown Court. On Friday (13 May), all four entered guilty pleas*; two to fraud and two to acquiring criminal property.

Kelly Bennett also indicated guilty pleas to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act while Ricky Bennett indicated a guilty plea to one animal welfare offence.

The RSPCA and local authority launched an investigation into puppy selling in the Essex area after being contacted by members of the public who had bought puppies from addresses in Billericay, Grays and Thurrock.

The charity’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) – a specialist taskforce that investigates serious, organised and commercial animal cruelty, such as the high value trade in puppies – started looking into a premises at Crays Hill in 2019.

In the case summary, Hazel Stevens – prosecuting on behalf of the animal welfare charity – said: “Members of the public had made complaints to the local authority and the RSPCA about puppies being purchased from said premises – which soon became ill after sale.

“Twelve witness statements were taken in relation to puppies with health problems which were sold from the Billericay address between June and September 2019, and one in March 2019.”

The court was told that Basildon Council had licensed Stacey Hayward to sell puppies but the licence was revoked in July 2018 due to complaints about sick puppies. Her breeding licence ran out in December 2018.

Hayward and her partner, Steven Foster, moved to a new home and, in October 2019, complaints began coming into the RSPCA related to an address in Weymouth Drive, occupied by Kelly and Ricky Bennett. An RSPCA officer visited in August 2019 and gave advice about licensing but no licence was ever issued for this address, the court was told.

Weymouth Drive was linked to an address in Colliford Road via a witness and this was confirmed as the new residence of Hayward and Foster.

Both sellers were advertising puppies who were described as being ‘bred at home’ but it appears a number of puppies were sourced from Wales, with Welsh vaccination cards containing details cut out or erased.

Prosecutor Hazel added: “In addition, adverts were placed on the selling sites with various names and numbers. Visitors to the Hayward address were still shown her licence documents despite its revocation. Search warrants were executed at both properties and puppies were found to be present at both with some adult dogs. Dead puppies were also found at both properties in the freezer (two at Weymouth and one at Colliford).

“Seizure of paperwork and phones further demonstrates the links between the two addresses and there is evidence of Hayward delivering to Bennett’s address.”

Nine puppies were found living in a shed at the rear of the garden at Colliford Road; they were all seized and taken into care. One tested positive for parvovirus and sadly died but the others, who were suffering from Giardia and other health problems, made full recoveries and were rehomed.

At Weymouth Drive, officers found three adult spaniels, five cocker spaniel puppies and two dead spaniel puppies which ‘appeared to have been dead for days’, Hazel said. The court heard that the litter of spaniel puppies tested positive for Giardia, a small parasite that attacks the intestines.

RSPCA officers worked closely with the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit’s financial investigator who analysed financial records linked to the sellers, and attributed approximately £850,000 of income linked to the sale of puppies.

Seized phones were analysed and showed many messages responding to adverts for puppies, using different names. Bank statements showed payments with the reference: ‘Puppy’. Messages showed that both Hayward and Kelly Bennett were sourcing puppies on a regular basis and placing adverts online using fake names and details, and claiming the puppies had been bred and reared in a family home.

Messages on the phones also showed that Ricky Bennett had taken payments for the puppies, while witnesses had paid money into Foster’s bank account for puppies too.

RSPCA officers analysed the adverts and estimated that at least 100 adverts had been placed, advertising around 500 puppies, between December 2018 and March 2020, across Gumtree, Preloved and Pets4homes. The court heard that the selling of puppies continued throughout lockdown, until May 2021.

All four will be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on 12 August.

Walking dogs in hot weather could end in tragedy, warn vets

Emergency vets have issued a plea to dog owners to avoid exercising their pets during the hottest part of the day, warning the average survival rate of a dog diagnosed with heat stroke is only 50%, and can be fatal in as little as 15 minutes.  

The warning comes after the Met Office predicts Britons are in for a stretch of warm weather over the next couple of weeks. 

Vets Now clinics up and down the country are braced to see an influx in heat stroke admissions as our pets grapple with temperatures which are set to soar into the mid 20’s in some parts of the country. 

Vets say it’s safe to take your dog for a walk in cooler temperatures as long as they are well-hydrated. 

However, external temperatures above 20C put your dog at risk of heat stroke, an illness that occurs when dogs are no longer able to self-regulate and keep their body temperature down. 

Many of the most severe emergency cases seen by vets are caused by dogs exercising too vigorously in the middle of the day when temperatures are at their highest. 

Dave Leicester, an emergency vet, who looks after a team of experienced video vets at Vets Now, said: “Every summer, we’re inundated with calls about dogs suffering heat stroke during hot spells. Heavy panting and breathing difficulties are among the main early signs of heat stroke, which is life-threatening if left untreated. 

“While dogs need regular exercise, their health and welfare is our greatest concern and during hot spells such as the one coming in the next couple of weeks, we would urge owners to walk their dogs in the early morning or late evening to avoid temperature extremes.” 

Dogs can succumb to heat stroke – which is a high temperature not caused by a fever – if their body temperature rises just a few degrees above normal. 

Heat stroke can kill a dog within 15 minutes. Dogs who are overweight or suffer from brachycephalic syndrome — upper airway abnormalities typically affecting flat-faced breeds — are most likely to experience the condition, but all dogs are potentially at risk. One of the other reasons dogs often succumb to heat stroke is when they are locked in a car on a warm day – external temperatures do not need to be very raised for cars to rapidly become dangerously hot. However, all dogs can easily overheat if they’re exposed to hot temperatures and a lack of ventilation and drinking water.  

 Vets Now emergency vets have created a helpful infographicwhich provides a useful guide as to when is it too hot to walk a dog. 

One of the most concerning aspects of heat stroke is how quickly it can take hold. It develops rapidly in dogs, and once signs appear it’s often too late to save their life. 

However, even when caught relatively early, it can still result in brain and organ damage. 

Dave added: “Owners who are concerned their dog may have developed heat stroke should contact their vet as soon as possible or, if out of hours, theirnearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic. “Remember we also have Video Vets Now where you can speak to an experienced vet from anywhere, although heat stroke is a serious emergency and requires urgent treatment. 

The earlier a dog suffering heat stroke is treated, the better chance they have of recovery.” 

Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur. 

You can book also book an appointment at Video Vets Now and get chatting to a qualified vet from anywhere. If a pet needs to be treated at any vet clinic, pet owners are refunded the online consultation fee.  

Couple get life ban on keeping all animals after death of kitten and injuries inflicted on two other cats

A couple who abused their cats – which led to the death of a kitten and left two other pets with fractured bones – have been banned from keeping animals for life.

Callum Richardson and Ellen Jayne Symon of Hazel Avenue, Darwen, Lancashire, both pleaded guilty to one animal welfare offence.

The court heard how during the course of an RSPCA investigation a kitten was found dead in the Heatley Close home following a blunt force trauma incident, while another cat was found to have 13 fractured ribs, a fractured leg and a fractured cheekbone. Another cat was unable to walk as she had a broken leg.

Lancashire Magistrates Court heard how the RSPCA were called to investigate after a cat charity reported that they had taken five cats into their care at the owners request – and some had injuries which suggested deliberate harm had been caused to the pets.

Inspector Danni Jennings collected the cats on November 4 2020. She took them to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for veterinary attention as two cats were struggling to walk and another cat called Ellie (pictured above) had a broken right forelimb.

The couple later said in interviews that Ellie sustained a fractured front leg after she was struck with a sweeping brush during a domestic argument.

A leg amputation had to be carried out on Ellie who recovered from her injuries but sadly tests failed to establish what was causing the two other pets to lose their balance. A severe neurological condition was suspected but it was not known what was the cause of this.

A vet decided both pets had to be put to sleep to end their suffering. The other two cats who were removed from the couple were treated for fleas and worms and were returned to full health.

Two months later, on January 26 2021, the RSPCA were called to reports that a kitten called Coco had been killed at the Heatley Close address where the couple were living together.

The kitten’s body was found in a shoe box in the home and both defendants accused each other of killing the eight-week old pet by throwing her against a wall. A post mortem showed this was probably the cause of death – but she had a number of blunt force injuries suggesting she had been thrown more than once.

Then, while the investigation continued, in August 2021 the RSPCA was called to reports that the couple had another cat in their care, called Lucifer, who appeared severely injured and was screaming in pain.

The pet, aged one, was collected by the RSPCA and rushed to the Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where he was discovered to have a fractured right hind limb and multiple historc fractures of the cheekbone and 13 fractures of the ribs.

Lucifer (pictured above) has since recovered after having his leg pinned and had to have two months of cage rest.

An independent veterinary expert told the court: “In my opinion Lucifer was caused to suffer as a consequence of physical abuse on a number of occasions. Suffering would have been experienced by this animal via mechanisms of fear, distress and pain on at least three occasions within six weeks.

“The fractured right forelimb evident on Ellie is consistent with the injury being caused when hit with a sweeping brush as suggested in court. With regards Coco there appears to be no dispute that this 8 week old kitten sustained injury via physical abuse by being thrown against a wall and the post. But the injuries sustained by this kitten are suggestive of more than 1 blunt force trauma having occurred and cannot be explained by being thrown against a wall on a single occasion.”

Inspector Jennings said: “This was a horrific case of cruelty to a number of defenceless cats. This prosecution sends a statement that treating cats in this way is wholly unacceptable.”

As well as a lifetime ban on keeping all animals at the court hearing on May 4, the pair were given 18 week prison sentences suspended for two years and were also ordered to carry out 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and each have to pay £350 costs.

Ellie and Lucifer have since been rehomed by the RSPCA and are doing well in their new homes.

Paleo Ridge expands sponsorship of World Cup bound Tails We Win flyball team

Paleo Ridge, the UK’s leading and most accredited producer of high-quality raw dog food, today announces that it has extended its sponsorship of the Tails We Win flyball team to fulfil the team’s dog food needs.

Since 2018 Paleo Ridge has partnered with Tails We Win, offering a discount across its market leaving raw food range. With the Paleo Ridge brand logo featuring on the team’s shirts, the company has now increased its association as the official food partner and major team sponsor.

Tails We Win are five times British and European flyball record holders and are the current holders with an impressive time of 14:53. Tails We Win have qualified to compete in the Flyball Open World Cup (FOWC) 2022 at the end of the month. The FOWC will see the best flyball teams from all over the world gather to compete in Belgium.

Paleo Ridge is supporting Tails We Win by providing the flyball team with high-quality raw dog food. Flyball is an agility-based sport with complex technique and training behind it, so Tails We Win need to ensure its dog athletes are in the best possible condition to compete. Feeding a raw diet is believed to improve overall dog health and can also improve gut health.

Joe Lamont, owner and lead trainer at Tails We Win, says: “We are delighted that our partnership with Paleo Ridge has been expanded. Feeding Paleo Ridge products reassures us that we are giving our athletes the right food, with the quality and nutritional value to help them thrive. We’re honoured to be representing the nation in the upcoming Flyball World Cup and will be proudly wearing the Paleo Ridge logo on our team shirts.”

Will Green, Director of Marketing at Paleo Ridge, says: “Flyball is the largest dog sport in the country and it’s mentally and physically stimulating for our furry friends. Tails We Win is an excellent team, and Joe is a world-renowned dog trainer, so we are extremely proud to be increasing our sponsorship to continue our support.”

Dog abandoned at Penrith Vets with a broken leg now looking for his forever home

Staff at Dogs Trust Cumbria are searching for a home for a young dog who was abandoned with a broken leg at a Penrith Vets.

The Saluki, who has been named Kevin, is thought to have been hit by a car, resulting in a broken leg as well as some head trauma. He was abandoned at Frame and Swift Vets in Penrith and was not claimed by his owners. Dogs Trust covered the costs of the emergency surgery required to repair his leg, and he is now recovering in Dogs Trust foster care.

Amy Redpath, Penrith Transfer Centre Assistant Manager said: “We’re not sure of Kevin’s story as he was abandoned at our local vets with some pretty severe injuries. Thankfully these have been treated and he is on the mend.

“Kevin is a really sweet boy and is doing incredibly well recovering from his operation with his foster carers. Any potential owners will need to support him with the rest of his recovery, but it won’t be long until he is ready to go on some big adventures with a new family”

The team looking after Kevin says he steals the hearts of everyone he meets and is now looking for committed owners who are happy to carry on his rest period to allow his leg to heal. He is getting better with his housetraining and time spent alone, but new owners would need to continue this. He can live with children aged eight years and over and would like a secure garden. To enable his post operation vet appointments to continue, his new home would need to be within one hour of Penrith.

If you think you could offer Kevin, who is thought to be between one and two years old, the home he deserves, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk

Kevin is currently being cared for by a Dogs Trust foster carer. The charity is looking for more foster carers to open their houses and their hearts to dogs who find themselves without a permanent home. Foster carers will be supported throughout the process with food, bedding and any other practical things required, including the costs of any veterinary treatment, being paid for by the charity.

Annabel Robinson, Home from Home Coordinator for Dogs Trust Cumbria says: “Home from Home fostering is an essential part of our rehoming process. While many dogs are happy to settle in our kennels and enjoy being taken care of by our amazing canine carers, some just can’t adjust and miss their home comforts too much which can be distressing for them.

“Dogs that particularly benefit from being fostered are older dogs who are used to home life, poorly dogs and dogs recovering from surgery, like Kevin, or dogs who may never have lived in a home before who need to get used to the sounds and smells of life in a home.

“We already have a team of amazing foster families, and really appreciate everything they do; they play an integral part in finding their temporary four-legged lodger a new forever home – but we always need more so we can help more dogs.

“Fostering a dog is extremely rewarding and I strongly urge anyone who has a dog-sized hole in their life, but who isn’t able to commit to having a permanent canine companion, to contact us to find out more about the scheme and if it’s right for them.”

Dogs Trust foster carers need to be over the age of 18, preferably have an adult only home and be around for most of the day. As the dogs will need to visit the Penrith Transfer Centre to meet potential new owners, fosters therefore need to have their own car and live within an hour’s journey of the centre.

 

Six health benefits of sleeping with your pet

With 56% of pet owners allowing pets to sleep in their bed, the sleep experts at MattressNextDay have shared six scientific health benefits of letting your pet sleep in your bed.

This means that the remaining 44% of pet owners aren’t reaping the health benefits of co-sleeping with their furry four-legged friend. This may be because the dog owners are aware of pet allergies or feel like their sleep will be disrupted, however, there are many ways to overcome these problems.

MattressNextDay have highlighted the health benefits of allowing your furry four-legged friend to sleep in your bed:

You’ll have deeper sleep

Studies have shown that sleeping with a pet helps you relax and increases your flow of oxytocin, which can have a profound impact on how deeply you sleep. Sleeping with your pet helps promote brainwaves and syncs your heartbeat, which helps you enter REM (the deepest stage of sleep). So, next time you are sleeping near your pet, imagine your hearts beating together at the same time to help you drift off more quickly.

You’re less likely to have nightmares

Sleeping with your pet is also more likely to stop any nightmares from occurring, and even help those that are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because pets help mitigate anxiety, which is often associated with nightmares and PTSD, due to being hypervigilant. This, therefore, creates a more positive sleeping environment, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

You’ll feel more secure and protected

Further studies show that the presence of a dog in bed positively impacts women’s sleep quality due to making them feel more secure and comfortable. Logically thinking about it – your dog’s instinct is to protect and will let you know if they sense something that is off. This, therefore, subconsciously makes women feel more secure when sleeping alone.

Your stress levels will be lowered

Almost 3/4 (74%) of pet owners report that their mental health improved after purchasing or adopting one. Not only does cuddling your pet lead to the release of oxytocin (the ‘love hormone’) as previously mentioned, but it reduces stress and elevates your mood. This, therefore, makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night, given that stress is one of the most disruptive factors for a good night’s sleep.

Your blood pressure will also be lowered

Similarly, studies have found that interacting with your pet can lead to lower blood pressure readings. So, what more of an excuse do you need to cuddle your dog before you plan to sleep?

You’re less likely to have allergies

While there’s been many debates about whether you should sleep with your pet due to potential allergies, a study found that children who sleep with their dogs are less likely to have allergies later in life.

Hug celebrates the Platinum Jubilee with a limited-edition Coronation Chicken Dish

Especially created to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Hug – the premium complete ready meal brand for dogs and cats – has created a delicious, limited-edition Coronation Chicken dish for dogs.

To ensure dogs across the nation can eat like royalty on this momentous occasion, the naturally balanced special recipe is made with British chicken and outdoor reared pork, sprinkled with delicious, dried apricots – an essential ingredient for the traditional Coronation Chicken recipe.

Available in the range until the end of June, the limited-edition recipe has been selected following a unique Corgi taste-test through social media. The Hug team invited hungry Corgis – known for their royal connections – to decide what was their favourite recipe and CoronationChicken came out on top!

All of Hug’s recipes use the highest quality meat and a selection of fresh vegetables, free-from preservatives and with no added fillers such as grains and legumes. Bursting with goodness, the Coronation Chicken dish is no exception, comprising 75% meat sourced from the sort of cuts we all enjoy

Each portion contains superfood supplements including Antarctic krill, the most effective ingredient to deliver omega-3 and choline. These are essential nutrients to support pets’ brains and heart health, strong muscles, healthy joints and helps to prevent liver disease. The recipe is also grain free and contains a carefully developed mix of vitamin and mineral supplements.

Hug is safe to store in the fridge or freezer alongside the consumers’ own food, and each dish is served in 100% recyclable packaging, which can be heated and served to your pet directly from the container.

The 300g limited-edition dish is available to buy via www.hugpetfood.co.uk for the month of June. Minimum order: 4 x 300g = £12.50 + delivery

Young entrepreneur proves that anything is pawsible after first year success with dog activity centre business

A 23-year-old entrepreneur from Sully who started a dog walking business at the age of 13 is now celebrating the first anniversary of opening a dog outdoor activity centre, and has his sights set on long-term business growth.

Sean Mayor launched Dog Adventure Land, a stress-free, outdoor activity centre for dogs in June 2021 in response to the social and separation anxiety experienced by puppies and young dogs born during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Developed to be a home-away-from-home for up to 25 dogs from across the Vale of Glamorgan each day, Dog Adventure Land offers beloved pets a range of sand pits, large fields, agility activities and indoor sofas with heaters to enjoy, all before being bathed and returned home to their owners as part of the reliable pick-up and drop-off service. Dog Adventure Land was spawned from Sean’s successful dog walking business, PB Dog Care, when after a decade and over 5,000 walks completed, Sean was ready to expand.

Over the past nine months, Dog Adventure Land has become recognised nationwide as the only Welsh day care centre for dogs that operates predominantly outside. But the self-taught entrepreneur behind Dog Adventure Land has extensive business growth plans, aiming to open three new locations outside of the Vale of Glamorgan over the next five years to respond to the demand he’s already experiencing.

Speaking of his beginnings in the dog day care industry, Sean said: “Caring for dogs has always been a passion of mine, but I never could have imagined what started as a small dog-walking business as a young teen would allow me to expand further into the dog care industry.

“When we launched Dog Adventure Land, we had three dogs in our care each day. Our focus was to give dogs a natural environment for them to be themselves, while boosting their social skills. Most importantly, we wanted to relieve them of their separation anxiety by giving them a routine. It’s our dedication and passion that has helped us become a leading dog care facility in the Vale of Glamorgan, with the maximum 25 dogs in our care every day.”

Sean launched Dog Adventure Land with the support of Big Ideas Wales, which is part of Business Wales and funded by Welsh Government to support entrepreneurship in Wales.  The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea, including students and graduates, as part of its commitment to the Young Person’s Guarantee

Sean first heard about Big Ideas Wales when one of the service’s Role Models visited his school to share his personal journey in launching a business. Years later, Sean approached Big Ideas Wales himself and was instantly paired with a business advisor who assisted him in the planning and early stages of launching of his business – from writing a business plan to applying for land registration. As the business began to grow, so did Sean’s work with Business Advisor Mark Adams, who was on-hand to support him with creating and maintaining profit and loss accounts and business development plans.

It is this support that inspired Sean to recently become a Big Ideas Wales Role Model, swapping puppies for pupils as he goes back to school to offer advice to young entrepreneurs who are eager to build a successful business too.

Sean said: “I’m eager to share my experience as a young entrepreneur and inspire others. I’m not an academic person, but I have been fortunate enough to build my own thriving business despite this and it’s important that likeminded young people realise that you’re still capable of success even if you stray from the academic norm and follow your personal goals. I owe the booming growth of Dog Adventure Land to the wonderful support offered by Big Ideas Wales and my own incredible team at Dog Adventure Land, especially day care manager Matthew, for the determination and passion they put into our dream every day.”

As well as new sites, Sean has more immediate plans to introduce dog training facilities and classes, as well as overnight boarding to the services offered by Dog Adventure Land.

Speaking of his achievements, Carolyn Goodwin at Big Ideas Wales said: “It is inspiring to know that Sean built a successful dog walking business whilst still at school, and it is commendable that he sought the support of Big Ideas Wales whilst launching Dog Adventure Land. Big Ideas Wales can support young people in every moment of their business journey, and Sean is a great testament to this. I look forward to watching the growth of both businesses and to see Sean inspire others as a Big Ideas Wales Role Model.”

The Welsh Government’s Big Ideas Wales programme encourages young people aged between 5 and 25 to develop entrepreneurial skills and start a business. Part of the Business Wales Service, it is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information, visit www.bigideas.wales.