Having seen the success of the World Horse Welfare Conference for Equines, Marisa Heath thought it would be great if a similar event could be set up for dogs. Dogs are the most popular pet in the UK and there are a number of issues relating to their health and welfare which needs to be tackled by all stakeholders from welfare organisations to breeders and vets down to each individual dog owner. 

With that in mind, Marisa organised Dogs in Society 2015, a conference that looked at the key issues with some high profile speakers including the eminent Dr John Bradshaw author of In Defence of Dogs, Mike Radford OBE, the leading legal expert on animal welfare law, Dr Sandra McCune from Mars Petfood who have done wide research into the benefits of dogs as well as their health and welfare and City of London Animal Health & Enforcement Office, Robert Quest. There was also panel discussions with the President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the Chairman of the Companion Animal Welfare Forum.

Attendees heard from the current Minister, Goerge Eustice MP as well as the Shadow Secretary for Defra, Kerry McCarthy MP and the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson, Baroness Parminter on the work they are doing on dog welfare and how they believe Government should help the sector. Leading dog welfare MPs including Rob Flello MP, Angela Smith MP, Henry Smith MP and Rebecca Pow MP spoke at the event.

Attendees included the key welfare organisations; Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Battersea, PDSA, Woodgreen, BVA, Kennel Club to industry  such as Pets at Home, PfMA, Mars to local government and police right down to individual behaviourist and trainers. 

The notes of the conference can be found here

APGAW intends to make this an bi-annual event so that everyone who cares about dog health and welfare can be included in the debate and the opportunity to network and share ideas is available.