Sorry to miss you all last month, whilst I was away on my mini-sabbital, which was a quite amazing experience, travelling from the UK to Belarus, then through Russia, Mongolia, China, Hong Kong and Australia, and home via Bali. I met some great people and also some wonderful animals – dogs, cats, exotic birds, kangaroos, koalas, and monkeys – and have photos of these and the fabulous scenery I saw to share with you in December’s and subsequent issues of Animal Magic.
In the meantime, we’ve got another jam-packed offering for you this month, with info and reviews of our latest books, great blog topics, ranging from new insight into our close relative, the chimpanzee, to canine heroes in peacetime and war, and international animal rescue, plus the low-down on the current hot topic that we at Hubble and Hattie are concerned about: Article 13 and animal sentience. Get the facts here and help us safeguard all animals!
Please contact us at email@example.com with any comments or points you’d like to make: we’d love to hear from you!
Hounds who heal is our latest release, and looks at the groundbreaking work of the K9 Project
We at Hubble & Hattie have long recognised the health benefits that our animal companions can bestow upon us and our families, both physical and mental. Hounds who heal reveals the work of the K9 Project, a charity that works with ex-shelter dogs, and provides therapeutic education, personal development, and canine-assited coaching.
The desire for human connection is a fundamental need. For some, however, the closest they come to this connection begins with a dog. This is the story of six abandoned dogs who ended up living together and inspiring the development of the unique K9 Project. It’s the story of the people they met, the ones they helped, and the ones they couldn’t.
The author of Hounds who heal, Chris Kent, is a multi-skilled professional who has worked with troubled and vulnerable children and their families for 40 years. Working across a number of sectors – education, social care, fostering, family support, residential childcare, and youth work – Chris has acquired a huge breadth of experience, not to mention considerable expertise.
Chris founded the K9 Project in 2008, combining her two big passions: working with people, and working with animals – dogs, in this case. With her family of ex-shelter dogs, the non-profit charity she created has since helped hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults make positive life changes, and achieve their full potential.
As Chris says:
“When I set up the K9 Project with my husband, Kevin, in 2008 there were very few people doing anything similar in this country, so I had to turn to the USA for inspiration and learning. We hoped, but had no guarantee, that the project could be as successful as it has been. I have been constantly inspired by so many aspects of what we have all achieved. There are numerous aspects to the Project that serve as a constant source of inspiration; individual stories of the people we have supported, the way our canine team have responded to different people and challenges, and the amazing support we have received has been awe-inspiring and humbling. It is time now to focus on our bespoke programmes and services in order to maximise the benefit of what we have learned and share it with others.”
Heart-warming, educational, inspiring, and funny, Chris’ book is also sharply realistic: this is the story of human and canine companionship, courage, determination, and resolve.
Each dog has a unique gift that can help vulnerable and isolated children and adults discover motivation, self-belief, and that often elusive feeling of connection.
Hounds who heal tells the story of each of the Project’s dogs, and many of the people they helped along the way, and we hear from some of those whose lives have been transformed. Describing the laughter, frustration, joy, and tears of the Project’s nine-year journey, discover how the very special dogs of the K9 Project have shaped so many lives.
Hounds who heal
It's a kind of magic!
- Bringing the magic of people and dogs together
- A warm, funny, inspiring, and moving tale of six rescue dogs’ journeys from homeless to hero
- How six ex-shelter dogs helped people change their lives
- Shaping lives one paw at a time
- Dogs giving feedback without judgement; love without strings
- The power of the human/canine connection explored in a unique project
- Learn about the very special dogs of the K9 Project and how they inspire, motivate and educate
- Heartwarming, funny, educational, and sad. A true story of aspiration and healing
- Laugh and cry – for the love of dogs and inspirational people
- The true story of how ex-shelter dogs achieved positive results with vulnerable and troubled children, teenagers, and adults
SKU HH4973 Format Paperback • 22.5x15.2cm • 128 pages • 85 pictures Price £10.99 ISBN 978-1-845849-73-3 UPC 6-36847-04973-7
Visit our website to find out more about Hounds who heal and purchase a copy:
Ollie and Nina and … AMERICA!
It was bound to happen. It has. Ollie and Nina and … is now available Stateside. Watch out, USA …
Ollie and Nina have done it! They've made the leap over the pond. Figuratively speaking, that is. Yes, our international distributor, The Quarto Group, recently released its US Fall/Winter catalogue, and included within are the daft doggie duo, Ollie and Nina.
Our colourful whacky pals' comic carry-ons – and a few other choice Hubble & Hattie books – are now on sale in the USA, bringing their own brand of doggy humour Stateside.
We think Ollie and Nina are just what the USA needs right now, – we can't think of two dogs better suited to deal with the glitz, glamour, and fame of international stardom … we're sure it won't go to their heads!
SKU HH5065 Format Paperback • 25x17cm • 80 pages • 50 pictures Price £9.99 ISBN: 978-1-787110-65-6 UPC 6-36847-01065-2
Lily: one in a million … biscuits!
Lily: one in a million is due to hit the shelves in March next year … but we've had a very special early delivery …
It often surprises our authors and readers to hear that work on a book can begin long before it's due in stock. But it can surprise us even more when we get a big 'thank you' before the book has even been printed!
To thank the H&H team for its work on her new book, Laura Hamilton, author of Lily: one in a million, sent us these wonderful hand-made biscuits, in the shape of non-other than Lily herself – 36 of them, to be precise. Needless to say, the biscuits were gratefully – and pretty eagerly – accepted, and disappeared very quickly.
We'd like to say a big 'thank you' of our own, to Laura for the wonerful biscuits, and we can't wait to see her book on the shelf early next year!
Lily: one in a million ... a miracle of survival
The moving and powerful story of Lily: a dog who was born unable to survive unaided. But her owner’s intensive, creative management of her rare disability has given her a life worth living, and may inspire others not to give up on animals with other life-threatening conditions. As a therapy dog, Lily greatly enriches the lives of others.
• From the moment Lily was born, clearly, something was seriously wrong
• Hanging onto life by her little nails, Lily was losing her grip
• A typical Golden Retriever, Lily loves food. But eating it is the problem
• Lily’s story brings hope to owners of animals with difficult conditions
• Whoever heard of a dog who can't eat; can't even lap water?
• Every feed, we take on ‘The Triple S Challenge’: Single, Silent Swallows
• "Lily certainly ticks the 'Unusual' box," is the opinion of her veterinary specialist
• Solids are a problem for Lily. Unbelievably, liquids are an even bigger problem!
• The Pets As Therapy assessment was very demanding - but Lily passed with flying colours!
• Lily enriches the lives of others
SKU HH5147 Format Paperback • 22.5x15.2cm • 80 pages • 38 pictures Price £7.99 ISBN 978-1-787111-47-9 UPC 6-36847-01147-5
Sniffing out a great read …
Whilst our olfactory senses are no match for our canine friends, we do have a knack of sniffing out a good book … and a FIVE STAR review!
First, great praise for Detector Dog, Pam Mackinnon's excellent Talking Dogs Scentwork manual that will help you turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby …
Happy Sniffery! ★★★★★
My chihuahua and I love TD Scentwork! Talking Dogs Scentwork has really helped build our relationship and boost his confidence … the book has lots of lovely photos and is well laid out … It's full of practical tips and good for both starting out and refreshing the handler's memory of the earlier scentwork elements later in the scentwork journey.
Valuable book for scentwork ★★★★★
Excellent book! Pam knows her stuff and it is evident in her clear, concise writing - no jargon and easy to grasp ideas … All positive training methods used … A must book for those interested in scentwork with their dog.
The best decision we made … ★★★★★
[Detector Dog] improved our relationship beyond measure, it has hugely improved my understanding of the dogs and their behaviour and we are able to use what they do best as a training scheme making them happy and contented … Pam's instinctive understanding not just of the dogs but also their owners and the partnership we hope to form with our dogs is invaluable. I highly recommend talking dogs scentwork to all dog owners, never too early and never too late!
A must have for anyone interested in scent work … everything is explained in an interesting yet easy to follow way. My dogs love working and this book has enabled us to spend more time together doing stuff we both love. Can't rate this highly enough.
SKU HH4963 Format Paperback • 22x17cm • 112 pages • 79 colour and b&w pictures Price £12.99 ISBN 978-1-845849-63-4 UPC 6-36847-04963-8
Next up are a pair of daft doggies with a very particular take on life … yes, it's Ollie and Nina …
Excellent book ★★★★★
This book brings to life the private lives of two ordinary dogs in a way that's comical … The cartoon strips in this book are true which just makes you love them even more … Bring on book 2.
Beautifully written and illustrated with fabulous little stories that are warm and heartfelt … I want more – I'd love to see the characters brought to life with animation, and be able to share the love with Ollie and Nina toys and gifts.
Thumbs up for Daft Doggie Doings! ★★★★★
I absolutely love it … brilliant observations transformed into a funny lille book … I can see this as a great tv animation. Cant wait for the next book
What a fantastic book! Well done Neil Sullivan for noticing all the funny little things our beloved pooches do … the illustrations are fab … Ollie and Nina will be very proud of their Dad … Love it.
SKU HH5065 Format Paperback • 25x17cm • 80 pages • 50 pictures Price £9.99 ISBN 978-1-787110-65-6 UPC 6-36847-01065-2
Finally, Scout the loveable Lurcher's book is proving as popular as Scout himself …
Calling all dog lovers – you won't be able to put this book down! ★★★★★
An absolutely amazing book and a recommended must-read for dog owners and animal lovers … had me captivated from the start! Very well-written and informative … powerfully moving, describing Scout's journey remarkably and in an emotive way … Scout truly is an inspiration and it was eye-opening for me to learn more about him, gaining an insight into the uniquely special dog he is.
Amazing read!!!!! ★★★★★
Superbly written, I was with scout on every one of his adventures. I could smell the smells, hear the hustle and bustle of the dog shows and could even feel the Welsh mist on my face … Scout is an absolute credit to his hard working Mum and Dad … A true ambassador for rescue dogs everywhere … Keep going everyone, the future is very bright.
5 star book! You won't want to put it down! ★★★★★
A touching, funny, heartfelt journey of a little dog … You will not want to put this book down! Well worth the read, you will not want to miss this one!
Absolutely brilliant ★★★★★
The best read … laughs, cry’s and a lot of personal memories brought back, requires 10 stars.
SKU HH4936 Format Paperback • 22.5x15.2cm • 112 pages • 48 colour pictures Price £8.99 ISBN 978-1-845849-36-8 UPC 6-36847-04936-2
Whilst Animal Magic usually brings you mainly book news, and a few snippets from the animal world, this story is, we feel, so important, that we're including it here.
You don’t have to have been following the UK’s Brexit negotiations to have seen the social media and newspaper storm that has arisen around UK MPs’ vote against implementing part of EU law that says that animals are sentient, and can feel pain. As with many things legislative, it’s not quite as simple as it seems, so what exactly is the issue, and why would MPs vote against laws enshrining animal sentience?
With the UK negotiating to leave the EU, its policy makers are attempting to enshrine in UK law as many elements of EU law as possible, with the intention of providing a smooth transition back to our own laws, whilst ensuring that standards remain at least as high as current EU laws. For this to happen, each element of EU law is being reviewed before being voted on by UK MPs. They have already stated that all existing EU laws on animal welfare will be transferred to UK law.
The vote itself related to an article from the Treaty of Lisbon, an international agreement that amends two constitutional frameworks that form the basis of the European Union:
In formulating and implementing the Union's agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.
Green party MP Caroline Lucas submitted an amendment clause – NC 30 – to the EU European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which would incorporate Article 13. Basically, this would state in law that all animals can feel and experience things such as fear, discomfort, anxiety, pain, hunger, heat, etc, and that this must be taken into account by the State when policies affecting them are created.
As always, there’s been much misinformation, and a touch of rabble-rousing, on social media, not to mention a few shock tabloid headlines … but the devil is in the detail, so let’s take a closer look:
How did the EU come to the conclusion that animals are sentient?
Ironically, it was the UK, during its presidency of the EU in 1997, which argued that EU law should explicitly recognise animals as sentient, and not ‘agricultural goods.’ This was to ensure animals couldn’t be treated in the same way as, say, a sack of veg or a crate of cauliflowers, with no consideration for their suffering. Since its introduction, more than 20 pieces of EU law have been informed by the article, including the ban on sealskin imports, conventional battery cages, and animal testing for cosmetics.
So, if the UK originally convinced the EU, why did it vote against it now?
During debates prior to voting, the Government said that transference of Article 13 was unnecessary because animal sentience is already covered in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. However, many MPs have since stated their concern that, without explicit reference to Article 13, standards can more easily be revised down; a particular concern after Brexit.
But if it’s covered elsewhere …
As pointed out by Head of Public Affairs at the RSPCA, David Bowles:
"As things stand, despite having one of the longest-standing animal welfare laws in the world - something of which we are rightly proud - the UK has no legal instrument other than Article 13 of the Lisbon treaty to provide that animals are sentient beings."
This is the crux of the matter. Whilst Article 13 means that the State must take into account animal sentience, the Animal Welfare Act puts the responsibility firmly on the animal owner or carer, and only covers vertebrates. In terms of legislation, not having Article 13 means that the Government doesn’t have to recognise or consider animal pain or suffering when policy-making.
Can’t we just use all the EU animal laws?
That was the original promise from the UK Government. However, whilst that sounds like the easiest option, not all laws would be suitable for the UK. Many laws are designed to cover a large array of different social, cultural, and industrial needs. It should also be noted that not all EU laws are exactly ‘animal-friendly.’ Many practices that are currently acceptable in EU law would be considered inhumane, cruel, or frankly disgusting by many, from puppy and fur farms, to the welfare of companion animals and strays. It’s also true that we cannot ban some practices that UK citizens (and politicians) would like to see outlawed, due to EU trade laws: live animal transportation being one example.
It should be remembered that the EU comprises many countries and different cultural attitudes. Even Article 13 allows for exceptions for “religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage,” so EU law isn’t a panacea against cruel or inhumane treatment.
So, in the UK animals won’t be considered sentient after Brexit?
As it stands, and from the perspective of the EU withdrawal bill and legislature, that’s correct. UK law will not include any references to animals being sentient. Other legislative measures may cover sentience and welfare, but this bill won’t.
If there’s no legal requirement to take account of animal suffering, and therefore no punishment for cruel or inhumane practices across the UK’s animal-based industries, the baseline for animal welfare can only go down in an effort to increase profits.
But, that’s bonkers!
Well, many people are saying just that. Since the news broke, there has been a huge backlash against the 'No' vote, both from the public, and from some MPs. A massive social media campaign has led to the current Minister for the Environment, Michael Gove, making a statement in which he promised to make “any necessary changes” to UK law, to recognise that animals feel pain. He also said that it was a misconception to say Tory MPs voted against the idea that animals are sentient and feel pain, and many have made statements to that effect. Mr Gove stated:
“This government will ensure that any necessary changes required to UK law are made in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure animal sentience is recognised after we leave the EU.
“The withdrawal bill is not the right place to address this; however, we are considering the right legislative vehicle.”
Gove’s and the Government’s argument, is that such considerations should, and would, be written-in to other areas of UK law, after Brexit.
Hhmm … that won’t happen, surely?
Well, a politician’s promise isn’t exactly seen as a concrete proposition, and, as Caroline Lucas responded;
“If the EU withdrawal bill isn’t the right place to transfer EU law into UK law, then what is?”
Since the debate, Conservative MPs have been bombarded by emails and social media posts criticising their vote. Rachel Maclean branded such campaigns “fake news,” and Zac Goldsmith, a fellow Tory MP, said the vote wasn’t about sentience, but correct legal procedures for ensuring animal welfare standards.
However, that doesn’t get away from the fact that the 'No' vote means that, after Brexit, there will be no ‘sentience clause’ in legislation. Call us cynical, but would you trust a politician to put such measures in place after Brexit has occurred?
So, there’s nothing we can do?
There’s plenty! Campaign groups are currently working hard, urging other MPs to push for amendments to the EU withdrawal bill elsewhere, and to ensure that animal sentience is included. This will surely be a pain for the Government, but we at H&H – and thankfully many, many of you – feel that it’s a vital part of any withdrawal process.
No matter what your politics or personal take on the nature of the vote against NC 30, unless the Government realises the depth of feeling against the vote, and makes efforts to incorporate an Article 13-style clause into the bill, animals will certainly be less well safeguarded than when the UK was part of the EU: let's not let that happen!
The EU Withdrawal Bill is still in the process of being drafted, and there’s still plenty of opportunity to incorporate a new animal sentience clause. We all need to do our bit to ensure that MPs get the message that the UK wants no watering-down of animal cruelty laws: why not support one of the campaign groups in pushing MPs to address the issue while there’s still time. Even better, write to your local MP, and let them know precisely how you feel.
And, just in case you think convincing the Government is a hopeless case, remember that fox hunting and the ivory trade are just two areas where the Government has dropped its plans to drawback protection measures for animals due to public outcry: so make your voice heard while you can!
You can read the comments in the debate on the EU withdrawal bill NC 30 here:
You can find the details of your local MP on the UK Parliament’s website, here:
You can sign change.org's online petition to repeal the decision here:
The EU’s current animal welfare efforts can be read here:
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on this story, and will bring you any updates and snippets of news here in Animal Magic, and across our social media.
The latest from our blog …
International Animal Rescue with Four Paws Charity
The Syrian civil war is something nobody can ignore, but despite how much is being reported, not much is heard about the animals that are suffering because of the ongoing conflict. Well, lucky for some four-legged-friends, Four Paws have been able to help!
Find-o and Rescue!
In recent weeks, Mexico has been hit by a number of earthquakes, with the most devastating affecting Mexico City on the 19th of September. With rescue efforts still under way, we've heard of a very special four-legged-friend who is making a huge contribution.
Worzel's Quite Very Actual Busy Summer
Sunday the 20th of August saw this year's Buckham Fair, a good old-fashioned country show, held on the outskirts of Beaminster, which is not too far from Hubble and Hattie HQ.
Kac and Lisa are seeing stars!
Together with Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, Kac Young – producer, TV writer, and director – has written The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog, an exceptional book that explores Kac's latest venture of becoming a 'dog mom.'
Remember, remember your pets this November!
Early November is that time of year when we all enjoy a good fireworks display. But, not everyone finds it as enjoyable as us humans. It may be over now, but it's always important to look out for your furry friends at this time of year …
Oobe Doo, I really am like you!
We are all well aware of how closely humans are related to chimpanzees – we share a total of 99% DNA! – but latest research has shed even more light on the subject: chimpanzees have distinct and stable personalities that develop as they age, just like us!
The latest daft doggy doings …
We have a WIIINNNNEEERRRRR!
The winner of this month's £50 voucher is …
If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning, simply fill in the competition form – we include one with EVERY Hubble & Hattie book when you order direct from us.
Post it back to us and you'll be entered in our monthly draw … you could soon have a
£50 Veloce gift voucher winging its way to you!
Hubble & Hattie – Animals and everything related to them!
Please visit our website www.hubbleandhattie.com for details of all books and the latest information on new and forthcoming books.
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