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An Easter Update for our supporters:

Dear all,

KaceyThankfully with Easter arriving we have a couple of days where things are not quite so hectic and we are able to write a few words about the last year and take the opportunity to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who supports DDA Watch because your support enables us to continue assisting dogs and families affected by BSL.

Often our work is hard-going and intense, it's a people job where there are high risks for the innocent dogs at the centre of the cases and our workload can sometimes take its toll on volunteers. There are often tears behind the scenes but we pull together and carry on because DDA Watch provides a life-line and without you we would not be able to do what we do.

We now have around eighty on-going cases at any one time, ranging from magistrates court upwards and covering the whole country and a solid team of case-workers who volunteer seven says a week, liaising with owners, the police, local authorities, the Index of Exempted Dogs and legal teams-where there is legal representation.

A vast number of our cases have no legal representation due to legal aid not being possible to obtain and our volunteers advise and prepare owners for court, our volunteers also help a large number of dogs through the registration process and provide ongoing help and support when dogs are returned home where needed.

Our contact details are often given out by not only individuals but also dog clubs, veterinary staff, rescue and welfare organisations and seizing authorities. It is not unusual for our helpline volunteers to be taking calls all day and into the night.

Many months back we said goodbye to Alison Green (known to most as Allie) who went on to begin dog training and behavioural work and we wished her all the very best.

We have managed to enlarge our team of volunteers to continue the increasing work of DDA Watch into the future and enlist the help of extra page administrators who put in many hours to provide cover for our facebook page each week, answering messages which sometimes flood through and keeping this fast-paced hub of activity running smoothly with all the information and appeals updated and constantly shared to help gain more support and spread the word out to more people.

Recently things have taken a turn for the better with new volunteers joining to help us and we are now in a stronger position to help those affected by this inherently flawed and failed legislation.

We now have a fantastic fundraising team led by Jules and as our supporters have also grown in numbers, more people are becoming aware of BSL each day and speaking up to ask for education-led improvements in dog law, which we have always believed would make dog ownership safer for all because it is obvious education helps to prevent incidents with dogs and this must be the way forward. The hard part is trying to reach the government with our message, but it's not impossible and we will continue to campaign in hopes of positive change.

During the last few months we have been able to help three dogs whose owners could no longer keep them (through no fault of their own) when DDA Watch became a life-line to Zippy, Teddy Bear and Tori. Tori, thankfully was able to return home to her mum and family because our supporters ensured we were able to raise funds for Tori's kennel costs whilst her mum was in difficulty. The kindness shown to Tori by all who helped to share her appeal and those able to donate, meant Tori was kept safe until her mum was settled and it was tears all round on the day they were reunited, a very happy ending indeed. We hope there may be a similar outcome for Teddy one day in the future and little Zippy has not only our support but the great support of our friends at New Hope Rescue and we hope it will not be too long before Zippy is on the next step to reaching his forever home. We are also thrilled young Flump has settled in very well with his foster carer and life is very good for Flump with the amazing support he has had from his foster family who really could not have done more for him and we hope life will continue to be a lot of fun for this sweet dog.

We were also able to help beautiful Kacey who spent all of her young life in kennels held under BSL and Kacey is now living a wonderful life in the West Country with one of our volunteers and her canine best friend Mookie and several feline friends too.

Tyson (now named Jack) and Lola are two dogs who were held for two years and we were able to throw them a lifeline when their case finally ended with an outcome of exemption for Jack (he is now living happily with Alison Green) and Lola who was released with no restrictions and Lola is very happily living with a family who adopted her whilst she was being fostered by Dr. Roger Mugford at the Company of Animals.

None of this would be possible without the help of our wonderful supporters and we would also like to say thank you to Niall of New Hope Rescue and the owners of the boarding kennels who have been a huge support to the dogs we have helped in numerous ways.

This year we intend to continue as always, speaking up loudly and proudly for the dogs and their families at the peaceful Global anti BSL protests in the UK on July 19th and we hope the protests will be successful all around the world.

We will ensure DDA Watch representatives are available to members of the public and our supporters and we will also represent the families of dogs affected by this law who may not be able to attend the events themselves. As our organisation grows, we hope to be able to extend our support to other events around the country, raising awareness of the unfairness of a law based on appearance and offering responsible dog ownership advice whenever the opportunity arises.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Sian, one of our volunteers who has really had her work cut out for her visiting and helping to train the dogs we have had in our care. Sian has been on hand to help the dogs in kennels come rain or shine and she has steadfastly ensured they have everything they need to be happy and settled in kennels, including taking the dogs to their vet appointments with kennel staff and on occasion taking them to hydrotherapy sessions.

Molly and Merlin in particular benefitted greatly from Sian's regular visits, with fun and games, plus exercises to build confidence, all much needed for the dogs rehabilitation and Sian would be the first to say she still misses them greatly but knowing they are happily settled in their forever homes is why all the trips to the kennels, two or three times a week and sometimes daily and in all weathers, were worthwhile.

The work of DDA Watch is all consuming and often we have emergencies that must take priority and must be dealt with quickly and carefully. When there is a crisis and there is a delay in answering non-urgent enquiries we are always thankful for the patience and goodwill of our supporters and friends and we never forget those of you who hold us up when we feel like falling down.

We are grateful for the fantastic volunteers who dedicate hours of their time to helping those whose dogs find themselves seized simply because of the way they look and for our supporters who are from all over the UK and overseas who call in to our facebook page to post encouraging comments for the owners of seized dogs, for the dogs themselves and to our volunteers. Your time and kindness helps to keep us going on the bad days and we celebrate the good days and the 'welcome home' days with each and every one of you.

We are always on the look-out for new ideas to help DDA Watch raise awareness and raise funds in order that we can keep doing the best we can for those in need.

If you can think of anything which may help, please feel free to send us a private message or email ddawatch@gmail.com at any time and thank you all for your continued and much appreciated support which has ensured, through thick and thin, that DDA Watch is always here when needed and our volunteers will always do as much as possible for dogs and families suffering the effects of BSL.

Happy Easter to you all xx

DDAWatch is a Not for profit company, registration number 7393352. While care has been taken to ensure information is correct it must be noted that this site should be considered a guide only. If you find yourself affected by legislation you must seek legal representation. Information given is for England and Wales only. Legislation in Scotland and N. Ireland may differ.

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