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Updated Every Monday.    Your news...    Your words...

Issue Date:- 2 June 2008

Meet the Dogs Blogging Their Way to a New Life

BRITAIN'S largest animal charity the RSPCA revealed that the credit crunch has lead to a record number of dogs being abandoned as financial constraints take their toll on pet owners.   However, a new website, launched just 17 months ago is helping to redress the balance having successfully found new, permanent homes for over 2,000 dogs and unburdening the animal welfare industry of more than £4,915,181of financial strain. was launched in January of 2007 in an attempt to provide a modern technological solution to an age old problem of trying to find new homes for abandoned dogs.   Tragically, thousands of dogs are abandoned every year.   It is estimated that there could be as many as a 100,000 dogs seeking new homes in UK rescue shelters right now.    The people behind the website, specialist pet publishing company K9 Media Ltd, are keen to expand on the early success of the service, which is totally free to use for dog seekers and charities, and are in talks to take the concept worldwide.

Ryan O'Meara, editor in chief at K9 Magazine, came up with the concept for DogsBlog concept in the late 1990's after watching popular animal rescue TV shows.    "I used to be fascinated with shows such as Pet Rescue where they would have a special appeal for a dog who had been looking for a home for years.   At the end of each episode they would profile the dog and then the next day they would always ask people to stop calling because they'd had thousands of enquiries.   This really amazed me because I always used to think, if there are thousands of people who wanted this dog, where were they for the past years whilst he's been looking for a new home?

It dawned on me that it wasn't the fault of the people who wanted to adopt a dog, it was simply a case that there was no way of just being able to quickly see all the different dogs looking for new homes unless you physically started to visit all the rescue centres 1 by 1.

I was passionate that a service where all the dogs could be showcased in one location would be well received.   I also knew that for every single person thinking about getting a dog, somewhere in a rescue centre would be that person's perfect pet.   It just so happened that in 2007 and the popularity of blogging, we were finally able to join up all the loose ends.   Thankfully it's worked superbly for all concerned."

The Blue Cross, one of the charities involved with DogsBlog, is only too clear on the positive impact of the website:- "The more people who see these dogs then the better chance they have of finding a home with a loving family.   Prospective dog owners spend time looking at the site and can fall in love with the dog of their dreams"

Celebrity home improvement expert Linda Barker said of "It really helps the new owner decide on the right dog for their circumstances in the comfort of their own home.   This is how dog ownership should always start, what a fabulous service for the animal loving public who are wanting to adopt!"

A new feature for the site and one set to grow larger in 2008 is the addition of YouTube hosted videos of dogs looking for new owners.

DogsBlog co-founder Kim Bruce believes this extra innovation can get even more dogs into new homes:- "We launched to try and utilise the popularity of blog style websites, their ease of use and the user friendly way in which they allow information to presented and searched.   It seemed a logical next step to add to this the popularity of videos and as it is now so simple to capture a short piece of video footage and broadcast it to a worldwide audience, we decided to experiment with a few small videos of dogs in shelters.   The response was incredible with new homes being found literally within a day or 2.   Next year we will certainly be expanding this service."

It is the first website of its kind to unite so many dog welfare charities all under the same roof at the same time, which enables users to simply find the dog of their dreams without worrying about having to go from charity to charity.    Users can search for dogs by age, breed type, geographic location or even by a range of character traits such as dogs that are good with children, dogs who like cats or dogs who would be suitable to perform jobs of work.

As the site moves forward the aim is to assist more dog owners who are having troubles with their pets and are considering the possibility of re-homing them. has partnered with D.A.P (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) with the aim of offering support, advice and a solution for owners who are struggling with their dog's behaviour.   The partnership with D.A.P is also good news for those people who adopt a dog from a re-homing shelter as they can greatly assist dogs during the often stressful initial settling in period as the synthetic copy of the canine appeasing pheromone is clinically proven to comfort and reassure puppies and adult dogs alike to help them adapt to a new home., a shining example of modern methods and modern dog expertise helping to fight the age old problem helping homeless dogs find new, loving owners. Key Facts at May 27 2008:-

Dogs Available For Adoption:- 861
Dogs Now Re-Homed:- 2025
Number of Breeds:- 92
Number of Rescue Shelters:- 92

'Luckiest' Dog Name:- Max, is the most popular name amongst rehomed dogs

'Unluckiest' Breed:- Greyhounds, followed by Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most common breeds looking for new homes

'Rarest' Breed:- Thai Ridegback.   The less common 'cousin' of the more well known Rhodesian Ridgeback


ARRIVA North West and Wales is asking for bus users in Liverpool to put their local knowledge to good use and help the company update its town guides website.   

The website was launched last year following an appeal for suggestions, providing advice and ideas to bus users across the region.    Using the information provided, Arriva created online guides for each of its operating areas across the UK.   In North West and Wales region this includes Chester, Liverpool, St Helens and Southport.   And there has been high demand for the sites since their launch.    Now the bus company wants to increase the amount of locations and activities, ensuring the website remains current and a valuable guide for people in the area.

Nick Gordon, marketing manager for Arriva North West and Wales, said:- “We launched our town guides website to provide a beneficial resource for the local community.

The response we received at the time and throughout the year has been fantastic and now we want to build on that.  One group who may be able to make even more use of the site than they could last year is people aged over 60.   With the changes to the national concessionary travel scheme meaning that free bus travel is no longer limited your local authority, people over 60 with a valid bus pass can travel to new destinations during off-peak hours at no extra cost.

This means it is the perfect time for people to visit the Arriva Town Guides site, whether it is for information on new places to go in the area or to add their own new suggestions of places they’ve seen on their travels.    What makes our site different to others that exist is that all our suggestions come from real people in real places.

The site is free of charge and has no agenda in promoting one place over another.

I’m sure that our customers will have some amazing suggestions for places to visit and we want them to get in touch to help us update and expand the site and make it even bigger and better.

We are looking for a wide range of suggestions from the best place to go for fish and chips to the perfect park for a picnic.”

The online site can be found at,  so anyone wanting to make a nomination should either visit the site and fill in the contact form.

9 in 10 want transparent ticket prices, says Which?

RECENT research carried out by Which?     showed that fees can add up to 30% to the price of a ticket; and agents don’t even have to refund booking charges if an event is cancelled.

4 in 5 of those surveyed thought that booking fees were too expensive and don't reflect the value of the service.   A snapshot of the music industry showed that REM fans incurred booking fees that ranged from £10.50 to £13.50 for 2 tickets, with postage costs of up to £5.50.   Theatre-lovers fared worse as fees added 30% to the cost of 2 tickets to see Buddy Holly through Theatre Tickets Direct.  

Neil Fowler, Editor, Which?, says:- “Airlines have taken a bashing recently for adding sneaky extra charges to the cost of tickets, but they’re not the only ones; we found ticket agencies hiking the cost of tickets by nearly a 3rd with various fees and postage costs.   These charges only become apparent when people are well into the buying process, that  they should be made clear up front so that people can compare prices properly.”

People buying tickets through the secondary market, such as Seatwave, Viagogo, No1soldoutevents and Getmein, should be especially careful – they have fewer rights and mark-up could be very high.   Which?  has the following advice for concerned ticket-holders:-

Venue vs agent

The event promoter, venue or performer contracts to provide the show for you, but if you buy from an agent it is their responsibility to get the ticket to you in time

Wrong seat?

If you turn up to an event to find your sitting in the gods instead of the front row you paid for, you can claim the price difference – complain to the agent as soon as you can!

Pay by credit card

If you’re splashing out and spending over £100 it make sense to pay on credit card – the credit card provider is jointly responsible if the promoted breaches the contract, so you’re covered if an event is cancelled


For fans who’ve bought a ticket with the hope of seeing the latest Joseph or Nancy, don’t expect any refunds if the show’s headline star is replaced by an understudy!

Secondary market

Check, check and double-check the terms of the secondary site before you buy.   The original authorised seller doesn’t have to act on a complaint you have, even if an event is cancelled.  

More information about legal rights when buying a ticket through an agent can be found at:-  

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